Fanny's First Play eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 100 pages of information about Fanny's First Play.
loss of respectability with integrity of self-respect and reasonable consideration for other peoples’ feelings and interests on every point except their dread of losing their own respectability.  But when there’s a will there’s a way.  I hate to see dead people walking about:  it is unnatural.  And our respectable middle class people are all as dead as mutton.  Out of the mouth of Mrs Knox I have delivered on them the judgment of her God.

The critics whom I have lampooned in the induction to this play under the names of Trotter, Vaughan, and Gunn will forgive me:  in fact Mr Trotter forgave me beforehand, and assisted the make-up by which Mr Claude King so successfully simulated his personal appearance.  The critics whom I did not introduce were somewhat hurt, as I should have been myself under the same circumstances; but I had not room for them all; so I can only apologize and assure them that I meant no disrespect.

The concealment of the authorship, if a secret de Polichinelle can be said to involve concealment, was a necessary part of the play.  In so far as it was effectual, it operated as a measure of relief to those critics and playgoers who are so obsessed by my strained legendary reputation that they approach my plays in a condition which is really one of derangement, and are quite unable to conceive a play of mine as anything but a trap baited with paradoxes, and designed to compass their ethical perversion and intellectual confusion.  If it were possible, I should put forward all my plays anonymously, or hire some less disturbing person, as Bacon is said to have hired Shakespear, to father my plays for me.

Fanny’s First Play was performed for the first time at the Little Theatre in the Adelphi, London, on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 19th 1911.


Induction The end of a saloon in an old-fashioned country house (Florence Towers, the property of Count O’Dowda) has been curtained off to form a stage for a private theatrical performance.  A footman in grandiose Spanish livery enters before the curtain, on its O.P. side.

Footman. [announcing] Mr Cecil Savoyard. [Cecil Savoyard comes in:  a middle-aged man in evening dress and a fur-lined overcoat.  He is surprised to find nobody to receive him.  So is the Footman].  Oh, beg pardon, sir:  I thought the Count was here.  He was when I took up your name.  He must have gone through the stage into the library.  This way, sir. [He moves towards the division in the middle of the curtains].

Savoyard.  Half a mo. [The Footman stops].  When does the play begin?  Half-past eight?

Footman.  Nine, sir.

Savoyard.  Oh, good.  Well, will you telephone to my wife at the
George that it’s not until nine?

Footman.  Right, sir.  Mrs Cecil Savoyard, sir?

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Fanny's First Play from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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