"THE HOUSE BEAUTIFUL"
Channing Pollock's Latest Production is interesting Experiment
At the Plymouth Theatre on Monday night was presented a curious play; a play connected by Channing Pollock out if fantasy, sentimentally, and morality. Mr. Pollock has some very definite ideas on the function of the drama and in "The House Beautiful" he displays these theories to the exclusion of dramatic unity, dramatic interest, and dramatic force.
As a theorist Mr. Pollock commands attention by virtue of his efforts to purge the present day theatre of much of its coarseness, of its melodramatic tendencies, and of its often brutal realism. In accomplishing this end the play wright would exist the virtues of John Doe, showing that the lives of good, simple people often contain dramatic material of the first order, which may be converted into the proper sort of the artist is keen enough to see in the shiny serge suit of John Doe the flashing cuirass of a true knight.
But when Mr. Pollock sat down to write "The House Beautiful", skilled technician as he is, he fatally ignored all the conventions of the play writer's craft which make for "good theatre." It is difficult enough to sympathize with a character in a play when a span of thirty years is treated within less than three hours, and this difficulty is amplified when the characters are less human beings than they are mouthpieces for the most obvious sort of preaching.
It was the intention of the author to bring out the dramatic elements in the weekday struggles of suburbanites to keep the home fires burning and to raise families, but his success was scarcely signal for reasons inherent in the writing and conception of the play. And in spite of this on Monday night a very large audience left the Plymouth obviously pleased.