[Hall Caine and William Lestocq of Charles Frohman's: a playwright and his producers.] Typed Letter Signed from Lestocq regarding 'the whole matter of the prospects of "The Christian" tour', with Autograph Copy of Caine's response.

Hall Caine [Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine] (1853-1931), Isle of Man author; William Lestocq (1851-1920), playwright and London manager for New York producer Charles Frohman (1856-1915)
Publication details: 
Lestocq's letter on his letterhead, Charles Frohman's, Duke of York's Theatre, London. 3 April 1900. Copy of Caine's reply daterd 5 April [1900].
SKU: 20879

An interesting exchange, casting light on manegerial practices in late-Victorian theatre. ONE: Typed Letter Signed by 'W. Lestocq'. 2pp., 4to. In good condition, lightly aged. A long letter, single-spaced. He has 'talked over the whole matter of the prospects of “The Christian” tour with Mr Frohman for next season, and he does not desire to send out a company on tour himself. Now I could of course let it on Mr Frohman's behalf or perhaps sell his rights and the production outright.' He gives details of his first choice if the latter course were pursued. He explains his 'sliding scale' of 'the percentages for the large towns cited in the contract namely Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dublin, Leeds and Newcastle and Brighton'. 'You can be sure in your interests that if you agree that in the event of my selling outright I should transfer your contract I will of course endeavour to insist that the percentages are taken over as arranged by Mr Frohman but I can tell you I quite contemplate being told that they are too heavy in the large towns. They certainly are too heavy for Mr Frohman to ask a profit on these percentages which is the usual way of letting a play and would of course I think strangle your run'. TWO: Autograph copy of HC's reply. Entirely in pencil, signed 'Hall Caine', and with 'Copy' at foot. 1p., 8vo. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. The letter begins: 'Before proceeding to negotiations outside, if Mr. Frohman takes an unfavourable View of the business & the Prospects of “The Christian” in the Provinces, will he not first say on what terms he would be willing to pass over to me his remaining Share in our agreement? This should take Cognisance of the present State of affairs between us, with £1000 paid by Mr Frohman in advance, & a large part of it already worked off in royalties.' In what follows HC praises Frohman's 'unfailing fair-mindedness'.