I write this on Sunday as I got back too late last night. I spent most of the breaks trying to get people to take the places of the ‘plague stricken’ and go to the Coronet Theatre in the evening [see Friday January 29th]. Out of the original 11 names I sent to Mrs Murray-Smith: Bonner, Marriott, Yolland, Mellor and Barrington-Ward all failed me! Eventually I took in their places Hobson and his brother, Rawson H. and Miles and as Price came too we turned up the right number if not all members of the Shakespeare Society!! I did not tell Mrs Murray Smith except about Barrington-Ward who has gone up to Oxford for the performance of the ‘Frogs’.
We had a very nice little dinner and eventually we got to the theatre just before it began. I sat between the Murray Smiths and Hobson J. very shy on the other side of Mrs Murray-Smith. Richard III is, I think, the best of Benson’s parts, he is good and the scene where he first refuses and then accepts the crown he acted exceedingly well, Miss Genevieve Ward as the Queen was wonderful. Mr Murray Smith, Low and myself made an unsuccessful attempt to see Worlock between the Acts — we got on to the Stage and were horribly in the way and in danger of our lives as heavy scenery was being moved in all directions. Mr Benson told his Manager to ‘put Mr M-S in a place of safety’ and it was really no ‘fa├ºon de porter’. We then stood against the curtain but were so frightened of it going up that we fled without seeing him. It was interesting as showing the high pressure at which these things are done, the army being instructed how to get off, in the tiny space in the wings, a very necessary thing to arrange.
After the Play was over we all went behind and Benson was very nice and shook hands with us all. On the way back Mr Murray Smith harrowed Mrs M-Smith and myself with gruesome stories about an inquest he had been to that morning. I am delighted to say Mrs M-S was very much taken with Low and asked him to come and see her.