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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Poor performances

Thursday, April 30th., Cadogan Square, London.

B. N. Opera Co. last night at Golders Green Hippodrome. Drove there in taxi. It was like arriving in the centre of a big town. Flat performance of "At the Boar's Head" by Holst, and "Gianni Schicchi". Much of the music of the former lovely. But the whole conception wrong. Wells said to me: "The idea of it is fundamentally stupid. The dialogue was complete before Holst began even to touch it." It was ridiculous to set it to music. Much of the acting rotten. Dame Quickly particularly. Wrong notion of character. Doll Tearsheet a bit better, but too plain and dull for a stage whore, though she corresponded with the reality of lots of whores. "Gianni Schicchi" rather better, but the hero was played dully. When we came out not a taxi. Buses flying off packed. We got onto a bus (top) and waited five minutes before it started. Then changed to a taxi near Marlborough Road. Home here soon after 11. Everything was interesting except the performances.

The Grade II listed, Hippodrome Theatre building next to Golders Green tube station was built as a 3000-seat music hall by Bertie Crewe, and opened on Boxing Day 1913. Its capacity was reduced by half with the construction of a full theatre stage, and it became famous for its pre- and post-London tours, and has been used as a receiving venue for West End transfers - Laurence Olivier, Marlene Dietrich, Stephane Grappelli, Arthur Askey, Django Reinhardt and Chico Marx played there.

Additionally for April 30th., see 'Friends in Florence'

Rickards walked casually in on Thursday evening, twelve hours in advance of his warning postcard, & he took up residence here yesterday morning for three days. he arrived from Carrara where he had been to see the quarrying of some of the marble to be used in one of his buildings. He said the Duomo was chiefly a great feat of engineering, and not really beautiful.

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