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THE PLAYGOER

At the Plymouth

By R. C. H.

As its sixth and last production for a season which is fading faster than the trees are taking on their summer wardrobe in the Yard, the Theatre Guild brings a new play by a new writing team. "Theatre," first issue from the literary marriage of Somerset Maugham and Guy Bolton, is handicapped by a plot as unimaginative as its title; but the old theme of the married stage celebrities who separate, have several affairs and reunite, is so literally enlivened with the authors' racy wit, that Bostonians will not hurry to forsake their seats for the beaches.

In a slightly different role from any in which she has heretofore appeared, Counclia Otis Skinner proves her versatility with a skillful adaptation of her immense natural charm to a character of risque life and lines. At no time does she slip away from Julia Lambert, the famous English actress who starts out drifting along on the wave of her success and ends up by overcoming her self with the courage of a truly great actress. The story is not half so deep as this might suggest, but Miss Skinner does manage to add something more substantial than is apparent in the script, and builds it up to an impressive tribute to the theatre in her final exit off the stage and into the aisles.

The remainder of the cast are obvious tools in the hands of the writers' carefree vein. Arthur Margetson gives a polished performance with plenty of English as the philandering husband of Julia who finally forsakes his "Vermin in Ermine" and returns to the fold. Carl Harbord is thoroughly sufficient as spite-lover of Julia and a young accountant who gets way out of his depth to sink ingloriously in the end. And the rest are all good, heavily-accented English characterizations. It won't be theatre weather when "Theatre" hits New York, but fast lines and a fine cast should hold the Palmbeach Parade 'till the air conditioning fails.

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