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"Dear Octopus" At The
The Hobart Repertory Theatre Society'* production, "Dear Octopus," which opened at the Plaj house on Saturday night, should please by reason of its comedy and family portrayals. Plays written round the subject of family life invariahly have a great ap- peal for the average theatregoer who sess reflected In them his own domestic joys and sorrows That a family Is a "dear octopus from whose tentacles we are never able to esc.-pe; nor In our inmost hearts do we wish to," is the keynote of this likeable family comedy.
Slight In construction and plot, "Dear Oc- topus" may not be an outstanding comedy, but it Is good light entertainment, and the characters of the various members of the family who assemble for their parents' gold- en wedding celebration are deftly drawn by the fiithoress. Dodie Smith.
Because of the Illness of Pearl Burbury, her role of Cynthia Randolph was read at short notice by Jupee Cornell.
The parents, Charles and Dora Randolph, were a fine couple, he, wise, kindly and tolerant, and she a dominant, but none the less lovable matriarch. Jack Bushby, «s Charles gave a restrained performance, and ropes well with»the old man's role Claire Mitchell wps a dictatorial and sprightly Dora, on whose shoulders age sat lightly.
John Gibson, as Nicholas Randolph, was natural and unaffected and reveals an easy stage presence. Grace Fennlng, Dora's com- panion, devoted to the family and cherish- ing an apparently unrequited love for Nich- olas, was gentle and submissive as played by Marv Harbottle. Junee Cornell read the part of Cynthia Randolph with such poise and understanding that one was hardly aware of the script she carried Edith Pitman was a charming Belle Schlesslnger. although a little too restrained for the roie.
Fresh and natural were the three Ran- dolph grandchildren, played by Wendy Barnett and Pamela and David Haddon-Cave, and their lines carried many laughs. Other nlayers who gave canable performances were Wavth Henty (Margery Harvey). Rene Brice (Hilda Randolph), Elaine McLagan (Fdna Randolph), Peggy Bowden (Laurel Rfidolphl, Maud Bailev (Nanny) Edith Tpnlswood (Gertrude). Bill Jarvis (Kenneth Harvey). Clive Stokes (Hugh Randolph).
The plav was produced by Olive Bum, and Don Sharp was assistant producer.