Written by ""one of England's most successful young directors, himself an ex-actor"" (courtesy: publisher's billing) this is one of those split level novels. On the one hand you have an entire panorama of a young actor's experience as an up-and-comer in British Repertory, recorded with what one would judge to be deadly accuracy. You don't doubt for a minute the hero's inner action as he ls from frustration and self-doubt to triumph and back again, or the moments. . . awesome, petty or sour that are recorded here as the plays take shape. Unfortunately, off-stage the story is quite a different thing, with a soap-operaish mesh of romantic interludes. Briefly, twenty-nine year old Samuel Beresford abandons London and girlfriend of long standing after a relatively attractive offer from a prestige summer repertory company. Immediately he finds his small but substantial part in danger of being cut. Fate and talent intervene...he earns recognition and in the meantime we get some marvelous snaps of old (Oliver) vs. new (say, Tom Courtney) acting styles in conjunction and in conflict. In his personal life he becomes involved with two girls. . . stereotypical sex and potential sweetheart. Part of this interferes (politics) and he is not asked back for the Next Season. Determined to give up the theatre he finally relents and plunges on to destiny with high hopes and old girlfriend in hand. The old dilemma; how can a script be so good and yet so bad?