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ID
b33
Title
A Comic Actor
Genre
Story
Page Count
13
Word Count
2800
Publisher
Argosy
New Statesman
Publication Year
1929
Document Types
First-Person Narratives
Topics
Marriage, Theatre

A tale of an unsuccessful farmer who, encouraged by his devoted family, fulfills a life ambition by participating in a village play. Making a fool of himself on opening night, he is unable to tell his wife and daughters the truth; "not knowing how else to cover his confusion, he began to bow, gravely and with a trace of weariness...smiling in a strained way as if indeed he had been some real jeune premier, very bored and very successful, at the height of his triumph."

Along with another story in the collection, The Barber, this is Bates's first use of the first-person narrative in fiction. In the New Statesman (June 29, 1929), Seven Tales and Alexander (1929),Thirty Tales(1934). Reprinted in Best Short Stories of 1930 (London: Cape and New York: Dodd, Mead, 1930), Best British Short Stories of 1930 (1930), and Argosy (November 1931), All-Star Cast (1947).