OVERTURE

THE dramatic critics that we have here take themselves very seriously, which would be something to laugh at if the actors, producers, and playwrights didn't take them more seriously than they take themselves. I often wondered and wished that the managers of the theatres had seats that could be raised and lowered devoted to the critics, so that each could be raised to the elevation that fitted his status, and then we'd see what a funny little regiment the critics form. And, as well, each ought to have his signature tune to be played by the orchestra as the critic marched into the theatre to take his place on his throne. This laughing estimate of the airs they assume is in no way exaggerated. Once upon a time I got a circular from a Mr. John Parker asking for some details of myself to be put in the pages of a Who's Who in the Theatre. I was busy at the time, and paid no attention to the request for information. Rightly or wrongly, I take no personal interest in these things, though, to be fair, the book, on the whole, is a very useful thing to have. Well, after a week came another request, followed by a third from Mr. Parker, who was unknown to me. If I remember rightly, I replied in a funny way. Then came a letter angrily remonstrating with me for

-vii-

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