IN the Theatre of to-day, Realism is the totem-pole of the dramatic critics.
Matter-of-fact plays, true true-to-life arrangement, and real, live characters are the three gods the critics adore and saturate with the incense of their commonplace praise once a day and twice on Sundays in their trimly-dressed little articles. What the dramatic critics mean by the various terms they use for Realism is the yearly ton of rubbish that falls on the English stage and is swiftly swept away into the dustbins. The critics give a cordial welcome to the trivial plays because, in my opinion, they are, oh, so easy to understand, and gorge the critics with the ease of an easy explanation. It is very dangerous for a dramatist to be superior to the critics, to be a greater dramatist than the critic is a critic. They don't like it, and so most of them do all they can to discourage any attempt in the theatre towards an imagination fancy-free, or an attempt to look on life and mould it into a form fit for the higher feeling and intelligence of the stage. They are those who compare Beaumont and Fletcher Philaster with Charley's Aunt, and in their heart of hearts vote for the farce and shove the poetic play out of their way (a few spit the preference in our