Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

Mr Black is described as the ‘national dramatist of South Africa’ and the real interest of his play concerns the efforts of Germany to impede English activity in that continent. The story is as follows: - Sir John Dalton is a minister ‘sometime after the death of Cecil Rhodes’, to whom the play is dedicated by the way; Lady Dalton’s son ny a former marriage Robert North, is the ‘brute’, a rough downright fellow contested with the pretentiously cultivated Daltons. A girl commits suicide; she was the mistress of Roderick, Sir John’s son, and a man arrives to see Roderick. He turns out to be in the pay of the German government, and seeks to make Roderick connive at the German’s acquiring a particular strip of territory in South Africa on theatre of causing a scandal about the deceased girl. Robert intervenes, discomfits the German, takes the affair on his sown shoulders and goes out to South Africa. In act ii he is on the strip of land in question, which had actually been got for the empire by his father at the price of his life. The government at home is going to give way, and Robert precipitates matters by causing a scuffle with Germans who appear on the scene. Then he goes back to England determined to make the government stick to the land, the value of which apart to be that it is on the route of the projected cape to Cairo railway. Sir John is furious, wants Robert prosecuted and the land given to the Germans. But the facts about his son Roderick and the girl and the German emissary, come out; Sir John is broken and resigns, and we are stop suppose that Robert has his way. Also in a love affair which complicates matters. The political part of the play is forcibly done and the second CT, with its vivid local colour, is a fine one. The author very clearly intends to pillory the weakness of politicians like sir john in regard to imperial questions and Germany. But that is a fair matter of opinion, and, the war, by banishing the German power from South Africa, has made all those particular questions ancient history. We have the author’s assurance that the incidents and characters are imaginary. Recommended for license. G. S. Street

Licensed On: 9 May 1916

License Number: 222




British Library Reference: LCP1916/10

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66131 P


N/A Comedy Theatre, LondonUnknown Licensed Performance