The Conscienceless Objector
Examiner of Plays' Summary:
This is supposed to be a scene at a tribunal for military exemptions. Proceedings before these bodies being at present of daily interest they can hardly be excluded from the purview of the stage. But while the insincere ‘conscientious objector’ is fair game it is not desirable that too much fun should be made of the tribunals themselves. I have therefore marked a passage or two as dubious - but only dubious. The first applicant, who seems to have been a hearty fellow, is going as the curtain rises. The next wants to be put back to learn ‘Die Wacht am Rhine’ because his voice will kill the Huns and his request is granted (p.3). That, I think, is passable fooling. The next wants to look after his children; they turn out to be six pretty girls, and the chairman says that if the country doesn’t look after them ‘the committee will’. That seems to be dubious: on the whole I think it is not worth cutting, but the piece would be better without the incident, which may be thought derogatory to the tribunals, p.4. The last applicant furnishes the main interest. He gives the usual reasons about not using physical violence in any circumstances, but when he is going, exempted, the sergeant, unable to restrain his disgust, smacks his face: whereupon the objector, a mean-looking little man, makes hay of the sergeant and the committee when they try to interfere and is with difficulty secured. Of course his application is then refused. I see no harm in this incident; it is simply rough fooling; but I have mentioned it fully in case a different view is taken. Recommended for licence. G. S. Street
This sketch was added to the revue 'Joyland' in March 1916. At the Hippodrome in London it was first performed on 23/3/1916 and at the Olympia Theatre in Liverpool (the touring production) on 20/3/1916. For performances which included this sketch, see the entry for 'Joyland'.
Licensed On: 14 Mar 1916
License Number: 124
British Library Reference: LCP1916/5
British Library Classmark: Add MS 66126 X