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The Fatal Message

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The Fatal Message

by John Kendrick Bangs

Genre: Comedy
Format of Original Source: Play
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Reviewed


Mrs. Perkins. But what are we going to do? It’s quarter-past six now, and the curtain is to rise at 8.30.

Perkins. I’ll give ’em my unequalled imitation of Sandow lifting the curtain with one hand. Thus. [Raises curtain wish right hand.

Yardsley. For goodness’ sake, man, be serious. There are seventy- five people coming here to see this performance, and they’ve paid for their tickets.

Mrs. Perkins. It’s perfectly awful. We can’t do it at all unless Mr. Bradley will go right up stairs now and learn–

Mrs. Bradley. Oh, that’s impossible. He’s learned nearly three hundred lines to-day already. Mr. Barlow might–

Barlow. I couldn’t think of it, Mrs. Bradley. I’ve got as much as I can do remembering what lines I have learned.

Perkins. It would take you a week to forget your old part completely enough to do the other well. You’d be playing both parts, the way Irving does when he’s irritated, before you knew it.

Yardsley. I’m sure I don’t know what to do.

Perkins. Give it up, eh? What are you stage-manager for? If I didn’t own the house, I’d suggest setting it on fire; but I do, and it isn’t fully insured.

Mrs. Perkins. Perhaps Miss Andrews and Mr. Yardsley could do their little scene from Romeo and Juliet.

Mrs. Bradley. Just the thing.

Yardsley. But I haven’t a suitable costume.

Perkins. I’ll lend you my golf trousers, and Bess has an old shirt- waist you could wear with ’em.


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