19 JUNE 1953, Page 14

Troilu — s and Cressida. By William Shakespeare. (0.U.D.S.) A STILL summer

evening, a leafy background, and the somnolent twittering of birds would seem a more appropriate setting for a rosy romance than for such a play as Troilus and Cressida, which was presented by the O.U.D.S. in the garden of St. John's College last week. Moreover, in spite of its warlike propensities, the play offers little scope for action, a-defect particularly evident when there is no decor and,the actors have to walk many yards in full view of the audience before they reach the stage. Few of them, indeed, succeeded in counteracting these disadvantages. Greeks and Trojans con- ducted their councils of war as dons might a boring college meeting. In the event, the over-dramatisation of some of the characters was, one must confess, rather refreshing. Patrick Kavanagh clearly enjoyed himself as the meddlesome P. andarus, Ajax was played with immense vocal and facial verve by Michael Pimbury, and sly scurrility was the essence. of Alan. Hockley's Thersites. Alasdair Milne and Sheila Grauc6b, on the other hand, played out their love scenes as Troilus and Cressida as they might have done their first emotional experience as undergraduates. Tl'e costtnnes and make-up were well chosen to present the contrast between Greek and Trojan.

E. C.