Burgess, C. V. T.S. Lifeline. University of London Press Ltd, 1957. Contact publisher regarding price. 24 pp. Reviewer: Charlene Gan Reading Level: Young adult Rating: Significant shortcomings Genre: Adventure plays; Plays; Contemporary realistic plays; Subject: Drama--Reviews; Officers, Armed Forces--Juvenile drama; Ocean--Juvenile drama; Navy-- Juvenile drama; Theme: One good deed deserves another. Production Requirements: Lots of set changes, and water to create a storm. Lots of props and 1950s sailor and grub uniforms. Acts: 1 Run Time: 30 Characters: 12 M Cast: Some can be made female if wished. Time Period: 1950's Peter is a sailor who is going to do his apprenticeship on the ship the T.S. Lifeline. His roommate is Clinker. Clinker has been on the ship for three years and is about to take his last examination to become an officer, but has many shortcomings such as pride. Peter offers to help Clinker out with his studies. While at port, Clinker gets into some trouble, and Peter takes the blame but then gives Clinker the cold shoulder. Later, their ship gets caught in a typhoon, and Peter gets trapped under a loose plank. Clinker comes to the rescue and saves him. They end up being friends again and helping each other get to the next stage of their apprenticeships. Clinker is a rough boy who, because of Peter, has an amazing yet unrealistic change of heart— unrealistic because of his pride and his quick temper. Additionally, Peter doesn't seem the type to get so angry over one brawl. In short, the characters just don't seem to stay true to their character types. The scenes also jump around a lot, making it hard to know that time is passing and where the characters are in such a short play. This production would also need to have a lot of props and scenes which would have to be used, but probably only once. For instance, one scene is in the middle of a storm. It would be hard to have that much water on stage, and there would be the difficulty of cleaning it up afterwards. There is plenty of action throughout the play but it would require a lot of fight choreography and a quite a bit of blocking. This play would be good to read as a class or on an individual basis, but to put it on as a theater piece would be fairly difficult.
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