The Gentle Art of Theatre-Going

The Gentle Art of Theatre-Going

The Gentle Art of Theatre-Going

The Gentle Art of Theatre-Going

Excerpt

The purpose of this book is chiefly to define some general principles of the theatre by means of examples drawn from my own experience as an actor, producer, dramatist, and playgoer. In order to make these examples as precise as possible I have, as an Englishman, necessarily had to confine my attention for the most part to the English theatre as I have known it in my own lifetime. But the principles themselves, if sound, should be applicable to any other playgoer's experience, and particularly in America, where the average year's showing of the theatre is very much like our own. The fact that I have drawn hardly at all upon the American theatre for my purposes will, I hope, not make any argument less pertinent to my American friends. After all, it would be a poor thing for the prospects of this book if even my English readers were confined to playgoers whose experience of the play had coincided exactly with my own. It is no less true of criticism than of art that a general argument gains by being drawn from a particular instance whether the instance happens to be widely known before the argument or not.

Since 1921 I have been fortunate enough to see a good deal of the American theatre, and it could . . .

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