and reminds one pleasantly of the days before Shakespear was let loose on Sir Henry Irving's talent.
Mr Comyns Carr's translation is much too literary. Catherine does not speak like a woman of the people except when she is helping herself out with ready- made locutions in the manner of Sancho Panza. After a long speech consisting of a bundle of such locutions padded with forced mistakes in grammar, she will say, 'That was my object,' or some similarly impossible piece of Ciceronian eloquence. It is a pity; for there never was a play more in need of an unerring sense of the vernacular and plenty of humorous adroitness in its use.
JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN. A play in four acts. By Henrik Ibsen . English version by William Archer. Opening performance by the New Century Theatre at the Strand Theatre, 3 May 1897.
[ 8 May 1897]
THE first performance of John Gabriel Borkman, the latest masterpiece of the acknowledged chief of European dramatic art, has taken place in London under the usual shabby circumstances. For the first scene in the gloomy Borkman house, a faded, soiled, dusty wreck of some gay French salon, originally designed, perhaps, for Offenbach's Favart, was fitted with an incongruous Norwegian stove, a painted staircase, and a couple of chairs which were no doubt white and gold when they first figured in Tom Taylor 's Plot and Passion or some other relic of the days before Mr Bancroft revolutionized stage furni-