Second Thoughts About “days Without End”

Eugene O’Neill’s modern miracle play, “Days Without End”, received scant praise from the typewriters of those who write about the theatre. Technically this collective judgment was sound. Even on second thought the play still seems verbose in spots and even sophomoric in treatment. No doubt it suffers in the light of comparison with other O’Neill plays. We have perhaps too readily fallen into the habit of expecting at least a minor explosion every time an O’Neill play is produced.

Yet it is difficult to get over the idea that “Days Without End” could have been a much more moving play. In the next few months few gentlemen of the cloth will be able to resist the temptation to say a few kind words for this production. Already a rabbi, writing in one of the larger weeklies, has exorted his readers to attend a performance and the example set by this preacher will undoubtedly be followed by ministers of other sects. Which means that “Days Without End” is going to attract an audience not ordinarily seen inside of a Broad-way house, an audience whose mind is already made up as to the play’s importance. It is too had that they will see O’Neill in a less realistic moment and in a work that is really not O’Neill at all.

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