6 APRIL 1934, Page 6

* * * Nothing stirs popular interest more than a

good law case, and it is rather surprising that the stage has not drawn oftener than it has on the drama of the courts. There was, of course, The Trial of Mary Dugan, con- spicuously successful here in spite of its purely American setting, and now Libel, at the Playhouse, puts to the test again the question of whether a play consisting in its three acts of nothing but three separate sittings of a King's Bench court will hold a West End audience. I am inclined to think it will, if only on the strength of the contrast in method displayed by the two eminent counsel, Sir Nigel Playfair and Mr. Leon M. Lion. And since the author is now revealed to be Mr. Edward Wooll, the Recorder of Carlisle, the law may be taken to be sound. But one feature of the plot seems a little startling. Sir Mark Loddon, the plaintiff, has been so badly shell- ' shocked that his meniory of everything before 1914 is clean gone—but he quite cheerfully fights and wins a Parliamentary election all the same. Mr. Wooll, who stood for Parliament two or three times himself, ought to know what qualifications a candidate needs, but this seems a little too like the apocryphal tale of the politician who had most of his brain removed by a Harley Street surgeon and in consequence rose by rapid stages to Cabinet rank.

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