William Schwenck Gilbert

(1836 - 1911 / London / England)

A Manager's Perplexities


Were I a king in very truth,
And had a son - a guileless youth -
In probable succession;
To teach him patience, teach him tact,
How promptly in a fix to act,
He should adopt, in point of fact,
A manager's profession.
To that condition he should stoop
(Despite a too fond mother),
With eight or ten "stars" in his troupe,
All jealous of each other!
Oh, the man who can rule a theatrical crew,
Each member a genius (and some of them two),
And manage to humour them, little and great,
Can govern a tuppenny-ha'penny State!

Both A and B rehearsal slight -
They say they'll be "all right at night"
(They've both to go to school yet);
C in each act MUST change her dress,
D WILL attempt to "square the press";
E won't play Romeo unless
His grandmother plays Juliet;
F claims all hoydens as her rights
(She's played them thirty seasons);
And G must show herself in tights
For two convincing reasons -
Two very well-shaped reasons!
Oh, the man who can drive a theatrical team,
With wheelers and leaders in order supreme,
Can govern and rule, with a wave of his fin,
All Europe and Asia - with Ireland thrown in!

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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