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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 5. 1965.

Dumb Waiter

Dumb Waiter

After the decline and fall of the New Zealand Players, professional theatre in New Zealand virtually dropped out of sight. Then came Downstage; and the vigour and intelligence of their latest production is fresh evidence of their success.

The Dumb Waiter is short but powerful; fantasy seeps through an ostensible drab realism to embroil the characters in a portentious irrationality, shuts them in, at once victims and criminals, the half-conscious agents and dupes of a malignant power. Once they got over their initial awkwardness with accents, both Ian Mune as Gus and Martyn Sanderson as Ben carried the play magnificently through the disintegration towards a climax.

The tiny stage was, of course, admirably suited to the play, and both actors used it effectively as tension required increased movement. Uncontrolled pauses initially made for slackness, but well before Gus's slow bewilderment turns to terror, the actors were sweeping the audience with them.

All in all, the good meal and the excellent play made for a most satisfactory, if harrowing, evening,

Alistair Bisley.