14 SEPTEMBER 1956, Page 18

A RIVER BREEZE. By Roland Culver. (Phtenix.) THE savagery with

which some critics have mauled A River Breeze is hard to understand. Admittedly it is an undistinguished example of that old-style West End farcical comedy which Nathan once called the 'polite English drawing-room zero.' Its improbabilities are too great for comfort, but not great enough to be- consistently funny; and it bumbles along amiably for much of the time in a fashion* better suited to a television family serial than ... to the theatre. But it has one merit sufficiently rare these days to be worth noticing: it is written and played as if all concerned are enjoying themselves. Something of this cheer- fulness transmits itself to the audience; and those who prefer the theatre to look back in nostalgia rather than in rage, should enjoy it.

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