There are people who are neither actors, nor directors, yet they are so fond of the theatre that they can't live without it.
Nick Petrov, a friend of mine, is like that. He's not a Muscovite, but he comes to Moscow on business quite often, and never misses an opportunity of going to the best theatres in the capital.
He came to Moscow on business one day, and the following Saturday he invited me to the theatre. He said that "Pigmalion" [pig´meIljqn] was on, with a new actress in the leading part.
"I saw her name on the posters the other day," he added. "I wonder how she'll manage that most difficult part."
We got to the theatre just before the curtain went up. The house was packed. Our seats were in the third row of the stalls, and we could see and hear everything very well. Soon after we took our seats, the lights went slowly down and the play began. The performance of the talented actress made a deep impression on everybody. The audience applauded her stormily after each act. The rest of the cast were wonderful, as usual. The best actors in the company were playing that night.
During the interval everybody talked about the new actress. We found out that she had come to Moscow from a small town, where she worked at the local theatre. Eliza Doolittle [I´laIzq ´dHlItl] was her favourite part. The young actress's ambition had been to play the part in the capital. So she had decided to go to Moscow.
She came to the theatre one winter day, and asked the leading actors to give her a chance to act a few scenes from "Pygmalion" to them. Her performance was so good that she was immediately given the part of Eliza. During the rehearsals the best actors in the theatre did their best to help her.
At last the great day came when she appeared on the stage of one of the best Moscow theatres. The whole audience, from the gallery to the pit, applauded her. There was no doubt that she was a great success. The Moscow theatre-goers warmly greeted the appearance of the talented new actress.