The New York Times, October 28, 1934

Mr. Behrman Speaks


To the Drama Editor:

May I register a dissenting, though I hope eventually not a minority, opinion concerning "A
Sleeping Clergyman" by James Bridle? I, for one, found this play extraordinarily fascinating, often profound, and in several scenes, such as the one in which Miss Ruth Gordon treats an irritating sweetheart to prussic acid, thrillingly dramatic. In fact, with the exception of one scene in which that always nebulous figure, the scientist with the world-saving serum brewing in an off-stage laboratory, waits for the result like a baseball fan at a radio, this play engrossed me from beginning to end.

"A Sleeping Clergyman" seems to me to offer a full and provocative and almost continuously satisfying evening in the theatre. In an authoritative and a dramatic way it deals with the mysterious and incalculable meshing of heredity which often weaves in such a way as to confound the glib sterilizers; it touches genuinely and contemporaneously, if pessimistically, on the conflict of the stubborn and gallant individual will against the indifference and brutality of the mass, and in it Miss Gordon gives a performance of extraordinary power and variety.

New York, Oct. 11, 1934.

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