Maude Adams: An Intimate Portrait

By Phyllis Robbins | Go to book overview
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Chapter Five

MISS ADAMS writes at length of her weeks in Egypt, for she looked back on them as a blessed interlude. She went there when worn out by work and the resulting insomnia; uncertain of what lay ahead. She came home, having found rest and sleep in Egypt's quiet and vast beauty, and reassurance from the stability of its endless past.

She says:

"At the end of the five years, after the season with Quality Street, it became evident that something had to be done. I had no freshness, no spontaneity, my mannerisms were becoming more and more marked and objectionable. Fortunately, no new plays had been written and I was under no obligation to anyone. I had an idea that Shakespeare would not mind if a projected performance of As You Like It were postponed indefinitely. Mr. Frohman was kindness itself, and told me frankly I could go on as I was for a while, but the theatre needed freshness and vitality; the public had been wonderfully kind to me, and I must be careful not to outstay my welcome. Of course, I had always known that a player does not go on forever, but no one ever thinks that he comes under the general rule. I began to realize that it was thought that I was 'through.' "

At thirty!

"I never ceased to be grateful to Mr. Frohman. It could not have been easy to tell such unpleasant truth. But he was a great man, and did not try to help in little ways. It was decided that I should take a year's holiday and see if that would help. It did not seem reasonable to be through before you

-75-

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