The Christian

   Opening on 10 October 1898 at the Knickerbocker Theatre in New York, Hall Caine's dramatization of his own novel ran for 160 performances, largely on the strength of Viola Allen's performance as Glory Quayle, a pure-minded but ambitious young woman. She is loved by John Storm, an earnest, uncompromising missionary, who somehow wins her despite their apparently incompatible temperaments. The play made Allen a star and did well on the road. In Lewis C. Strang's assessment (1899, 135), The Christian "chiefly appeals to persons on whom the theatre-going habit is not permanently fixed, and who, therefore, are not analysers, consciously or unconsciously, of dramatic effects. The sentiments in the speeches of John Storm, speeches that are uttered by the actor with all the solemnity of complete conviction, strike the unsophisticated with peculiar force, and these hifalutin words and preachy conventionalities, together with a certain dramatic power that is the only reason for existence of the mechanical drama, account easily enough for the popular success of the play."

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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