This reviewer has the unfashionable opinion, at present, that Patrick White, like Henry James, was a novelist and short story writer of genius who had an unfortunate obsession with the stage. In the 1960s, the nascent Adelaide Festival produced the one play of his that deserves repetition, The Season at Sarsaparilla (1962). Its success motivated him to write another couple, one of which was A Cheery Soul, which John Sumner directed for the Union Theatre Repertory Company in 1963. More unfortunately, towards the end of his career, he was encouraged to write plays of an increasingly third-rate standard, which diverted him from what could have been his final masterpiece, the novel The Hanging Garden.
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