George Bernard Shaw: Man of the Century

By Archibald Henderson | Go to book overview

APPENDIX III
Arms and the Man in London and the Provinces, 1894-1895

During the financially disastrous but histrionically successful production of Arms and the Man as a "hilarious farce," Shaw was competently assisted by the Manager of the Avenue Theatre, Mr. C. T. H. Helmsley. It is surprising to learn from Shaw's letter to Mr. Helmsley that he actually pocketed a small royalty from the play's run at the Avenue. For a copy of this letter, which follows, I am indebted to Mr. M. H. Mushlin.

29 Fitzroy Square W.
12th July 1894

My dear Helmsley

I find that out of Arms & The Man I have made £90 and your acquaintance. This is handsome payment, thanks to the latter item, which will, I hope, long outlast the former. When you take a theatre of your own, just bring me pen and ink, a ream of paper, a bottle of ginger beer, and a few beans, and you shall have the most brilliant play of the century to open with.

Yrs ever

G. Bernard Shaw

The letter to me from Mr. Drinkwater is given below in full.

1, Ladbrooke Crescent, W.
March 12th, 1906

To
Archibald Henderson, Esq.
University of North Carolina,
Chapel Hill, N.C.

Dear Sir,

I have much pleasure in sending you some particulars of "Arms and the Man" on tour in England.

It is quite true that I played Bluntschli at Oxford, and indeed throughout the whole of the provincial tour, which included Manchester, Liverpool and most of the larger towns of the kingdom.

After the production at the Avenue theatre, the country rights were let to Mr. Morland. I was engaged to play Bluntschli, and in the course of a few weeks I secured all rights in the piece, for a period of time, out of

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