The English Theatre

The English Theatre

The English Theatre

The English Theatre

Excerpt

Julius Cæsare is dead; Mr. James Smith is living and breathing in our midst. The one we meet and say we know, the other we can only know of through such scattered facts as time has preserved for us. To affirm, however, because the one lives and the other is but dust, that only the former deserves our attention were manifestly absurd. Dry and fragmentary though the evidence may be, a vital image of the long- vanished Caesar may be born in our minds, clearer and more arresting than the actual picture of Mr. James Smith as he passes across our view.

The theatre of Shakespeare, of Congreve, of Sheridan, the theatre in which Burbage and Betterton and Garrick performed, may be, like Julius Caesar, dead, but there is a value in reconstructing its vanished forms akin to that achieved in recapturing the personalities who have affected the course of history. True, the stage presents an art-form essentially impermanent. Only for a brief two hours' traffic on the boards does a performance endure, and an actor's skill dies as soon as born. Of that which went to make up a production all that will remain is the bare text of the play, a few scene designer's sketches at the most, some managerial notes, two or three . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.