Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

A piece of harmless fooling culminating in a scene of everybody tumbling into water: the whole is evidently designed for this effect and the dialogue and story to do not count for much. A village landlord and landlady celebrate their silver wedding and the engagement of their daughter to a gallant sergeant (home from the war wounded and going back) by a banquet to everybody. Other characters are a 'nut', a hearty squire, old village couple and so forth. After the banquet we are showing, in scene 3, the rain pouring in a country road, and then, in scene 4, the front of the inn with a great hole full of water and everybody tumbling in. Finally the walls give way and the landlord and landlady are seen in bed and the bed slides into the water. This (p.33) of course might be objectionable but the tone of the whole thing is so harmless that I am sure it will not be. I have marked pp 12 & 13 where two soldiers try to get a drink from the landlord by a heroic story, because one is on the lookout for anything tending to ridicule of the King's uniform, but I do not think the passage could have the slightest ill effect. Recommended for license. G. S. Street.

Licensed On: 5 Nov 1914

License Number: 3004

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British Library Reference: LCP1914/32

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66080 K

Performances

DateTheatreType
9 Nov 1914 Hengler's Circus, GlasgowUnknown Licensed Performance
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This was the date that the performance was licensed for but the production appears to have premiered later.
28 Nov 1914 Hengler's Circus, GlasgowProfessional
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Performed every Wednesday and Saturday until May 1915. The cast included: Hannerford Family, Miss Silvani, John Yelding, Mdlle. Rancy with her sagacious dogs, Captain Pinder with his ponies and elephant, The Jees, The Poppescus, Doodles and Pimple, and Les Alosianis. ''Very Soft' is one of the most ingenious and amusing spectacles that Mr. Albert Hengler has produced. The setting of the little comedy is delightful, especially the village scene, which very realistically suggests rural charm and simplicity. The martial note is vigorously sounded, and the story reaches a sensational climax with a cloudburst, water gushes in roaring cataract reducing to ruins the fair village, and there are exciting scenes in the arena, where men, women and horses struggle in the water. The spectacle alone would give distinction to the current program at Hengler’s, but in addition a variety entertainment for first-rate quality is provided. It is exceptionally strong in equestrianism, one of the remarkable acts being performed by the Hannerford Family, which is as clever and daring a performance as has been witnessed in a circus arena. In the same line Miss Silvani and Mr. John Yelding are conspicuous. Wonderful displays of animal training are given by Mdlle. Rancy, with her sagacious dogs, and by Captain Pinder with his ponies and elephant; while there are admirable acrobatic performances the the Jees and The Poppescus. A circus show would be incomplete without clowning, and of that there is a sufficiency. The jesters are the old favourites, Doodles and Pimple. They are seldom absent from the area, and their antics and funny sayings set the house in a roar. The amusing pair appear also in interlude 'The Animated Statue,' which may be described as one long laugh. Further variety is given to the programme by the musical experts, Les Alosianis.' (The World's Fair, 12 December 1914)