Chapter 5 - Play Going
( Originally Published Early 1928 )
THE first piece I saw in the theatre was the pantomime of "Bluebeard" in which Harriet Vernon was Selim, Ramsey Danvers Fatima, and some still lower comedian Sister Anne. It was an after-noon performance, and I remember that although I enacted the whole piece over again for the benefit of my elders the hours that evening between tea and bed-time were an aching, intolerable void. I can still see Harriet Vernon's contours, noble as Heachy Head, encased in black silk; and still hum the tune to which she sang, "He's a Rider, he's a Rider." The reference, if I mistake not, was to Glad-stone. My first light piece was a farcical comedy from Toole's Theatre by J. H. Darnley, entitled The Solicitor, in which the denouement of what I now know to have been an extremely banal intrigue struck me as being miraculously felicitous. But before I had seen any theatrical performance other than pantomime, I had myself acted with fair accuracy and, I can assure the reader, no lack of temperament the plays of Shakespeare's Cardinal Wolsey, Moliere's Harpagon, and Corneille's Le Cid. The speech-day versions of these roles were, I must believe, mercifully truncated. I was nine years old when I saw my first Shakespeare play, As You Like it. The curtain had not been up three minutes when old Adam displaced in my estimate Wordsworth's Father William as the world's prime bore. Will it be believed that Mr. F. R. Benson was Orlando, and Mrs. Benson Rosalind? Nevertheless, the performance made me realise that the normal world of getting and spending, of cotton grown by American negroes and made into cloth by the hands at my father's factory, was as meaning-less as a moon which should be made of green cheese. Shortly after this, I came under the influence of Mr. Shaw's dramatic criticism in the Saturday Review. Every Saturday my father would bring home the Manchester City News and the Inquirer, which I must believe he purchased out of a sense of duty since he never looked at either of them, and the famous Review which he read from cover to cover. You can imagine the overthrow of my youthful soul when it became apparent to me that there was another theatre beside that championed at our Sunday dinner table, and in addition a school of actors other than temperamental, who, if they could not act at least did something for which a case could be reasonably made out. For years I kept in my pocket book, and wore next my heart as one wears a hair-shirt, the page of the Review in which Mr. Shaw alluded to the scenes "when a child is dropped into a tiger's cage as a cue for Madame Bernhardt's popular scream; when the inevitable, stale, puerile love scene is turned on to show off that voix celeste stop which Madame Bernhardt, like a sentimental New England villager with an American organ, keeps always pulled out ; when, in a paroxysm of the basest sensationalism, we are treated to the spectacle of Gismonda chopping a man to death with a hatchet as a preliminary to appearing as a mediaeval saint with a palm in her hand at the head of a religious procession." At the same time I would read anent this actress the pronouncement of the finest dramatic critic and best writer about the theatre in any age or clime, C. E. Montague—"Her faults are rank; they cry to Heaven—when she is not there. Then you see her act once more, and you feel as if you were looking again at Florence from Fiesole, or at a pheasant's neck, or Leonardo's Mona Lisa, or ripe corn with poppies in it." This clash of authority disposed me to believe that here was a world meriting a grown man's attention. And so I decided that when I grew up I would be a dramatic critic.
Time for me has not brought about any reconciliation between these two views of Sarah. I am not going to write down the old things—critical, adulatory, anecdotal -all over again. If you saw Bernhardt in her great days you have no need of words. If you never saw her, or saw her only in decadence, then words cannot avail. To write about this actress after her death, for those who never saw her alive, is like trying to describe a rose if that flower had become extinct upon earth. Was Sarah beautiful? No, but she made every other woman in the theatre seem plain. I remember seeing her on her last visit to London, driving in a Victoria at Hyde Park Corner. As she leaned back in the carriage, extravagantly pale and with the lamp-black an inch thick under the eyes and on her eyelids, she looked lovelier than the fairest beauty of the season. She took you into a world where fresh senses were accorded. Did one love this woman? Yes, but as that passion may be conceived on some other planet. What one felt began with admiration and ended there. One desired her just as much and just as little as one desires Cleopatra or Helen of Troy. Even William Archer was so far moved in recollection as to confess that "during her last years at the Theatre Francais she was certainly an exquisite creature."
Sarah's voice? The time-worn adjective does it less than justice; it had a quality nearer to old gold. Or I would say that it was a perfume stealing across an unborn sense, a fragrance recalling happiness remembered from another world. Arthur Symons puts it brutally when he says that it was as though a finger had been placed on the spinal column. An-other critic will tell you that each and every word was like a pebble dropped into a well of molten rubies, or some other hyperbolic nonsense. Of course Sarah had her faults. There were days when she would run all her syllables together into one mellifluous, unintelligible string. There were months on end when she could not be induced to play Phedre. There were nights when she could not be bothered to act, and would try to make up to you in one cataclysmic ten minutes for three hours of perfunctory bamboozlement. Then she adored rubbish, and in her tours left behind a litter of Sardou to turn continents into a creditable imitation of Hampstead Heath after Bank Holiday. Perhaps a strong claim to greatness is to be made for any artist who can do without masterpieces. Or is it only a claim for virtuosity? There was no room in the theatre, one critic has said, for Bernhardt and the play of ideas as well. So much the worse for the play of ideas.
That Sarah perpetrated and perpetuated an immense amount of trash there can be no denying. Leaving on one side Dumas's threnody over the Lady of the Camellias-which is the best trash ever written, so good that it has caused me to weep when acted by actresses whom I could normally see trampled to death by shire horses-leaving Dumas's masterpiece out of account I should judge that nine-tenths of Sarah's repertoire was pure fudge. Compare Rachel. First let me note that, according to Georges d'Heylli, the great tragedienne, whose glory undiminished by Bernhardt can now never be exceeded, founded her fame upon performances in Paris to the number of eleven hundred and fifty-six only, covering a period of seventeen years. This gives an average of little more than one performance per week. Next let me note the quality of the pieces acted, for which purpose I give here a list of those exceeding fifty performances :--
Horace 66 Polyeucte 71
Cinna 68 Marie Stuart 54
Andromaque 95 Phedre 89
Mithridate 63 Virginie 53
Bajazet 60 Adrienne Lecouvreur 69
From which it will be seen that Rachel's repertoire was preponderantly classical and contained a minimum of rubbish, even Adrienne being kept within reasonable limits, Compare Sarah's colossal paste-board expenditure, hundreds of Fedoras jostling thousands of Toscas. Riches, said the prophet, are not given to men of understanding. Neither, he might have added, are they the portion of classical actresses. Rachel's American tour was an immense disappointment. Her first performance, in Horace, produced 26,334 francs, which was far from the 93,786 francs taken by Jenny Lind whose success had been the model and spur of the under-taking. Phedre, Rachel's greatest role, produced a meagre 19,587 francs. Her biographer is amusing on this matter of discrepancy. He writes:
"Rachel s'etait trompee, ou plutot son frere Raphel l'avait trompee en se trompant lui-meme. Il n'y avait aucune analogie entre le genie de Rachel et le talent brillant de la grande cantatrice suedoise qui devait electriser les masses par la seule magie de sa voix merveilleuse dans quelque langue qu'il lui plut de se faire entendre. Qu'importait, en effet, aux Yankees de comprendre ce que chantait Jenny Lind, pourvu qu'elle exhibat devant eux ses trilles les plus etonnants et ses plus audacieuses roulades? Il n'etait besoin pour eux d'avoir ni livret explicatif, ni intelligence bien grande, ni gout bien prononce pour l'art ; l'éminente cantatrice avait triomphe des le premier moment, des la premiere note, et ses representations n'avaient ete qu'une suite d'ovations sans precedents dans sa brillante carriere. Avec Mlle. Rachel c'etait tout autre chose; la tragedie It, laquelle elle devait son immense gloire n'eut precisement que fort peu de succes en Amerique, et la grande artiste reussit beaucoup plus devant ce public etrange, et qui, pardessus tout, ne la comprenait pas, dans le drame et la comedie, ou die n'a jamais aussi completement excelle chez nous."
Twenty years later, the writer goes on, another tragedienne, who had neither the genius nor the artistic reputation of Rachel, Mlle. Sarah Bernhardt, made the same venture with vastly different results.
Adrienne Lecouvreur produced 28,170 francs, La Dame Aux Camelias 25,085 francs, and so on. Rachel's second performance of Phedre fell to 16,920 francs. Finally the "illustrious tragedienne" re-turned home with the illness, which was to prove fatal, heavy upon her, whereas Sarah, having gallivanted all over America in every direction, North, South, East, West and sideways, returned to Paris with a million in her pocket and sufficient energy to attack a huge Continental tour. I am aware that the authentic mark of futility in critics is the inability to resist comparisons. It may be that Rachel and Bernhardt, and we must add Duse, raise the spectator to a state of emotion where there is no question of less or more, better or best, but only a boundless release of heart and mind. Yet cartographers can-not refrain from giving grandeur figures, whereby Scafell exceeds Snowden and Ben Nevis overtops both, though on each summit the release of climber's mind, being infinite, must be equal. I shall make bold, therefore, to continue in the comparative search. A very old lady, when I asseverated the superiority of Bernhardt's Phedre over Rachel's, laughed in my face. And I remember being taken at the age of nine to see Sarah in some piece of immitigable woe. The old gentleman who took me wept long and loud into the red silk handkerchief which it was at that time fashionable to tuck into the waistcoat. Recovering somewhat, he said with a voice still shaking with emotion: "Rachel was better! I have always regarded this as, in the circumstances, a masterpiece of dramatic criticism. I sometimes doubt whether Sarah was ever a tragedienne at all, whether her voice had not the defect of its qualities. Sarah could coo with the dove, hiss with the serpent, roar with the tigress, and scream with the macaw. But had she Rachel's organ roll, and could she contrive the impersonal depth and sombreness of classic tragedy? I think not. She could, I suggest, have tackled Shakespeare's Cleopatra because of the hysterical possibilities of that role, but could she have encompassed the starkness of the tragic close? Would she not, at the line about the infant at the breast sucking the nurse asleep, have conjured up visions of pink-buttocked amours and Botticellian creches? Could she have played Lady Macbeth? That she could have plucked nipple from boneless gums is not denied, but how about Duncan resembling her father as he slept? I can see Sarah here, rolling her eyes like some celestial duck in an Olympian thunder-storm, breathing ethereal blasts of filial piety. (Didn't she try to show what a dear Lucrezia Borgia was, apart from that little kink about poisoning?) And could she have been Volumnia, Constance, or any of Richard's haggish relatives? Both Rachel and Siddons were, I must believe, greater actresses than Sarah in the realm of pure tragedy. I remember at the Trocadero in Paris a performance of Andromaque with Ballet and Paul Mounet. It was a hot August afternoon and they sweated on their side of the curtain and we sweated on ours, and it didn't all seem to amount to very much, except the receipts which went to an orphanage. No, French tragedy without some hair-raising genius is a dull affair, and it is perhaps because Sarah could never be dull that we do not acclaim her strictly as the classical tragedienne. But that any actress ever equalled her in poetical delineation or the sheer pathetic I must strongly deny. I recall a hot July afternoon at Ealing when Sarah gave the best performance of La Dame aux Camelias I was ever to see. Why at Ealing? Well, with her it just happened like that. On that occasion she had, as she used to express it, he dieu dedans. In the evening I heard La Traviata at Covent Gar-den, with Melba faultily faultless and Caruso looking and acting exactly like the Marquis of Carabbas. I remember that I came out half-way through the meaningless farrago, and hurriedly sought the old Tivoli where Marie Lloyd was in the bill. The day had begun with genius and, I was determined, should end with it.
Since the time of Pasta and Malibran there has been no rivalry to touch that of Bernhardt and Duse. Now I only saw Duse in a few plays, and my knowledge of Italian is confined to waiters' lingo and the titles of Mozart's arias. It is, there-fore, presumptuous of me to say very much about this admittedly great genius. It is curious, by the way, that whereas I remember nothing of Sarah's Adrienne except the recital of the fable about the pigeons, I have never forgotten, and shall never forget the attitude—arms stretched out against the mantelpiece—which Duse took up just before plunging her nose into the poisoned bouquet. But the pose had little or nothing to do with Adrienne; it was Duse crucifying herself, as she insisted upon doing in everything she played. Arthur Symons has a fine passage in this connection:
"The reason why Duse is the greatest actress in the world is that she has a more subtle nature than any other actress, and that she expresses her nature more simply. All her acting seems to come from a great depth, and to be only half telling profound secrets. No play has ever been profound enough, and simple enough, for this woman to say every-thing she has to say in it. When she has thrilled one, or made one weep, or exalted one with beauty, she seems to be always holding back something else. Her supreme distinction comes from the kind of melancholy wisdom which remains in her face after the passions have swept over it. .
"To act as Duse acts, with an art which is properly the antithesis of what we call acting, is, no doubt, to fail in a lesser thing in order to triumph in a greater. Her greatest moments are the moments of most intense quietness ; she does not send a shudder through the whole house, as Sarah Bernhardt does, playing on one's nerves as on a violin. `Action,' with her as with Rimbaud, `is a way of spoiling something,' when once action has mastered thought, and got loose to work its own way in the world. It is a disturbance, not an end in itself ; and the very expression of emotion, with her, is all a restraint, the quieting down of a tumult until only the pained reflection of it glimmers out of her eyes, and trembles among the hollows of her cheeks."
But isn't it just possible that acting such as is described here is a teeny-weeny little bit pretentious, and the very thing to gammon the aesthetic snobs of the 'nineties? Duse's acting may have been an ineffable affair of twilight and cloisters, of water flowing under the stars ; but it is not always night, neither must we be always betaking ourselves to a nunnery. Alas ! that I never saw Duse in La Locandiera. Had I done so I should have known whether she could have played Frou-Frou. I do know that she made Marguerite Gautier into a pre-Raphaelite grisette, the story into "l'aventure tres touchante de deux amants tres malheureux, separes on ne sait plus bien par quoi," and the courtesan into "une pensionnaire grondee par un vieux monsieur tres imposant." I do know that she played stiff-neck'd Mrs. Alving as she would have played St. Theresa or a Mother Superior. What, then, would she have made of Phedre, and how comported herself as Pelleas I suggest that Duse made too much capital out of her private sorrows, or at least that she encouraged others to do so. After all, an actress is paid like every-body else a certain sum of money to do a certain job. I am told that you were never quite sure of Duse. The theatre would be either too hot or too cold, or her sufferings too acute or too blunt. With Sarah, that good war-horse, there was no preamble. Show her the stipulated amount, and in gold, and the Curtain went bravely up. If she knew any-thing about mental anguish she could at least put a good face on it. "As Sarah grew older," wrote Mr. Shaw, "she became altogether jollier and more sensible." Could he have written this of Duse? The second greatest actress of my time was Rejane, whom I infinitely preferred to the Italian artist. I can see her now in La Vierge Folle, telling the Duke whose daughter has been seduced by her husband that he makes as much fuss over the deflowering of his virgin as if it were a national defeat. And again, sitting throughout a whole act on her trunk, her eyes and nose red with weeping, and pretending to console herself with the promise extracted from the husband that if ever he tires of his little chit he will return to her. For three-quarters of an hour she sat sobbing and had the house in tears. Rejane's greatest essay in realistic pathos was in the stage adaptation of Goncourt's Germinie Lacerteux. But alas ! her triumph in this grim study of a servant-girl, written long before Mr. George Moore's Esther Waters, was long before my time. Her next biggest triumph was in Henri Becque's cynical comedy La Parisienne, which I managed to see once at, I think, the Vaudeville Theatre. The performance was on a Wednesday after-noon, and it must have been in the early 'nineties. For I remember that it was in the first days of motoring, that we started from Manchester early on Tuesday and had all the difficulty in the world to makes Rugby before bed-time. One o'clock on Wednesday found us still on the outskirts of London, but I remember that thanks to Rej ane's well-known half-hour unpunctuality, going without lunch, abandoning the car to a staggered police-man and diving dirty and dishevelled into the theatre, we got there in time for the supreme stroke which reveals that the male party to the quarrel is the lover and not the husband. But would Rejane ever play Becque's, or Goncourt's masterpiece again? No. She came to England during the war with an intolerably silly play-let, and the over-praised Alsace. I met her at Arles in the South of France in 1916, where she was giving the haymakers a taste of Sans-Gene, and she seemed to me off the stage to be a dumpish, shy sort of body entirely lacking in savoir fare. Yet on the scene what a miracle of wit and manner, what a mingling of comica and tears ! Of all the actresses I have ever seen I put Bernhardt first with Rejane a good second and Duse half the field behind. Putting it another way, I could have borne to see Sarah twice a week and Duse once a month, but Rej ane I could have tolerated every night of my life. She did not tear you to pieces as Sarah did—a delight for moderate indulgence—nor did she make you feel mean and abject, which was Duse's way. She was a-tingle with life and vivacity, she could be either woman of the world or woman of the people; her canaillerie was as superb as her capacity for brute, in-articulate misery was heartrending. Rejane was the daughter of a bar-keeper in one Paris play-house, and she married the director of another. She knew nothing except the theatre, but that she knew thoroughly. She was an actress first and last, and would have scorned to foist upon the public either her business affairs, private woes or any other high-flown bunkum.
Well, they are gone, and it is possible that nobody will ever want again to make comparative estimate of their powers.
Will these great ones live? Possibly in a few cold, dull phrases. But as long as those who saw these famous actresses in their prime are alive to communicate the old emotions the world must still retain some corporate sense of their greatness. I remember driving with a great Russian pianist through October woods. We had discussed this player and that, and rehearsed all the old effects and sensations. "Do you remember bow Sarah said `Nichette se marie ' and, `On nous abandonne, et les longues soirees succedent aux longs j ours,' and `Ainsi, quoi qu'elle fasse, la creature tombee ne se rerevera jamais'?" Then my friend began to in-tone the great speech to Hippolyte. After a while his voice trembled and for a space neither of us spoke.
Of English actresses I put Mrs. Kendal easily first, if only by virtue of her performance in the third act of Mrs. W. K. Clifford's The Likeness of the Night. The scene is the deck of a liner. The wife is going for a sea-voyage ostensibly for her health, while the husband is remaining behind ostensibly to work. What he is going to do is to have a fine time with is with me yet. I remember an earlier scene in which the wife called upon the mistress. Mrs. Kendal's face grew greyer and greyer. Then the wife noticed the toys lying about the room, the doll, the hoop, the ball and in her eyes were envy of the other woman and lament for her own childlessness. To my mind this was the finest piece of sheer acting that I have ever seen accomplished by an English actress. And it should be unnecessary to dwell upon Mrs. Kendal's comedy which was delicious, from the tip of her bonnet to whatever extremity that august lady will allow me to mention. She had the grand manner, a ringing voice and enough technique to go round a whole cast.
Does the reader think I have forgotten Ellen Terry? There was this difference between these two great women that Madge Kendal might conceivably have become something other than an actress, say a leader in the woman's movement or the head of a large hospital, whereas Ellen just danced on to the stage and remained there, dancing. At her own proper job of being the darling of the educated as Mary Pickford is of the vulgar, of embodying, in her own person and without taking thought, the rose in an English hedge, joy and tears chasing each other like April cloud and sunshine, the whole labelled "The Women of Shakespeare"—at all this Ellen Terry just couldn't be approached. She was, you might say, and therefore she acted. It is impossible to estimate how much wider this actress's range might have been with-out that diminishing partnership with Irving. Diminishing because of those awful melodramas in which there was either no part for her or something less than a part. Diminishing because of that invindible partiality for The Bells. Do actors never think of schoolboys and others whose night for the theatre is Saturday and Saturday only? On Saturday evening in the provinces Irving would play those infernal Bells with the result that Ellen Terry had to be thrown away upon half-an-hour's preliminary clowning in Nance Old field. I can remember the accents of unutterable disgust with which one or other of my brothers would throw down the paper: "Saturday evening. Nance Oldfleld and The Bells. Of Course !" If the old man must play melodramas why did he not give us a taste of his best in that line? Would he in those later years give us his Charles I, or Louis XI? No. One had long given up hope of seeing him as Hamlet, Macbeth, Coriolanus, Richard, Lear. Those are the roles one has learned not to expect from a leading English actor. But why must Irving chill young admiration with Robespierre, Dante, Mathias, and Corporal Brewster? Miss Terry herself supplies the reason. "Oddly enough, Henry was always attracted by fustian," she wrote in her book. "Oddly enough" is the charitable flower, the rest is the serpent under it. And then that Shylock recurring more persistently than any decimal! ! How sick we were of it, and how politely the town hid its nausea. "Do you know," Allan Monkhouse once said to me, "I shall to-night write my eleventh notice of Irving's Shylock? And I said all I had to say about it eleven years ago!" One could only suppose that Irving had the scenery and the gaberdine in stock and wanted to wear them out. I have always deemed The Merchant of Venice a dull play at the best, perhaps because at three schools and in a dozen forms this masterpiece was my "English literature" on no fewer than seven occasions. When I am run down I wake up at nights still "debating of my present store" or muttering that bit about
"Thy currish spirit
Govern'd a wolf, who hang'd for human slaughter,
Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet."
"Nominativus pendens !" I cry, and wake up. Yet with these mountainous faults thick upon him I must declare Irving -to have been the greatest actor I have ever seen. His pathos has not been equalled in my time.
Forbes-Robertson was another Saturday-night offender with that unforgivable Passing of the Third Floor Back, as was John Hare with A Quiet Rubber and A Pair of Spectacles. To see these exquisite players in anything worth seeing I always had to play truant on Wednesday afternoons. Treat a schoolboy according to his love of good actors in good parts, and how shall he 'scape expulsion? I re-member one afternoon when I stole away to see Mrs. Patrick Campbell. This was definitely one of the great theatrical experiences of my life. The play was Echegaray's Mariana. All that I remember of it now is a long scene in which Mrs. Camp-bell sat quite still and told of an incident in Mariana's childhood. She was being snatched up out of her cot, and her mother's lover was crying, "Be quick! Be quick!" The actress was lovely in those days and filled the mind with a haunting sense of baffled importunacy, and sympathy for a creature engaged in strange and romantic quests. Her silences had the emotional significance of Maeterlinck's halting speech. This was an actress who, in the 'nineties, had the world at her feet. She kicked it away and the ball rolled out of her reach.
An actor dead these twenty years is Frank Rodney, who played the second parts in the Benson Company. Hand-some, at least on the stage, debonair, with a reddish complexion and a glorious voice, he was the best Clarence, Bucking-ham, Bolingbroke, lago and Mercutio that I have seen. What days those were when Benson skippered the team and one mistook the schoolboy will-to-be-impressed for the actor's deed. Yet that there was something about Benson not to be found in any other actor—and that something a quality of good—I will maintain against all the hosts of truth. His Coriolanus had a lean arrogance and was not merely intolerable like the college son of a profiteer; his Caliban had pathos; there was the right kind of nobility stop-ping short of priggishness in his Henry the Fifth; his Crookback contained both truculence and the toad. And, of course, his Richard the Second, or what Montague made of it, has never been surpassed on the English stage.
I have no room for Wyndham who, in a piece the name of which I have for-gotten, played the part of an old man of ninety with the hands of a boy of twenty. Was Wyndham, who croaked through the raisonneurs in Henry Arthur Jones like a frog in spring, anything like so good an actor as Henry Neville? I doubt it. There was Tree, lamentably inept in the heroic, and a past master in the secondary business of dipping for wigs and make-up. His Marc Antony was, in my opinion, a more ludicrous business than even Wilson Barrett could have made of it. There was Alexander, as fine a gentleman as Savile Row ever turned out, and not too bad an actor. There was Lewis Waller, a player of much greater accomplishment than the little misses of the pit would allow us to believe. If I must put my finger on the piece of acting which, Sarah apart, has stirred me most, I would say Janet Achurch as Cleopatra. Mind, I do not say that she was particularly like Cleopatra, unless we are to imagine the Queen of Egypt to have had a German mentality and to have looked like Brunnhilde. But Janet brought to the part her own greatness as a woman, her overpowering intelligence and her indomitable spirit. She had played the then unpopular masterpieces of Ibsen and Shaw in provincial holes and corners ; her voice, deep as Rachel's yet breaking in exaltation to shrillness, was the trumpet and herald of the new age for women and the drama. I was a boy then, but I can still hear every intonation in the dying speech which she delivered sitting bolt upright on the throne. With Janet to die was an exercise of the will.
These, then, have been my great experiences. Sarah as Phedre, Marguerite, Pelleas ; Coquelin in Le Bourgeois Gentil homme; Rej ane, Mrs. Kendal and Irving always—even in their worst plays. Ellen Terry as Beatrice, Forbes-Robertson as half of Hamlet. Janet Achurch as Mrs. Alving and Cleopatra. Courtenay Thorpe as Oswald. Laurence Irving as Shallow. Hare as old Eccles and Quex. Mrs. Pat-rick Campbell as Paula, Magda, Mariana, and whenever she has chosen to take her-self seriously. Edward Terry in Sweet Lavender. James Welch in Mr. Hopkinson. Weedon Grossmith in a score of farces. Charles Hawtrey ever.