Full text: The little review (9 (1923), 4)

To Erik Satie 
T HE theatre in France, to quote Alphonse Daudet on the 
monarchy, is “a great dead old thing.” The music-hall 
is a great young thing which is dying. As a matter of 
habit and to amuse a friend from the provinces, visiting 
in Paris, we still go occasionally to the theatre: Opera; 
Gaiete-Lyrique or Ba-ta-Clan. We hear “Padmavati”; 
“Chout”; or “T’en fais pas!” Alas, what boredom! 
A romantic repertory; conventional gestures; nothing living, 
moving, happening, which makes one cry out. Today France 
should get the first prize for bad acting. One has only to see, 
after a performance of the Cid or of Horace, these gentlemen 
of the Comedie-Frangaise, in smoking coats, stomachs sticking 
out, congratulating each other in the wings, to be aware of this 
agony and to understand at once why it is legitimate to be bored 
in an orchestra chair. 
Novelty is a microbe which directors, managers, actors, elec 
tricians, stage directors, door keepers, prompters, pursue and 
destroy every time that it shows the tip of an ear behind the 
curtain. I beg you, make way for the dust, the mummies, the 
glory of past centuries. How comfortable it is to talk among 
the dead and with what eloquence does Rameses II talk with 
M. Millerand! 
Before the war, from 1912 until the end of August, 1914, there 
was a leap forward, and there were those who wished to drag 
the coach out of the mire. Whatever they did, I congratulate 
them. Leon Bakst revolutionized the usual conception of cos 
tumes and of stage decoration. Nijinsky’s sensual interpretation 
of “l’Apres-Midi d’un Faune” called forth a storm of cat calls.

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