One of the most remarkable plays of recent years - "Outward Bound" - was staged last night by the Brisbane Repertory Theatre Society at Cremorne. Its subject is well known to all that take interest in things theatrical, for not only did it have a great run in London, but it has been staged by professional companies in both Melbourne and Sydney.
It is not unfair, therefore, to the society to mention that its author, Sutton Vane, took as his theme life after death. Yet well known as was the subject, the audience last night gasped at the end of the first act, when the fact was driven home that all the characters in the play were dead, "quite dead" as Scrubby, the steward, put it. And from that point onward, the audience was held entranced by the strangeness of what was going on. Entranced with gusts of laughter punctuating the action for though the story is weird or grim it is told with humour, often the unconscious humour of the souls journeying in the beyond. The steward is a necessity for the passengers are outward bound on an ocean liner. The steward also holds the key to the situation. It is he who can explain the unexplainable, but he must not. And seemingly he is to remain a steward on this vessel freighted with passing souls forever.
It was Mr Jum Pendelton who played the steward, and a very fine natural piece of work was his interpretation. It was never overdone. On board as passengers were a young couple, a drunkard, a society lady, a clergyman,a charwoman, and a business man.
The roles of the young couple were played by Miss Dulcie Scott and Mr Cecil R Carson; a difficult task for each, but Miss Scott rose to the opportunity that is given to Ann at the end of the play, and won the plaudits of her audience. Mr Prior, the drunkard, was handled well b y Mr Edgar Smith. Miss Kathleen Radford interpreted the society woman, Mrs Cliveden-Banks, in all selfishness, narrowness and pride. Mr F. O'Sullivan's Rev. William Duke was a truly manly parson. Praise may be poured on Miss Pearl Pollard for her Mrs Midget (the charwoman) and then not be flattery. Mr Leo Guyat played the businessman and Mr George Eaton a benevolent role that just suited him. But what was the character's connection with the outward bound passengers it were better not to divulge, in the interest of the second night's audience, which will gather tonight. The producer was Miss Barbara Sisley, and the play made a notable addition to her long list of successes in that capacity.
Brisbane Courier, 1 May 1930