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Balloons Break at Copley Theatre as Clive Returns to Barren Hyde Park--Mowbray Smiles


When Basil Dean suggested that the theatre in England was in a less vigorous position than the American he had probably seen "The Young Person in Pink", For Gertrude Jennings' play, now in its first week at the Copley, is certainly insipid, if not devitalizingly vapid. Three acts of gentle farce, it rests its right to existence on a pink dress, a skit in the best Hyde Park cockney, and--at least in America--on Alan Mowbray's smile. To say, "The smile's the play," is not to vaporize. It is the truth. And all the more surprising is this smile when one realizes the position that gentleman was in. For a goodly part of three acts he had to suffer Miss Newcombe's ranting conception of a lady, Miss Grande's deliberately indecorous delineation of a lorgnette holder, Miss Ediss's usual attempt at Copleyesque charades, and the sibilant syllables of Miss Elspeth Dudgeon. . . who first, as a woman with balloons and later as a lady without balloons, brought applause to the hands and grins to the laces of the usual Copley clientele. And that is something.

Mr. Mowbray, indeed, deserves much credit. Sole representative--except for that triumphant moment when Mr. Clive, himself, around the stage (deafening applause) of the masculine in a dramatic matriarchy, he adjusted his bat wing tie, leaned on his cane, angled his hat, was, in fact, the life of the party. Yet one cannot forgive him those lines--or Gertrude Jennings either--"Do you remember your parents? Then I suppose they died before you were born." Men have walked the streets of Brockton for less than that.

"The Young Person in Pink" is not the most delightful device the Copley players have used to assist them in their two hour strut upon the stage of local stock. It is as obvious that they have too little here with which to work as it was that they had too much in "Outward Bound". The policy of producing plays hitherto unproduced in America is excellent when the plays are good. But as the Harvard Dramatic Club has proved, they are sometimes far from good. "The Young Person in Pink" is certainly in the latter class, lending itself at best in no very definite way either to acting or to production--for Hyde Park is not the easiest spot for the Copley to orient to its red asbestos curtain--nor is Lady Tonbridge's Charleston arena, nee home. The only thing it really adopts itself to is Mr. Mowbray's smile that was quite satisfying. Yet the best of smiles cannot cure the pain of the last lines. Those remain forever--shouted in the pseudo-alcoholic accents of Miss Ediss--"It's the will of God.

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