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Florence Novelli.

Toronto, Playwrights Canada, c1982.
various pagings, paper, $3.50.
ISBN 0-88754-236-0.

Grades 3 and up.
Reviewed by Joan Weller.

Volume 11 Number 6.
1983 November.

All three plays in this collection have three features in common, poor language, poor plots, poor characters, plus the added dimension of unmemorable music. To read the plays quietly to oneself is difficult; to see them in action would possibly reinforce their major difficulties. The language used is certainly not musical. Expressions like, "wise up and get with it," "dumbell," "spoilt brat manner," and "stand back you smelves, I'll clear all your shelves" give one only a taste of much more. The action is jerky, unconnected, and results in a hodge-podge of events with no clear plot line. Many events remind one of mindless, violent cartoon-like actions, and the number of slapstick elements in all the plays boggles the mind. References to Bobby Cratchet who got his "big toe stuck in the bath tub drain" need no further comment. One does not wish to know anything more about characters, such as "Crumdum" and "Mrs. Oodle-Noodle" and elves appropriately named "Twip" and "Flip," all of whom speak and act like their names. Forcing their speech into music must have been a difficult task, resulting in unrhythmical melodies that would be difficult for children to learn. Fortunately, children will not be spoken down to, and the audience participation often called upon by the playwright will not be forthcoming in response to such material.

Joan Welter, Ottawa P. L., Ottawa, ON.
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