MURDHER IN THE THEATRE

Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks;
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.

THE English, or I should say the London Theatre, is going gay. And the critics are going gay with it. They are having the happiest time of their life, and the English drama now gives the critics the enjoyable exhilaration of thinking out various murder crossword puzzles. Blood is poured out as a rich libation under the noses of the gloating critics. Men and women are made into nice mincemeat and the critics sit spellbound, and then rejoice that the English drama has made such a quick step towards greater things. They wriggle in their seats with delight when a body lies in a cellar, and all on the stage and off the stage are puzzling their minor brains to guess who it was that put the body there.

In the days made bright by the Elizabethans these horrors were necessary to give a thrill to the groundlings, but they were only part of the play; but now the horror incenses the play from beginning to end, and the critics are delighted. The critics usually put a murdher play with any touch of commonplace humanity, such as a

-57-

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The Flying Wasp
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Flying Wasp *
  • Contents v
  • Overture vii
  • The Public Death of Shakespeare i
  • National Theatre Bunkum I 11
  • England, Say When 29
  • The Cutting of an Agate 39
  • Three Cheers for Noah 51
  • Murdher in the Theatre 57
  • Mr. Ervine's Cry for the Critics 69
  • Sainte-Beuve, Patron of Poor Playwriters, Pray for Us! 79
  • It's All Very Curious, Isn't It? 85
  • Poor Pinero Passes By 107
  • Green Goddess of Realism 111
  • Coward Codology: I. 129
  • Coward Codology : II 141
  • Coward Codology: III 153
  • Shakespeare Lives in London Lads 163
  • Critici Infallibilibombast 169
  • Let the Wheel Turn 179
  • Pro-Per Proscenium 183
  • Hail, Columbia! 195
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