All posts filed under: The Captive (1926)

The Captive (1926) – NYT Review

The Play by J. Brooks Atkinson The New York Times September 30 1926 Expertly written and admirably played, M. Bourdet’ tragedy, “The Captive,” put on at the Empire last evening, may be set down as a genuine achievement in dramatic producing – a long, engrossing, haunting play. Most of the theatrical news from Eruope for several months has hung about this drama, known in Paris as “La Prisonniere.” Vastly popular, sensational in its theme, and recriminations. But whatever emotions the Parisian performance may be conveying, Mr Hornblow’s adaptation, staged perfectly by Mr Miller, emerges as a hard, brittle chronicle, horrible in its implications, terrible to contemplate at times, but sincere and cleanly finished. Seldom has a play been so intelligently cast; nor do we often see a performance so thoroughly disciplined in every detail. For the American version of “La Prisonniere,” does not truckle no smirk. It tells its unpleasant story in a straightforward manner, without evasion or sordid emphasis. And the splendid spirit of the production may protect it from being misunderstood. Like a …

The Captive (1926) redux

Since I did the post on The Captive a few days ago, references to the play seem to keep popping up on Tumblr. So I thought I’d revisit to link to this site:Out History which includes the Brooks Atkinson review quoted on this blog and goes into quite a bit of depth about the incident. Anyone interested should definitely go there. There have also been more photographs from the production surfacing, and here are a couple of them:

The Captive (1926)

Time for a look at another of the Baz’s theatre-credits today. This time it’s the deeply controversial (in its time) play THE CAPTIVE. Written by the French dramatist Edouard Bourdet and known in French as La Prisonniere, translated by Arthur Hornblow Jr, it was the talk and scandal of New York when it opened on September 29 1926 – because its central theme was lesbian love and the struggle of one woman (the “captive” of the title) to live within the constraints of a society that could only condemn. The great Broadway Diva Helen Menken played the heroine, Irene; Rathbone her tortured and conflicted husband Jacques. There was also an appearance by Arthur Wontner as a mutual friend (which makes this play a landmark for Holmes buffs). Despite its controversy, and “unpleasant” theme, Brooks Atkinson, the New York Times’ no.1 critic (the Ben Brantley of his day) loved the play and raved about it in his review. He loved the Baz too, describing him as acting with “rare dignity and understanding” as the unhappy Jacques. …