Often has an audience of the Copley Players been known to smile; occasionally, indeed, it has been heard to chuckle; but never has it been led to laugh so hilariously as on Monday evening at the production of "The Torchbearers."
This travesty on the Little Theatre Movement by George Kelly has been rightly called a satirical farce. The author plays all the farcical elements to the limit and then ventures into the great void of laughter beyond. And actors and audience follow him with an uproarious abandonment.
Poking fun at the home folks experiments in the realm of art is certainly not a new idea. Mr. Kelly knew that it was a successful one, however, and his conception of Mrs. Pampinell's efforts to disclose the hidden genius of the members of the favored circle by means of amateur theatricals is shrewdly presented. He misses his purpose of satire in his desire for the ridiculous; yet this lapse does not detract from the spectators enjoyment of the mishaps that befall the amateur actors.
Is Rare Piece of Fooling
As the production proceeds, one is convinced that all such amateur actors are fools, that their husbands or fathers invariably drop dead in the cause of art", and that, whenever the "torch of concomitant culture" has been raised, it is doomed to sputter out, leaving contented homes in blissful darkness.
The whole piece is a rare bit of tooling that the players seem to enjoy fully as much as the audience. Jessamine Newcombe's admirers came in large numbers to applaud her return to the company in the role of Mrs. Pampinelli. As Mrs. Ritter, the "born actress", May Ediss developed a laugh that was the leaven of the show. Francis Compton was her hyper-critical husband. Elspeth Dudgeon, as Nelly Fell, Philip Tonge, as Mr. Spindler, and Allen Mowbray, Katherine Standing. Victor Tandy, and Richard Whorf divide the honors in the amateur performance."