Like the characters in the "Ascent of F-6," the Dramatic Club, in its present production, has hit a new peak in its career. The show was outstanding for its smooth and forceful direction by L. J. Profit, S. R. Sheppard, and J. B. McMeehan, but the Club's choice of a play gave them superb raw material with which to work. The young English poets, Auden and Isherwood, have tried to portray "the universal tragedy of man in a man-made world." By a simple and polyphonic prose, verse of varied complexity, a tragic chorus, lyric refrain and dream device, they have welded a series of bizarre climaxes into a tremendously effective play. Philosophic and graphic elements were so intermingled as to provide the necessary portions of entertainment with a message so pungent. Incomprehensible as that message was at times, it only served as a challenge to dive deeper into the script.
Brilliant scenes combine these elements. The poignant refrain of "Mr. and Mrs. A.," the futile suburbanites, which haunts the action like some prophetic spectre, and its antistrophe driven home by a clique of worldly British moguls, give the drama superb and bitter satire. Never during the most intense moment in the hero's fortunes are we allowed to forget that the adventure of the mountain is but a facet, a link in the pattern of the tragedy of Everyman. Through the dramatic medium of poetry, Auden and Isherwood give a vivid universality to their characters.
The actors work fluently with the verse; keeping its essential character without ever letting it descend to self conciousness. Benjamin Britten's score, too, provides a coloristic background for the play. To single out any of the performers for praise is practically impossible; the entire cast is magnificent. Leonard Kent as the hero Michael Ransom performs beautifully in a gruelling role; Earl Montgomery as Lord Stagmantle and Jervis McMechan as Ian Shawcross also give outstanding performances. As a last word, one must mention the impressive sets and stagings. Ransom's death-dream is a triumph of direction.
To sum up the total effect, the Dramatic Club has given the College a great play, and proven its own mettle in the bargain.