Sunday, 29 November 2015

Sensation Smith of Drury Lane

I was lucky enough to enjoy browsing the specialist shelves of the Drury Lane branch before the vandals of Westminster City Council dumbed-down their libraries. Where those treasures of writing about the theatre (going back to the Restoration) are now, I have been unable to find out. I just hope that they have been kept together and are still available to curious members of the public.

Among them was a biography of a remarkable stage designer who preceded Sean Kenny by at least a generation. In the days well before CGI, "Sensation" Smith created realistic train-wrecks and shipwrecks on stage. I believe the book I read was more nearly contemporary than this one, but either would surely provide the basis for an enjoyable TV feature for BBC-4 or Channel 4.

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