The Theater: Fame Begins at 40

A slapdash London revue called Strike a New Note recently passed its sooth performance thanks to a comic that few Londoners had ever seen a year ago. Today, at 40, raven-haired, bulbous-nosed Sid Field is saluted as perhaps England's finest pantomimist since Charlie Chaplin sailed for the U.S. Fame came late to Field because for twelve years an irksome contract tethered him to the provinces, locked him out of London. It took a lawsuit to get him in.

Field's art resembles Chaplin's—who is Field's idol. It outlaws smut and disdains fast gags, relying...