Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 17, No. 18. September 3, 1953
This year's Winter Tournament Drama Festival was won by the Victoria group for their very able presentation of the one-act fantasy, "To Hell With You." This play is suited admirably to Tournament conditions, and the Victoria players made good use of their choice. The Judge, Mr. Rex Sayers, commenting on the production, said that the effect on the audience was "excellent, brilliant, brittle"; apart from tis merit as a play, the acting in general, and of Bernadette Canty (who played Linda) in particular, was "far above expected standards for an amateur performance." Simple backgrounds, effective use of stage lighting and costumes all contributed to an excellent overall production. A good deal of the merit for the presentation lies with the producer, Gavin Yates, who devoted a considerable amount of time and energy to ensure the success of the play. Gavin, it may be said emphatically and without fear of contradiction, has stage acumen.
Faults with this play, although minor, did tend to diminish certain effects which would have enhanced the overall standard even more. An over-use of music was unfortunate; with a little less of it, the result on the audience would have been more pronounced and less tending to monotony. Ian Rich, presenting his rich (no pun intended), vibrant baritone as the Voice of the Unseen Angel, was disappointing. Ho spoke too fast, and seemed to be in either a trance or a stupor, incapable of differentiating between tones, with the expected result of sounding like a wound-down commercial traveller selling "Awake" in Tarnnaki Street.
Bill Sheat as Beezlebub sported a cane (reminiscent of Waiouru) which he flourished after the manner of a leader of a pipe band. He pointed it everywhere, which wasn't so wrong, but at times to no purpose, and thus as a "prop" it was all but useless. Over-use of manual movements on the stage is to be avoided at all costs; it would have been better to have used it sparingly to accentuate some point.
Bill also often over-pointed his lines—he had apparently forgotten that university students are very quick to see a joke (how silly of him).
Ross Gilbertson as the assistant demon was also good, as were John Marchant as John and Pauline Kermode as Miss Arbuthnot. With Bernadette Canty, try as I might. I could find no fault, which means either of two things, and I must concede that as an actress she has few betters within my acquaintance. A word must also be said for Rosemary Lovegrove, who, although not appearing on the stage, nevertheless did a vast amount of work backstage and elsewhere in preparation for the Play.
Fast tempo was maintained from beginning to end, but the first scene was spoilt by a lack of movement around the stage. The characters did not move very much and the interest of the audience was not held as well as it might have been.
This year, for the first lime, a Drama Cup was presented to the winning team, and it should prove an added Incentive for the Drama Club next year to maintain the consistently high standard of their productions. The Drama Club are presenting the prize-winning play, together with a number of other one-act plays, in the Little Theatre on Friday and Saturday nights of this week, at 8 o'clock. If the cast have borne in mind the remarks of the Judge, these two performances should surpass even their tournament efforts All drama lovers, and, indeed, everyone who enjoys two and a half hours of solid escapism, should be along at one or other of [unclear: thra] nights.
—B. C. Shaw