PLAYGOER

At the Plymouth

Gertrude Lawrence breathes buoyancy into this serious drama about love and war, to produce a superior play of intense earnestness. Playwright Jacques Deval has probed deeply into the underlying significance of armed conflict and the meaning of life and death with an original three-character approach.

Service is an Army nurse on furlough in Son Francisco who has seen the horrors of battle in the South Pacific. One girl back in the war none years for a bottle of Chanel No. 5; another, for a Nino Martini record. Bernice fulfills her errands for them, and then realizes there is one that remains undone.

Bernice's errand for herself is enough to set anyone thinking with no unconcern about what he is doing on this planet and why. It is very doubtful whether many Army nurses react to their dynamic surroundings in quite the way Bernice does, and it is a tribute to Miss Lawrence's personal charm and utter sincerity of portrayal that matters do not get unconvincing.

In place of what is commonly called realism, Mr. Deval has injected a haunting atmosphere of champagne and hotel rooms in the wee hours of morning. Occasionally the dialogue becomes rather involved and the situation somewhat muddled, but Miss Lawrence is always on hand. ssh