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Admits Defeat— Not Despair SYDNEY, Today. 'Where are my Sydney audiences now? They used to be the most wonderful in the world,' Muriel Starr told a newspaperman, as she smoked a cigarette in the interval backstage at the Rockdale Town Hall. 'DE Luxe Annie' days in the firm's   smartest theatre are over. The   local orchestra gets lost in the mazes of 'Ol' Man River,' the house manager walks on as a detective. It would never have happened in the old days.

Muriel Starr is still young, beauti- ful, red-lipped. She has the same catch in her voice. She   can still crush a cigarette viciously against a bit of stage scenery She is gal- lant. 'What else could I do but go bank- rupt?' she said. 'My cast is fine. They've stuck by me.' Nancye Stew- art was prompting in a tarnished silver

frock. 'But we have been beaten. We're not wanted any more. 'I thought maybe the public was tired of light stuff, so I put on 'The Enemy'— a beautiful play. But they didn't want that. This war has been fought and won from the comfortable seats of a cinema theatre, and you can't blame anyone for that.' It was time to go on again. When she came off her eyes were a       little more worried.   'Well, as soon as 1 can get over the difficulties I'm going back. The public might have helped a woman on her own. They might have supported an old favo- rite. But they forget so soon. I've been dogged by bad luck for the past 18 months, and this is the finish. I can't go on any longer.'   'This is the woman who once thrilled     houses with a scream. 'You'll pay and pay, and pay again.' She still thrills them, but the metropolitan theatres are exchanged for a makeshift stage in a suburban hall. After the suburb comes the Bankruptcy Court. Muriel Starr will meet it gallantly.

[caption] Muriel Starr

Muriel Starr