Some people are rather easy to impress…

…well, at least a century or so ago. Henry Lytton, George Grossmith’s understudy, remembers:

One of the finest compliments ever paid to me as an artiste occurred at Hanley. We were playing “Yeomen.” Many of our audience that night were a rough lot of fellows, some of whom even sat in their shirt sleeves, but there could be no question but that they were keenly following the play. Everywhere we had been on that tour there had been tremendous calls after the curtain. At Hanley when the curtain fell there was a dead silence! It was quite uncanny. What had happened? Were they so little moved by the closing scene of the piece that they were going out in indifference or in disgust? Gently we drew the edge of the curtain aside, and there, would you believe it, we saw those honest fellows silently creeping out without even a whisper. He was dead. Jack Point was dead! I changed in silence myself. The effect of the incident had been so extraordinary. And when I went down to the stage door a crowd of these rough men were waiting. Somehow they knew me for Point. “Here he is!” they shouted. “Are you all right, mister, now?” Then, as I walked on, they turned to one another and I overheard one of them say: “He wasn’t dead, after all.” As they saw the end of the opera they verily believed something had gone wrong. Such a thing in the theatre may possibly be understandable, but that the illusion should have lingered after the curtain had dropped, and even after they had left the theatre and come really to earth in the street, seemed to me extraordinary. The “Yeomen of the Guard” was staged again the following night, but this time the audience must have been told by their pals that they had actually seen me afterwards, and that it was “only a play.” Jack didn’t die – not really. It was only “pretended.”

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