PRINT December 1982


Our aims have the simplicity of a need:

We want a place given up

to gaiety, to a gaiety stimulating

thought, rather than crushing it.

We want a gaiety that does not have

to count with midnight.

We want surroundings, which after

the reality of daily life,

reveal the reality of the unreal.1

WITH THIS STIRRING AND DEFIANT declaration, described by its author as “our beautiful appel aux armes,”2 the Cabaret Theatre Club was launched upon London in the summer of 1912. As the outspoken rhetoric of its manifestolike announcement indicated, it was an audacious enterprise. Although cabarets had already proved an uninhibited stimulus to avant-garde movements elsewhere in Europe, none of them had attempted to carry out a program of decorations as elaborate and ambitious as the wall paintings, sculptural installations, and stage scenery in this extraordinary interior. For Madame Strindberg, the club’s

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