I have a feeling we may be looking at the 1920s quite a lot this year, so I’m getting into the mood with a trip to the theatre. What better place to stop at but the Royal Court, in Sloane Square. What’s on?
In 1921 another work by the theatrical master George Bernard Shaw, the only person to win a Nobel Prize and an Oscar. But those came later
Who’s in it?
Sounds good to me. Do you see the fourth on the bill?
Doing a fine bit of lounging there.
The action features a Zeppelin raid.
While we’re waiting, have a flick through the programme.
Marshall & Snelgrove, already merged with Debenhams by this time, but the name survived until the 1970s
The permanent wave, the look of the moment.
Only yards from the theatre…..
Harvey Nichols, of course still a name we know.
One with the show, a couple of years later.
It wasn’t all highbrow stuff at the Royal Court. Here’s Carte Blanche, a revue from 1923.
As well as the Two Bobs (unknown to Wikipedia), it featured the many faces of Odette Myrtil, playing the fiddle,
and whoever she is here.
We have a programme for the revue but I can’t work out which pieces these costumes come from. I was intrigued by one line in the credits: “Pig kindly supplied by C and T Harris”. No pictures I’m afraid.
But back to more serious stuff. In 1924 Edith Evans was back at the Royal Court playing several roles in Shaw’s five-night epic Back to Methuselah
The first section features Adam and Eve. Eve is played by the young Gwen ffrangcon Davies. Hammer filmafficionados may remember as the Countess, one of the sinister house guests in The Devil Rides Out. But here she had an innocent role.
It’s Miss Evans who takes the sinister role as the Serpent. Nice costume.
Back to Methuselah is a series of five plays which start in the Garden of Eden but three of which are set in the future as far as 31,920 AD so it’s science fiction (but not as we know it.) Shaw apparently thought it would be read rather than performed but there were productions in New York, Birmingham and London.
[Cain and Abel]
Below Scott Sunderland and Evelyn Hope play statues of Ozymandian and Cleopatra-Femiramis brought to life by a sculptor. Or are they robots? The press coverage and the synopsis don’t quite tally.
I cannot imagine what audiences made of the cycle of plays. Perhaps they were ready for Shaw’s wild speculations.
I was intending to leave it there, with the intention of coming back to the theatre in the 20s later. But in case I don’t let me leave you with an image of a play much more frequently performed, on more than one occasion at the Royal Court.
You know it, don’t you?
No postscript this week.