Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

An affecting little play of the War. A French soldier, wounded in a fight in a wood in which the Germans were driven off regains consciousness. He is concerned because he no longer has the colours which he remembers having rescued from the Boches when the standard-bearer fell. An English officer, also sounded, comes to him and they talk. It appears that the Frenchman is Marc Bertrand, a famous tragedian. He recites a 'Priere pour nos ennemis', which is, in effect, a fierce cry for vengeance. At length nurses and ambulances come. Bertrand remembers to his joy that he had hid the colours in a tree and recovers them. But his wound is mortal and after reciting Deroulede 'Au porte drapeau' he dies. Recommended for license G. S. Street

Licensed On: 12 Jan 1916

License Number: 7

Author(s):

Keyword(s):

British Library Reference: LCP1916/1

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66122 G

Performances

DateTheatreType
17 Jan 1916 Coliseum, LondonProfessional Licensed Performance
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Performed by Sarah Bernhardt in a performance which also featured "A Pair of Knickerbockers", "Match Boxes", Albert Chevalier, Vesta Tilley.
31 Jan 1916 Alhambra, BradfordProfessional
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Performed by Sarah Bernhardt: 'Knowledge of the French language is unnecessary; it would be almost an advantage to be ignorant of it; for no mere words, however beautiful they may be, could form a fitting framework for such a noble edifice. (Yorkshire Evening Post, 1 February 1916)
7 Feb 1916 Hippodrome, PortsmouthProfessional
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Performed by Sarah Bernhardt.
21 Feb 1916 Hippodrome, BristolProfessional
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Performed by Sarah Bernhardt.
6 Mar 1916 King's Theatre, EdinburghProfessional
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Performed by Sarah Bernhardt, M Normand, Madame Mea, Mlle Seylor, M Denebourg.
13 Mar 1916 Alhambra, GlasgowProfessional
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Performed by Sarah Bernhardt. The Daily Record noted that 'The playlet is written by a French officer and is stated to be founded on a real episode of the war' (14 March 1916).
20 Mar 1916 Hippodrome, SheffieldProfessional
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Performed by Sarah Bernhardt.
29 Mar 1916 Olympia, LiverpoolProfessional
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Performed by Sarah Bernhardt. The Liverpool Daily Post recorded that 'as the curtains fell there was silence for a long, unforgettable second, the silence in which thought is lost in the profundity of the heart's emotion then gradually, like a gathering wave, the unrestrained applause swelled and flung itself against the stage' (30 March 1916). The Liverpool Echo on the same date noted that 'There was no one untouched. The wonderful emotionalism of the actress swept away all the barriers of language. There could have been no woman far from tears; if any man remained unmoved, only dynamite could shake him'.
30 Mar 1916 Empire Theatre, NottinghamProfessional
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Performed by Sarah Bernhardt. The Nottingham Evening Post noted that Bernhardt had always been a woman of the theatre and had long refused to play 'the halls [but] the hinterland which divides theatre and hall is much narrowed in these days of constant exchange between the two branches of entertainment, and artists of the highest standing frequently fulfil variety engagements.' (30 March 1916)
1 Apr 1916 Empire Theatre, CardiffProfessional
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Of Sarah Bernhardt's performance, the Western Mail noted that 'the purity of expression all through, the subtle suggestion of restrained power, the art of polished elocution, held the audience spellbound to the last' (3 April 1916)
14 Apr 1916 Theatre Royal, LondonProfessional
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Sarah Bernhardt recited 'La Priere pour nos ennemis' from 'Du Théâtre au Champ D'Honneur' on the same bill as the premiere of J M Barrie's playlet 'Shakespeare's Legacy'.
17 Apr 1916 Grand Theatre, BirminghamProfessional
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Performed by Sarah Bernhardt and described as 'a performance of outstanding humanity' (Birmingham Daily Post, 18 April 1916)
24 Apr 1916 Town Hall, CheltenhamProfessional
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Performed by Sarah Bernhardt
26 Apr 1916 Pavilion, TorquayProfessional
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Performed by Sarah Bernhardt
27 Apr 1916 Lyceum, TauntonProfessional
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Performed by Sarah Bernhardt, M Normand, Madame Mea, Mlle Seylor, M Denebourg
29 Apr 1916 Theatre Royal, BathProfessional
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Performed by Sarah Bernhardt.