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Edited by Marian M. Wilson.

Toronto, Simon & Pierre, c1982.
various pagings, cloth, $22.95.
ISBN 0-88924-115-5.

Grades 4 and up.
Reviewed by Clare A. Darby.

Volume 11 Number 3.
1983 May.

In her second volume of the Canplay series, Marian Wilson has brought together the following plays: "Mayonnaise," a comedy by John Ibbitson; "D'Arcy," a docu-drama by Sandra Dempsey; "Happy Holly"/"Christmas Cards," two children's plays by Beth McMaster; and, "You'll Get Used To It!. . .The War Show," a drama with music by Peter Colley. Of the four, "You'll Get Used To It," a play about Canada's involvement in World War II, provides the best moments of unrefined humour and pure emotion. Peter Colley is a fine dramatist whose other credits include "The Donnellys" and "I'll Be Back Before Midnight." Sandra Dempsey's dramatic monologue, "D'Arcy," a fictionalized account of key moments in the life of Thomas D'Arcy McGee, is innovative, funny, and touching. Beth McMaster's children's plays are extremely well-crafted, and, as all good children's plays should, they rely upon audience participation to solve the dilemmas faced by such likely characters as Mrs. Santa and The King of Hearts. The first of this group, "Mayonnaise," is the weakest in the volume, for, as a comedy, it is unbelievable and as a farce it is, in high school vernacular, "sick." (Which, of course, means it is far better than most of us could write.)

The Canplay series was designed to bring good Canadian plays to local stages. As a consequence, the plays are accompanied by production notes and visuals. Community theatre groups should certainly investigate this series further, but the language in some of the plays might rule out high school productions. Still, it would not hurt to have a copy of this text in your school library.

Clare A. Darby, Three Oaks S. H. S., Summerside, PEI.
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