To a packed house, with people standing six deep in the promenoir, Max Linder made his initial appearance at the Alhambra Music-hall last Saturday. The sketch in which he is acting is entitled "The Tango's the Cause of it All," and the author is Max Linder himself. When the indicator frames showed number eight, a great wave of conversation swept the hall. The orchestra played the "curtain," then followed a period of silence while nothing happened. Again the orchestra struck up, and again nothing happened, but murmurs of impatience suddenly broke out among the spectators. Once more the orchestra repeated the air. The cries of disapproval became louder. There was a momentary hush as an individual in evening dress appeared before the curtain. "Ladies and Gentlemen," he said, "I very much regret to say that Monsieur Linder has not yet arrived." This announcement had the immediate effect of raising a perfect pandemonium, whistling and shouting coming from all parts of the building. At last making himself heard, the speaker continued "Monsieur Linder," he said, "went out to try an automobile this morning." - "It's a lie," shouted somebody, "and we have no means of finding out where he is." "Give us our money back," was the general cry. The speaker explained that the last suggestion would be carried out and so saying, rapidly vanished behind the curtains. And not till the lights went out and a screen was lowered did the majority of the audience seem to realise that the foregoing was but part of the show, and that they had been very neatly fooled.
The moving pictures depict Max's difficulties with a motor, and finally he clambers into a balloon. A very clever incident in the film shows the balloon over the Place de la Republique, where the Alhambra is located. Max, the one and only, in the flesh, all tattered and torn, clambering down the balloon's trailing rope on to the stage, makes a telling dénouement to the cinematograph portion of the sketch. The little play which follows, is packed with sensational surprises, and concluded with one of the smartest illusion effects I think I have ever seen. Max Linder had a terrific reception and took many calls. He is supported by a clever company, including a charming English actress, Miss Hilda May.
The Alhambra is owned by the Variety Theatres Controlling Company, Limited, so that it is probable that the famous picture player will visit English shores in the near future. Certainly, Mr. Neighbour will have no trouble with the box office as long asd Max is top of the bill. [Parisian Notes. By John Cher.] (The Bioscope, Sep. 4th 1913)