The Servant in the house

   Charles Rann Kennedy's five-act morality play won approval from critics when it opened on 23 March 1908 at the Savoy Theatre in a Henry Miller production for 80 performances. It returned to the Savoy for an additional month of performances in October 1908. Manson, played by Walter Hampden, is a mysterious servant dressed in Eastern garb working for Reverend Smythe, whose snobbish, judgmental family is struggling to rebuild their crumbling church and dealing with the demands of several individuals requiring their assistance. The clergyman's family is brought together through the quiet wisdom and compassion exuded by Manson, the embodiment of applied religious ethics. Kennedy employed the novel device of continuous action despite a five-act structure. The Servant in the House was revived four times (1918, 1921, 1925, 1926) with Hampden returning to the role at his own theatre in the last of these. Jean Hersholt played Manson in a 1921 motion picture version.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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