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Excerpt from write up in “The Camp” POW newspaper

Barretts of Wimpole Street
A Stalag IVB CADS Production

Superlatives are so often used in describing POW productions, that it is difficult to convey a truthful impression of the CADS’s presentation of this well know play. Probably the finest and most expressive tribute paid to this remarkable piece of work was the fact for the whole of the fourteen days run, upwards of 500 people sat each afternoon in the sweltering heat of a non-airconditioned theatre when they might have been attending the multifarious sporting attractions.

I have often seen the melodramas of the Sweeney Todd variety in the piping days of peace and seen the pleased expression on the face of the villain who was booed at the finale. No such beaming smile softened the face of Bernard Greenberg, as catcalls, stamping and vociferous applause greeted his final bow. Everything was deserved. His portrayal of the Elder Barrett, constantly warring with himself to prevent the slightest mollifying human emotions from affecting his rigid family discipline was brilliant. His final mad execration of his most loved daughter was superb. It is the first time I have found myself unable to find one point of criticism. So good was his performance, it provided the best setting for the contrasting efforts to escape made by his two daughters and the crushed acquiscence [sic] of the third daughter. Alan Parr caught competently the literary striving of Elizabeth to compensate for her physical disability her inconsequential terror of Porter as the symbol of parental authority and her disquieting sense of insufficiency on meeting the exuberant Browning. Very gently did the transposition from incredulity to enthusiastic belief in Robert’s love take place and the very confident and decided eloping Elizabeth was not even a shadow of the dispirited creature of the first act.

Elizabeth’s younger sister was played with artistry by R Phelps [C] who seemed to live the ardent, suppressed adventurousness for which the part called. But I loved Bella, I always was a sucker for the flippertygibbet and those female arts which appeal to men’s foibles made me want to kiss her. Knowing it to be a man, of course, the comment may seem, perhaps a little dangerous.

It must not be imagined that because I have left it until almost last that Phil Remmington’s Robert Browning was not praiseworthy performance – it was, every minute of it. Although I did think his great love scene with Elizabeth was a little hurried in the performance I saw. I must admit that the rest of the audience did not appear to find it so if the applause is a correct indication.

All the small part players performed competently, consequently contributing to a finely pointed and precisely produced play upon which the producer is to be complimented.
Ian M Mclean; POW

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