“Under The Sycamore Tree”

Ernest Thesiger as The Statistician

Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, Scotland

1st perf  February 18, 1952

His Majesty’s Theatre ?

February 26, 1952

Theatre Royal, Brighton


Opera House, Manchester

Hippodrome, Golders Green

1st London perf  April 7, 1952 

Aldwych Theatre, London

April 23 - October 4, 1952

189 perf


drawing by Ronald Searle

“Too much of  ‘Under the Sycamore Tree’ is ordinary and arch. This is true of Oliver Messel's setting - surely the man was never in an anthill in his life - of Miss Churchill's operetta queen who might conceivably rule over an anthill Ruritania with Romberg music, and of the waggish Mr. Guinness as the man who plays God, and is considerably older than that in a maudlin finale. But it isn't at all true of Ernest Thesiger’s melancholy chief statistician, who emerges from some moldy archives of anthill ledgers to achieve the stage on which, between drooping antennae, he seems so disparagingly to crawl. More of the Thesiger illusion would rivet more than mildly amused attention on what Mr. Spewack calls his farcical fable...

Neither cast nor director has found a suitable key of projection, tho a look from out front might furnish a clew. Mr. Thesiger is the only one who plays as if it might be true, and he is the most plausible character, tho what he has to say is dismally commonplace.

Claudia Cassidy, Chicago Tribune, September 15, 1952

The Illustrated London News, May 10, 1952