Sonntag, 27. November 2016

Harry Graham (5)

Theaterbesucherkritik aus »The Motley Muse« (1913):

Harry Graham: Plagues at the Play

»Last night even the postprandial conversation of some well-dressed members of the audience failed to neutralise the effort of the music, though they did their best.« - The Times

»Well-dressed,« and well-fed, and well-meaning (God knows!),
   They arrive when the play is half ended;
As they pass to their stalls, through the tightly-packed rows,
They beruffle your hair and they tread on your toes,
   Quite unconscious of having offended!
Then they argue a bit as to how they shall sit,
   And uncloak in a leisurely fashion,
While they act as a blind to the people behind
   Who grow perfectly purple with passion;
Till at last, by the time they are seated and settled,
Their neighbours all round them are thoroughly nettled!

A programme, of course, they've forgotten to buy
   (This in audible accents they mention),
And whenever some distant attendant they spy,
They halloo or give vent to remarks such as »Hi!«
   In attempts to attract her attention.
After this (which is worse) they will loudly converse,
   And enjoy a good gossip together
On the clothes they have bought and the colds they have caught,
   On the state of the crops and the weather,
Till they leave, in the midst of some tense »situation,«
That's spoilt by their flow of inane conversation.

O managers, pray, am I asking too much
   If I beg that these »persons of leisure«
Be kept in a sound-proof and separate hutch,
If their nightly theatrical manners are such
   As to spoil other playgoers' pleasure?
For it can't be denied that a playhouse supplied
   With a cage for such talkative parrots,
Or a series of stalls (of the kind that have walls
   And some hay and a couple of carrots)
Would bestow on the public a boon and a blessing
And deal with an evil in need of redressing! 

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