The theater, the cinema and ourselves (1947)

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buses from their Royal Air Force camp? And in the midst of these large effects, so well-massed yet composed so essentially of people we know, was a central purpose nearly always lacking in a large revue. It was not so much propaganda for the Air Force but a picture true to life, yet with an atmosphere of its own, far from photo- graphic. Never merely factual, yet seldom over romanticised or unduly sentimental- ised, it showed recruiting meetings among the English people we know and love so well, scenes at Canteens, and towards the end a few of our fellow countrymen stepping selfconsciously and with slight embarrassment amongst masses of slaughtered Germans. Hardly a phase of life in the Air Force was neglected and if moral there need be, stated in words, we had the closing sentence—"We shall fly again but with no need to kill". Plays with grave faults, like Shakespeare's, are often the plays that last; slick perfection leads nowhere. As this goes to press the problem of the child of divorced parents is presented at the Arts in child's play —with amazing crudity in the first scene and surprising tenderness in the four that followed. Seldom has there been anything fresher than Hugh Burden's father and Michael Lewer's Robin. Occasion- ally there seems an undue anxiety to keep abreast of the times, to talk psychology, to skim over a problem where there might be more brooding. But these are minor faults compared to the artificiality from which we are emerging. Never before has the English theatre, and often the cinema, been more alive, full of such infinite variety and fraught with such infinite possibilities. Never before have so many players lived rather than performed their parts, showing us men and women like ourselves. 52