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Where is good, clean fun?

02 September 2016

September 1st, 1916.

THERE was held at Stratford-on-Avon at the close of last week a meeting of those interested in the Drama, with the object of founding a league similar to that which has met with some success in America for the strengthening and purifying of the stage. We shall in due course hear something of this effort in London, and we hope to say more about it ourselves at an early date. Meanwhile we welcome a letter which was addressed to the Morning Post this week by General Sir H. L. Smith-Dorrien, appealing to London theatrical managers to endeavour to raise the tone of performances they have prepared for the public, especially for our gallant sailors and soldiers at the present time. Two representative managers have replied to the effect that, if the facts are as stated, then the Lord Chamberlain is the person responsible. It appears that that authority did step in some time ago, and took “prompt and drastic, though unobtrusive action” with respect to a “revue” of an objectionable type which had been introduced by “a new kind of entrepreneur”. What particular entertainment that was we do not know, but it must have been very bad indeed when we see what still survives on the stage to-day. “Take me somewhere where I can have a good laugh,” said a young soldier just home from the horrors of the trenches, in our office last week. The task was not an easy one, because the choice of selection is so limited. Why is it that managers will not see that from the commercial point of view alone it is desirable to dissociate fun and frolic on the stage from suggestiveness?


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