Have You Seen The Yellow Sign?
Writer and director
Carmichael is descended from Boston stock who struck it rich in shipping and then in the American Civil War. He arrived in London in 1919, age 28, a Harvard man and wealthy dilettante. His parents and two sisters died years before in a yachting disaster off Bermuda while Carmichael was in an English public school.
Rumors follow Carmichael wherever he goes-tales of drug abuse, scores of lovers of both sexes. of pseudo-satanic rites, degenerate parties. and so forth. No suits or arrests ever occur, lending credence to some who believe that he encourages these innuendos and juicy tales as a screen.
Carmichael has written, directed, and produced four stage plays, dramas verging on biting farce, and commercially successful.
• Beloved Dead – “The hypnotic forcefulness of this piecencannot be denied, despite or perhaps because of the grotesque amour fou that is its subject.” [Algernon Chambers,
The Times.] Original run: 188 performances.
• His Master’s Voice – “Tediously derivative of Marlowe’s Faust, the sole spark of originality in this work appears to have been spent in restaging Marlowe’s play for modern audiences. The author has secured for himself the plum role of Viktor, head of a large arms-manufacturing firm. I found the acting forced and the drama trivial. The contention of a
single bomb able to destroy a city is quite ridiculous.” [Sergei Baranof, Daily Mail.] Original run: 501 performances.
• Heart’s Blood – “Once again Mr. Carmichael has a sure hit on his hands, despite the production’s total lack of artistic merit. This latest effort features laughable recreations of
Druid life in ancient Britain, graphic on-stage murders, and an orgiastic climax in which the audience is endlessly invited to participate. No one did on opening night, or we should be sitting there still.” [Howard Downey, Morning Post.] Original run: 399 performances.
• Poison’d Love – “I found his previous work resonant with imagination, firmly grasping the essentials of plot and character, and demonstrating a subtle narrative voice. However,
the continued success of Poison’d Love baffles me. and I must auribute its commercial success solely to those of prurient interest among the public who care to know family
details unsuitable for discussion in this newspaper.” [Algernon Chambers, The Times.] Original run: 141 performances.
• Sodom – For once, the opening night audience seemed to agree with seasoned critics. “Gallons of purple eye make-up and gratuitous innuendo cannot replace dialogue, plot, or
sensible acting! Good riddance!” Leopold Twain, Daily Express.] This play ran two performances only.