Sunday, 29 November 2009

Saville Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue WC2 (now Odeon Covent Garden)

No pageant called Drama through the Ages could omit a Shakespeare section, not in London anyway, and Gilbert Bayes included some of the most famous Bardic parts here. First is Hamlet. Is that a portrait of John Geilgud, whose Hamlet was getting rave reviews at the time?
Next is Lady Macbeth, out-damned-spotting with a lamp. Sybil Thorndyke was appearing in the role at the time, but this actress doesn't have her chin.
From Midsummer Night's Dream, Titania sits on the back of a cart while Puck plays with puppets on a string. Bottom holds his head up high, but oddly separated from the others by Henry V, possibly a portrait of Lewis Casson, Sybil Thorndyke's husband, who had appeared in the role in 1928.

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