ENGLISH THEATRICAL NOTES.
Star , Issue 8029, 6 June 1904, Page 4
ENGLISH THEATRICAL NOTES.
[From Oto Cobbbs_on_ent.] LONDON, April 8. Sir 'Henry Irving returned from his American tour this week, and in tbe inevitable interview be promptly denied that an Australian tour had been projected. "There is nothing whatever in the report," said the veteran. " I have not had a single offer .or suggestion on the subject — of late years, at any rate." Sir Henry also took the opportunity to give a denial fco what he described as " a slander as ornel as ever appeared about an actor." On the closing night of his farewell season in New York he made a speech, thanking the American publio for their uniform kindness and ordiality. " Not a jarring note or an unkind word," he said, " has ever chanced to mar the happiness of our intercourse watthe great public of America. This is a memory that I shall always cherish, " and so on. Imagine his disgust and pain when, in a New York paper of very large circulation, he read, next morning:-— "ln a curtain speech delivered laet night at bhe Harlem Opera Houee, where he played his farewell American engagement, Sir Henry Irving, who sails for England to-day, arraigned American drama and American critics in scathing terms. He spoke for more than thirty minutes, and, with a voice at times choked with emotion,, he said : ' The American stage . is not what it used to be. It has deteriorated sadly. Your critics have been unnecessarily harsh and severe. They have been harsh at; the expense of justice. To-morrow I sail for England, and I leave without regret. I shall make but one more trip to America."
"A Maid from School," the new play produced at Terry's Theatre last Monday eveninc, may be justly described as "unsophisticated." In a finishing academy for young ladies at Brighton. Sydney Heriot is English master, and likewise a prime favourite with his pupils— particularly Margery Goring. When the curtain rises, Margery and Sydney are not visible, having slipped out to be interviewed by the local registrar of births, marriages and deaths, whilst the bride's schoolfellows improvise a wedding breakfast in the' absence of an apparently very lax preceptress. Mr Heriot'e prospectin life are not brilliant. He has £90 a year, and he has produced a play at a matinee*. Miss Goring is the daughter of a peer, who has just been appointed Governor of Australia — " heaven knows why," as Lady Goring remarks when she and the peer interrupt the wedding festivities. The new Governor is not a strong man. He defers to his wife, and says-, " Eh— what V at intervals. To find bis daughter married to a schoolmaster is so disturbing that the peer hastens to Australia' and leaves the young people to their own resources. In a Bloomsbury lodging-house tfley are happy but poor. Managers do not acoept the plays Sydney writes, and there is nothing to eat but cold mutton. Suddenly Lady Goring returns. Australia has not agreed witli either the Governor or his wife. The mother-in-law makes the young people believe that each is eager to get rid of the other. So Margery goes home to her father and Sydney starves by himself until Christmas Eve, when there is a reconciliation, and Mrs Heriot resolves to stay by her husband's side, cold mutton notwithstanding. But the days of that unappetising dish are over, for the late Governor arrives with the news that an actor-manager has read one of Sydney's plays and found ' it the very thing he has been looking for. So it may be taken lor granted that the future of the young couple is assured, independent of what the ex-Governor may do for them— "Eh— What?" The latter's mixing with Australian democracy has considerably benefited him. He no longer bows down to his wife, and only occasionally makes use of the inane ejaculation indicated.