Vol. 77, No. 2

pp. 69-124, 2023


  1. St Aubyn Miller Revisited: Negotiating Work and Interpersonal Relationships in the Life of an Itinerant Actor-Dramatist, 1889-1929

    Bernard Ince

    In a letter to the Editor of the Stage newspaper (13 November 1969: 10), Dan H. Laurence, the bibliographer of George Bernard Shaw, enquired about “Any information concerning the turn-of-the-century playwright named St. Aubyn Miller, especially the year of his death”. This juxtaposition of the great GBS with the obscure Miller may seem strange but Laurence was then compiling his celebrated Bernard Shaw Collected Letters series which contain excerpts of letters Shaw wrote to Miller’s first wife, the Ibsenite actress Janet Achurch, among many others. In a header to one letter, written to the actress Ellen Terry in 1898, that mentioned Achurch (Laurence 7-8), may be found half a sentence on Miller, suggesting that Laurence’s earlier request to readers of the Stage had yielded little if any useful information. As outlined in an earlier account on Miller (Ince, “After Janet”), he married Janet Achurch at Margate in 1884 while they were both with Sarah Thorne’s School of Acting (Ince, “Before Ibsen”). They divorced in 1889, and the co-respondent was named as Charles Charrington, himself a former F. R. Benson and Sarah Thorne student like Miller, whom Achurch married shortly after. The Charringtons, as also previously discussed, formed an important relationship with Shaw in the context of Henrik Ibsen and the New Drama movement (Ince, “Early Pioneer”). […]

  2. A Play "for Our Times" and its "Explosive Setting": The Genesis of Arnold Wesker's Blood Libel

    Axel Stähler

    It is a fine line that separates a play about antisemitism from promoting the prejudices it seeks to denounce. This may be one reason why there appear to be so few dramatic engagements with the calumny of the blood libel, perhaps the most perfidious and enduring of antisemitic fabrications. The blood libel, in the words of the British Jewish dramatist Arnold Wesker, “is the calumny that Jews murder Christian children in order to drink their blood for the Passover and to mock the crucifixion of Christ”. Wesker wrote this in January 1996 to Jack Temchin of the influential Manhattan Theatre Club whom he meant to interest in transferring to Broadway his own play on ritual murder, at the time in rehearsal at the newly established Norwich Playhouse. […]


The Funniest Man in London: The Life and Times of HG Pélissier (1874-1913) by Anthony Binns (review)

reviewed by Oliver Double

"Don't Forget the Pierrots!" The Complete History of British Pierrot Troupes and Concert Parties by Tony Lidington (review)

reviewed by Oliver Double

The Final Curtain: The Art of Dying on Stage by Laurence Senelick (review)

reviewed by Russell Jackson

* St Aubyn Miller Revisited: Negotiating Work and Interpersonal Relationships in the Life of an Itinerant Actor-Dramatist, 1889-1929, by Bernard Ince

* A Play “for Our Times” and its “Explosive Setting”: The Genesis of Arnold Wesker’s Blood Libel, by Axel Stähler

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