4 JANUARY 1930, Page 34

More Books of the Week (Continued from page 23.) Twentieth

Century Stage Decoration (Knopf, /5 5s.) will serve better than any known to us as a work of reference in regard to the work of the Idealist Theatre—defining that term as the theatre in which serious experiments by artists and producers are being made, and in which the artistic factor overshadows the commercial. Mr. Walter Rene Fucrst and Mr. S. J. Hume are both producers ; Fuerst has worked in the Deutsches Theater of Berlin ; Hume, who claims to be a pupil of Gordon Craig's, in America. A useful chapter on international theatre terminology—and jargon; an intelligent discussion of contemporary theories ; detaile. examination of three outstanding personalities of the theatre, Appia, Craig and Reinhardt, and their ideas ; a clear explana- tion of the technical machinery of the stage and of stage lighting apparatus ; a useful catalogue of stage designers and producers, Continental, English and American ; and a bibliography—these make up the first volume. The second is devoted to well-produced illustrations of stage settings by various distinguished and some exceedingly eccentric hands. The arrangement of the matter is not so sound as the matter itself, but the whole conveys in shorthand a picture of the contemporary stage which is both informing and stimulating.