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Modern Theatre in Context: A Critical Timeline

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The classic poster of matin-Harvey in The Only Way

In his January 12 column, the Globe's theatre critic Lawrence Mason attacks the antiquated 19th century stagecraft of John Martin-Harvey's touring production of Canon Langbridge's The Only Way. "It is highly instructive to note the old-fashioned use of the soliloquy, the incredible series of eaves droppings and over hearings, the impossible speech by Sidney Carton at the close of the second act, with exposition, motivation, characterization and who knows what else all huddled up into one sudden outburst of rhetoric. It is also equally instructive, on the mechanical side, to note the painted back-drops and painted canvas flats, with almost no solid properties 'in the round.'"

Theatre critic Fred Jacob writes in the February Canadian Forum during Martin-Harvey's fourth cross-Canada tour that a Canadian national drama would not emerge from the foreign-dominated professional theatre but that "out of the non-professional theatre…must come Canada's native drama."