18 OCTOBER 1873, Page 3

The Court Theatre, in an amusing and, on the whole,

well- acted little piece,—though dramatic realism hardly requires, by the way, that a manager should fill the house with the smell of onions for the sake of giving a vivid representation of a working- man's dinner,—entitled "On Strike," professes to have put upon the stage an illustration of one of the most knotty "social problems" of the day. But the real difficulties of the question are not even touched upon. The author, taking the old Conser- vative point of view, represents the men on strike as simply unreasonable malcontents, given to drink and other vices, and determined to dictate as to who shall be their fellow-labourers,- and assumes, moreover, that, instead of being supported by their trade union during the strike, they are brought to great distress by it. The employer, whom we are intended to suppose a benevolent man, dismisses his best hand, who has stuck to him throughout, in order to put an end to the miseries of the strike, and just as the plot promises to enter into the difficulties of the subject, the piece is abruptly brought to an end by the arrest of "the agitator" for theft, and his opponent's enthusiastic reception by his mates and reinstatement in his place. That is not even suggesting a solution of a social problem, nor yet so much as stating it. It is a mere allusive use of the interest such subjects attract, on behalf of the Court Theatre.