The Books of To-day and the Books of To-morrow, May 1906


(The British Drama)

Mr. Frank Curzon announces the postponement of the musical version of The Door of Humility, by Alfred Austin and Cosmo Hamilton. We are all looking forward to this, as it is predicted that it will be something out of the beaten track of musical farce.

The new musical version of King Lear, by W. Shakespeare and Cosmo Hamilton, will be the only première next week. We hear that Mr. Willie Edouin has one of the best parts of his career as the old king.

The second act of Everyman having undergone much necessary cutting, the piece now plays much more brightly. A very taking addition to the musical score is a rollicking song for Death, assisted by a chorus dressed as germs.

With new songs, new dresses, new jokes, and new scenery, the second edition of Nero, produced at His Majesty’s Theatre last night, should be as successful as the first. All the most popular numbers of the former edition are retained, and Nero’s ‘Mr. Cæsar,’ on the lines of the popular ‘Mr. Chamberlain,’ which Mr. Seymour Hicks sings at the Aldwych, still gets eight encores. Of the new numbers we liked best the topical song about the L.C.C. steamboats, sung by Agrippina on her return from the wreck, and a very dashing military number, ‘Boys of the Prætorian Guard,’ for Otho.

A new song was introduced last night into the musical version of Othello, by W. Shakespeare and Cosmo Hamilton. It was sung by Mr. Huntley Wright in his character of the Moor of Venice, and is entitled ‘The All-Black.’ We are glad to see, by the way, that Mr. Wright has taken our advice, and now speaks Othello’s lines in the recognised dialect of a Christy minstrel. On Saturday he received the rare honour of a recall for his rendering of the speech, ‘Golly, massa, I hab done de State some service, yes.’

With a little more compression the new attraction at the Waldorf, the musical version of The Pit and the Pendulum, by Edgar Allan Poe and Cosmo Hamilton, should make a very amusing evening’s entertainment. It has a definite story running through it, and a wealth of comic opportunities for Mr. G. P. Huntley as the hero. Nobody who has seen it will forget the look of humorous disgust on his face as he fixes his eyeglass and looks at the knife creeping at him through the air.

We hear from an authoritative quarter that the musical version of The Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin and Cosmo Hamilton, is going very strong indeed at the Vaudeville. Mr. Frohman 1 has secured the American rights. Mr. Passmore’s monkey song, with chorus of Labour Members, illustrating the gradual evolution from the lowest to the highest types, should be all over the town very shortly.



Printed unsigned; entered by Wodehouse in Money Received for Literary Work as “Peeps into Futurity.”



The available scan of the original magazine page truncates the start of the name, which appears as ‘—hmann.’ John Dawson suggests that this is almost certainly a misspelling of ‘Frohman.’
Charles Frohman (1856–1915) was an American theatrical producer who, in the early years of the 20th century, established a successful partnership with the British actor-playwright Seymour Hicks to present musicals and other comedies in London. Among the musicals which Hicks wrote and Frohman produced were ‘The Beauty of Bath’ (1906) and ‘The Gay Gordons’ (1907), to both of which Wodehouse contributed lyrics.