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"Lady at Large," by Philip Goodman, presents the sorry spectacle of capable actors and actresses struggling with hopeless material They grin conscientiously over thir lines, but can't help revealing slightly their lack of enthusiasm for the insipid chatter they are required to recite. The only genuine laugh in last night's performance was provoked by the hotelkeeper's quite accidentally tearing his pants. And this device will probably be abandoned.
The plot his to do with a charming, unscrupulous adventuress who runs afoul of a pair of detectives, falls in love with one and unintentionally kills the other with knockout drops, trics in vain to go to jail for her numerous misdeeds, and then deserts her inquisitorial lover on the likely grounds that she is not good enough for him. There is a very sage Swiss inspector who sees through the detective's transparent fabrication to cover the adventuress, and advises that they part. He is the only acceptable character in the play. For the others interact with a combination of such elephantine whimsy and strained heroics, that neither they not the action they produce is more than remotely interesting. The action itself, though artificially stepped up by a series of unlikely reverses, is not too improbable, but it has no graces of presentation to recommend it.
Margot Grahame and James Rennie struggle gallantly, but can't triumph over their vehicle. Philip Goodman ought to go back to producing.
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