14 August

14 August 1920

2 Portland Villas, Hampstead - London

A few days ago I went to see Mr. Barrie's as-successful-as-ever play Mary Rose, and what impressed me chiefly were the extraordinary efforts considered necessary to prepare the audience for something strange, something out of the common, something which does not happen every day in that block of residential flats over the way. To begin with, while the lights still glared, the orchestra banged the good old "Gondoliers" about our heads, to such good effect that the lady in front of me did pause, did say to her friend: "My dear, don't I know that? Isn't it Carmen?" And then, before the curtain rose, the shaded lights, one by one, fainted, failed, gave up their little souls, and left us in the dark exposed to a kind of emotional raking process by the violins and violas, whereby the hard stony soil of our reluctant hearts was broken up and prepared for the magic seed the wizard should scatter. Voices joined the instruments, wordless, rising and falling in what sounded to be celestial gargling... [KM Notebooks, undated]