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'WHILE THE BILLY BOILS'
Doubtless most people were patrolling the streets to-night according to the time honoured custom of Christmas Eve. Otherwise the audience at the Kings Theatre would have been more in propor tion to the good quality of the acting of Beaumont Smith's adaptation of Henry '.Lawson's 'While the BilJy Boite.' The theme lends itself remarkably wpII for stage production, and the true Australian 'outback' atmosphere was much in evi deDce. The stage setting was realistic with its eucalypti, bush cottages, and shearing sheds. The shearers and rouse abouts were typically ligbthearted and uevil-may-care; their ''sing-song' was par ticularly melodious. Mr. P. Mackay es pecially has a fine resonant baes. What the audience lacked in numbers it made up in appreciation; and the con scient.ous acting of the principals in the cast frequently roused them to niiich en-, thusiasm. Ian Maclaren was a bie success as Bob Brothers, the misunderstood hero. His easy method of acting, good speaking voice, and fine staffe presence made a deap impression on his hearers. Walter Co mock was well cast as Joe Wilson, and his anxiety on the eve of his becoming a father was well simulated. The 'Man Who Forgot' was played by our old friend Tom Cannam, who made a wonderfuilv real half-witted creature. His make-up was excellent. Ruth McLaughlin, as play ed by Egther Mitchell, was a natural, iov able 'Australian girl. Miss Mitchell dofs not strain after effect, ? and she
is the fortunate possessor of a clear musi cal speaking voice. The low comedy cha racter of Mary Brand gave Pearl Hellni rich a chance to display her talents in this direction, and she was the cauehe bu-sh?;rl to the life. Gerald Kay Soupcr was impressive as Tom Wall, the station OHmer, and his 'waster' son Disk was played by Piumpton Wilson, and Kan Tay lor «as quite convincing as Mrs. Stiffner. Other parts in the cast were satisfactorily tilled by Thomas F. Tilton as Jack Mit chell. Crosbie Ward as Steelman. H. H. Wallace as Smitb. L. Shields as Brown. Art.hur Stewart as Shirty, Charles Wi'oy as Miik}-. ilart'are: Gordon as Airs. Bright ton. The nerfonnaiice deserves liberal support from the theatre-going public