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Front cover Royalty Theatre souvenir programme for Milestones (5th March 1913); The Play Pictorial: “Milestones” vol. 25, no. 149 (1914), pp. 22-23

Front cover Royalty Theatre souvenir programme for Milestones (5th March 1913); The Play Pictorial: “Milestones” vol. 25, no. 149 (1914), pp. 22-23

Front cover Royalty Theatre souvenir programme for Milestones (5th March 1913);
The Play Pictorial: “Milestones” vol. 25, no. 149 (1914), pp. 22-23
 

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Royalty Theatre souvenir programme for Milestones

Front cover Royalty Theatre souvenir programme for Milestones (5th March 1913); 
The Play Pictorial: “Milestones” vol. 25, no. 149 (1914), pp. 22-23

Bennett turned his hand as both playwright and producer.  The plays met with varying degrees of success and Milestones, written with Edward Knoblauch (later Knoblock) and first performed in 1912, was one of the more profitable.  It enjoyed an initial 609-night run at the Royalty, where it netted the not inconsiderable sum of £60 per week.  The Daily Express (6th March) declared it to be ‘a play that cries aloud for grateful superlatives’ [James Hepburn, Arnold Bennett: The Critical Heritage (2013), p. 125.].  There were productions elsewhere in London and at the Theatre Royal Hanley (1913).  The Play Pictorial account is of the revival at the Royalty in 1914.  Editor B.N. Findon lauds ‘Messrs. Arnold Bennet [sic] and Edward Knoblauch’ for the play’s ‘mixture of wit, humour, sentiment and pathos’.  He urges ‘Go ye, my much esteemed readers, in your thousands to the little house in Dean Street and, however high may be the expectations that I raise, I promise that you will not come empty away.’  The Archive also holds a first edition of Bennett’s first published drama Polite Farces for the Drawing Room (1899), a privately printed signed edition of the play Don Juan de Marana (1923), with some of the pages still uncut, and an original advertisement for the Covent Garden performance (24th June 1937) of Don Juan de Manara: Opera in Four Acts, libretto composed by Bennett and based on the play with music by Eugene Goossens.