|Reichstag Fire, 27 February 1933 (Photo German Federal Archives)|
Ricketts's didn't live to see the outcome of the political unrest in Europe in the twenties and thirties; he died in 1931. He would have been surprised to see art mixed with politics, archaeology, science, and industry on one and the same newspaper page.
|'The Masterpiece of Last Week' (March 1933)|
The drawing had been exhibited earlier at the same venue in The Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts 1925. The show ran from 4 May to 8 August 1925. In the South Rooms where the watercolours, miniatures, drawings, and engravings were hung, a drawing by Ricketts was on view. This was number 642 (according to the catalogue): 'Theatre Costume ("Sakuntala")'.
The drawing was acquired by the V&A in in 1926. See the museum's website for a description of this sketch.
|Charles Ricketts, sketch for 'Sakuntala' (1922) [V&A]|
Eventually, the scenery for the two performances at the Winter Garden Theatre in London in November 1919 was assigned to the artist Bruce Winston - later Ricketts would write a dedication for him in a copy of Beyond the Threshold. Actress Sybil Thorndike served as the play's main attraction. There was a mixed audience of Indian and British guests, among whom were the Aga Khan and Maharaja of Baroda.
Other stagings by the Repertory Company followed; a performance in the Festival in Cambridge took place in October 1939. By June 1950, the play had been taken on by the Falcon Players at Bayshill Hall in Cheltenham. Local productions, all of them.
Ricketts's costume design must have been inspired by his attending a performance, but it was never produced.
Two designs have been preserved, according to Eric Binnie's list in The Theatrical Designs of Charles Ricketts (1985), one for 'Buffoon' (now at V&A), and one for 'Prince' (at the Ashmolean). However, the V&A describes their design as being for the 'Prince'.