And where are they spending the honeymoon?
Ah, do you need to ask?
“At Greenwich?” No, fathead, not at Greenwich.
“At Clacton-on-Sea?” Look here, I don’t believe you’re trying. Have another shot....
Yes, dear reader, you are right. They are going back to Polwollop.
It might be a good plan to leave them there.
THE COMPLETE DRAMATIST
I take it that every able-bodied man and woman in this country wants to write a play. Since the news first got about that Orlando What’s-his-name made L50,000 out of “The Crimson Sponge,” there has been a feeling that only through the medium of the stage can literary art find its true expression. The successful playwright is indeed a man to be envied. Leaving aside for the moment the question of super-tax, the prizes which fall to his lot are worth something of an effort. He sees his name (correctly spelt) on ’buses which go to such different spots as Hammersmith and West Norwood, and his name (spelt incorrectly) beneath the photograph of somebody else in “The Illustrated Butler.” He is a welcome figure at the garden-parties of the elect, who are always ready to encourage him by accepting free seats for his play; actor-managers nod to him; editors allow him to contribute without charge to a symposium on the price of golf balls. In short he becomes a “prominent figure in London Society”—and, if he is not careful, somebody will say so.
But even the unsuccessful dramatist has his moments. I knew a young man who married somebody else’s mother, and was allowed by her fourteen gardeners to amuse himself sometimes by rolling the tennis-court. It was an unsatisfying life; and when rash acquaintances asked him what he did, he used to say that he was for the Bar. Now he says he is writing a play—and we look round the spacious lawns and terraces and marvel at the run his last one must have had.
However, I assume that you who read this are actually in need of the dibs. Your play must be not merely a good play, but a successful one. How shall this success be achieved?
Frankly I cannot always say. If you came to me and said, “I am on the Stock Exchange, and bulls are going down,” or up, or sideways, or whatever it might be; “there’s no money to be made in the City nowadays, and I want to write a play instead. How shall I do it?”—well, I couldn’t help you. But suppose you said, “I’m fond of writing; my people always say my letters home are good enough for ‘Punch.’ I’ve got a little idea for a play about a man and a woman and another woman, and—but perhaps I’d better keep the plot a secret for the moment. Anyhow it’s jolly exciting, and I can do the dialogue all right. The only thing is, I don’t know anything about technique and stagecraft and the three unities and that sort of rot. Can you give me a few hints?”—suppose you spoke to me like this, then I could do something for you. “My dear Sir,” I should reply (or Madam), “you have come to the right shop. Lend me your ear for ten minutes, and you shall learn just what stagecraft is.” And I should begin with a short homily on