"Henry IV, Part I" as Presented by Eliot House Was "Not For Bawdy Men But For Intellectuals"
After the Harvard plates had been carefully set out, and as carefully removed are they were sullied by food; after the turkeys and the small pink "roast sucking pig" with candied eyes had been carried about the room in triumphal procession, after men's bellies had been filled, and men's minds put stress; after all these things, then came the play.
The play was certainly the thing. The play was in the Eliot House tradition, "not for bawdy men, but for intellectuals"--the play was "Henry IV, Part I," directed, corrected, improved, and with a prologue, all by Harry T. Levin '33.
Acting honors for the evening were snatched by Thomas G. Ratcliffe, Jr. '35 as Falstaff, who shook and belched and toddled and fought and ran and swore his way through that bawdiest of parts King Henry, in the person of Roger W. Drury '36, was a stately and dignified monarch, bent on the suppression of rebellion, and on the reformation of his madcap son, Harry.
Largest and in every way most conspicuous of the minor characters was Professor Merriman as Mistress Quince the only female part in the play: Looking like a combination of a windmill and Alice's white rabbit, he squeaked incessantly "Jesu Jesu!" desending only from the treble to protest vehement that he "never had been called woman in this House before."
The crowd which crowded the Dining Hall to overflowing registered emphatic approval of the tutors' antics as Falstaff's ragamuffin soldiers. An worldly horde they formed featuring Mess Potter and Bissell the former with great fur rug glued to his with a and the latter coyly holding chest depicting a frolicking baby Elephant.
All ended well and as the disconfirmed villains were led off in tire chains and the hisses and cheers of the partisans the audience disbanded. Yes it was over for another year.