Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

A rather dull 'incident in the great war'. Patrick 'an Irish citizen, who has been five years in Flanders' has fallen in love with Hélène, who does not want him to enlist, whereas her mother despises him for not doing so, and he is only too anxious to do so, if only his sweetheart would let him. This being the situation, there arrives at the mother's cottage, while Patrick is hiding from her, a boy who says his name is Charles, that his father calls his mother 'his queen', and that the soldiers call his father Albert. The mother and daughter jump to the conclusion that he is the son of King Albert and the daughter goes off to the nearest Belgian commander to announce the boy's whereabouts. While she is gone Patrick, moved by the boy's eloquence about the war, comes out from his hiding place ready to serve. Hélène, returning, says the boy is the son of 'General Albert Courtois'. The good people, however, still think he is the King's son. I do not think the introduction of a mere boy who is only supposed to be a prince can conflict with the rule about royalties - it would be a rather ridiculous application of it. Recommended for license. G. S. Street

Researcher's Summary:

The play was performed in Perth, first on two evenings in April 1915, before it was licensed, and second at a single matinee in March 1916, on both occasions for charity. Other news items in the Perthshire Advertiser show that the actors were local amateur performers.

Licensed On: 18 Feb 1916

License Number: 67

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British Library Reference: LCP1916/3

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66124 O

Performances

DateTheatreType
29 Apr 1915 [No Theatre Listed], Amateur
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A review of an entertainment at the Unionist Club on the evenings of Thursday and Friday, 29 and 30 April 1915, on behalf of the Blue Cross Society ‘in the interests of sick and wounded horses at the front’. ‘Quite a memorable feature of the entertainment was the presentation of what was modestly called “a trifling dramatic incident,” but what really deserved a worthier name! This “incident” bears the title of “A Little Prince,” and the name of the author is given as Felix Cross. Whoever he is, he has written a charming little play, with plenty of incident, and an appropriate seasoning of pathos and humour. The salient feature of the fine performance was the sterling work accomplished by Miss Vida Hall in the title-role. This clever child gave a “manly” and buoyant impersonation of the hero of the piece - a picture full of innocence and beauty; there was no suggestion of parrot-like repetition, but a real and intelligent understanding and expression of the lines allotted to the brave and lovable “Little Prince.” Little wonder, at the conclusion of the play, Mr Norie Miller, in handing a box of sweets to the talented child, could not resist the impulse to embrace her! The other characters were in capable hands. Miss Hilda Folkarde, as Madame Aubert, was a typical French peasant woman, long resident in Flanders, whose dread of the vampire Uhlans was only equalled by her temerity in face of danger; Miss Astraea Hall was a winsome Helene Aubert, daughter of Madame Aubert, and the sweetheart of the blundering Irish artisan, Patrick O'Malley - characteristically played by Fred. J. Forbes - who had been three years in Flanders. Goodness only knows how, in these years, he had been able to win the affections of such a dainty charming maid as Helene; but he did it, and, stranger to relate, a happy wedding consummated the clandestine courtship of the dissimilar lovers! We hope to witness further performances of “A Little Prince.”’. Perthshire Constitutional and Journal, Monday 3 May 1915.
1 Mar 1916 Perth Theatre, PerthUnknown Licensed Performance
1 Mar 1916 Perth Theatre, PerthAmateur
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‘A matinee performance will be held in the Perth Theatre on Wednesday afternoon [1 March 1916] in aid of the funds of the Perthshire Branch of the Scottish Veterans’ Garden City Association. The function promises to provide a grand treat. Mr Stephen Richardson, the well-known organist and music teacher, kindly consented to arrange the programme, which is of a specially attractive character, in which the musical and dramatic numbers will be pleasantly blended. The performers include the augmented orchestra of Her Majesty’s Theatre, Dundee, as well as distinguished vocalists, while a thrilling play, “The Little Prince,” will be given by well-known artistes’. Perthshire Advertiser, 26 February 1916. ‘The programme concluded with a thrilling playlet, “A Little Prince,” by Felix Cross, which was sustained by Miss Audrey Mayhew, as “Madame Aubert,” a French peasant woman; Miss Astraea Hall, as Helen Aubert, her pretty daughter; Mr Fred Forbes, as Patrick O’Malley, an Irish artisan; and Miss Vida Hall, who assumed the title role’. Perthshire Advertiser, 4 March 1916.