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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

Sun., April 18, 2010

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From our archives, 100 years ago

The Scottish Shakespearean actor Robert Mantell arrived in Spokane and opened “Macbeth” at the Auditorium Theater.

Mantell was considered one of the leading Shakespeareans in the world, famous for his “roaring” and “thundering” style.

Spokane’s Shakespeare aficionados were especially pleased because Mantell planned to perform seven other Shakespeare plays in the course of his Spokane visit. Spokane would not, as an editorialist pointed out, be forced to experience Shakespeare through “cheap and mediocre companies of second class players.” A great Shakespearean must be able to “speak the English language in all its beauty, purity and inestimable flavor of tone.”

The paper’s anonymous theater critic went to see “Macbeth” and said that Mantell “played the opening scenes with a fine repression, giving the murder scene a creeping horror.”

He did note, however, that “Macbeth” attracted only a “fair” audience.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1775: Paul Revere began his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Mass., warning American colonists that the British were coming. … 1906: A devastating earthquake struck San Francisco; estimates of the final death toll range between 3,000 and 6,000.

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