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SATIRICAL COMEDY. "ARSENIC AND OLD LACE." New Play at His Majesty's "In Arsenic and Old Lace" by Joseph Kesseling, presented by J. C. Williamson's at His Majesty's last night, we have what amounts to a satire on crime melodrama. Since its premiere four years ago it has run continuously in U.S.A. and is also playing in England and still draws crowded houses. It is a comedy of homicide, tilts at all the trappings of theatre, including the dramatic critic, it defies practically every dramatic convention. Its principal characters are mur derers or maniacs or both. Of love interest there is little except that a young man, who proposes to. and is accepted - by, a determined young woman, kisses her occasionally and spends the rest of the time they are on stage together telling her to go home and hell ring her later. Dur ing the whole of the three acts of this fantastic play every member of the audience is eagerly anticipating another murder. In an old Brobklyn house live two dear old ladies thoroughly respected and admired by everyone. With ex treme affability they offer to lonely old men home-made elderberry wine containing "one teaspoon of arsenic, half a teaspoon of strychnine and a wee pinch of cyanide to the gallon." Their expressed intention is to bring these old men peace and whether they approve of this solution to their troubles the victims are never given opportunity to 'say. Teddy, their nephew, is conveniently digging the Panama Canal in the cellar so yel low fever becomes a sufficient reason for so many deaths in the house and the victims are buried in the Panama Canal with full burial service and the added dignity of mourning clothes. All goes smoothly and everyone is happy until another nephew acci dentally discovers these nefarious deeds and to his aunts' disgust and annoyance starts to interfere. At this juncture there arrive the villianous third nephew and his attendant partner in crime. Then thrill piles on thrill, body falls on body and ab surd situations arise with the en trance of each new character. Stars of the play are of course the two spinster Brewster sisters and in last night's performance they were the stars of the cast, with Ethel Gabriel as Abby slightly ahead of Lily Moore as Martha in clear-cut characterisations that never falt ered. Gently and gaily they offered their wine thoroughly convinced they were doing the kindest thing and never for a moment did one shudder at them or for them. Claude Flemming as nephew Mor timer shifted with amazing rapidity from fluttering stupidity to decisive action but got his laughs. Eric Rei man as the sinister Jonathan. Charles Zoli as his henchman, B. Campbell-Gray as Teddy and! Gwenda Wilson as Elaine gave good support, and others were Eric Con way as Rev Dr Harper, Charles Allen and Don Sharp and John Stacy as officers, William James as Mr Gibbs Frank Bradley as Lieutenant Rooney and Con Vayne as Mr Witherspoon There will be a season of 10 nights. and two matinees.