SHAKESPEARE LIVES IN LONDON LADS

ON a fine evening but a hand's-breadth away from the present, I roved out to see a performance of Midsummer-Night's Dream by the pupils of Sloane School standing in Hortensia Road in Chelsea. I have never seen a fresher or a more charming performance of a Shakespeare play than that given by these boys of Sloane School. Shakespeare came to life for once in a while and sang the music of his lovely lines and in his comic characters romped away to his heart's content (and to ours). Ranging from nineteen years of age down to nine, these boys plunged into the performance of the play with an enthusiasm that never lost dignity or grace. Each went straight to the part he had to play swifter than arrow from a Tartar's bow. Here in the great West End we have actors who have stepped the stage for years and years, that have learned and learned all the ins and outs of the actor's trade; actors that have been honoured by public and by critic; and most of them are spilling out the little time left to them in this world in acting parts that all in all will never leave behind one thing as good as this performance of this play by these boys of Sloane School. With one or two exceptions, in all performances of Shakespeare by professional actors we see him through a glass

-163-

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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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