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Terence Rattigan's gay little comedy of linguistics, young love and hankv-panky in Professor Ma ingot's French coastal school for English gentlemen, "French Without Tears," was given a well-polished and lively production by Peter Finch at the Sydney Radio Theatre last night.
Mr Finch, as producer, derived his company mainly from the war-time Army Theatre, which was formed in 1944 under his direction, and the Mer- cury Theatre School On a small stage, with limited scope for rough-and tumble business when emotions ran higher than reason, he won a remark- ably competent stream of easy gaiety and su.iuty from his band of talented young players
Two of his phyers revealed excep- tional!) accomplished stage manners Their assumed personalities fitted as if they were born with them, as if some of the colours from the old school tie had percolated into the bloodstream Alan White, hearty and beaming as Brian, with Ins complaisant "Chi-chi" and "imusemong" in (he village, and Leonard Thiele as the Hon Alan, brim- ming with precocious sang froid until the household s scheming siren trains her romantic guns upon him
lorn lakes bearded commander realised much of the written comedy though ifter his first entrance he failed lo dominate the scene with the smonld ering dibcomfilure of an order-bellow- ing officer suddenly obliged to attempt socnbility among a batch of flippant, young irresponsiblcs He needed to be more ridiculous!) and stuffily im-
Keith Wood was a success behind the chin forestry and pine nez of Pro- fessor Maingot Ann Laird's siren, June Wimble s nice girl, and Ron Patten's boyishly confused Kit Nellan were fairly represented Four more performances will be given during the
next seven diys -L B