Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

A play illustrating the patriotism of the Indian princes, well written and dramatic. The British resident at ‘malpur’ comes to the ‘Nawab Shah Ali Khan’ with a complaint that the Nawab’s army has been increased and batteries furnished beyond the treaty stipulations; also that the Nawab has been paying too great attention to the German, ‘Baron von Hohenstein’. The Nawab putts the resident off, promising an answer later, and then converses with Hoenstein, who is under the impression that he has persuaded the Nawab to head a rising against the British Raj when war is declared. The news of war comes and he calls upon the Nawab to act at once. But the latter temporizes with him too and says he must wait for a telegram from Calcutta. It comes and is an acceptance of the Nawab’s offer to place his forces at the disposal of the king emperor and an imitation that they are to go to France. Consternation of Hohestein, who becomes abusive and threatens the Nawab’s life. The Nawab has them taken out and shot, as a man who had attempted to make him turn traitor to the king. He had temporised with him all the time to deceive Germany and incidentally to get guns from Rupp. There is a woman in the piece, the supposed wife of Hohenstein - apparently his mistress in reality - who attracts the Nawab and is of course left in his power. It is not suggested that this attraction had anything to do with the Nawab's action: still, I think it a pity she should have been introduced. This play may need consideration from the Indian office point of view, but I cannot see any reason for interfering with its production: on the contrary, it should please all patriotic Indians as well as English. The Nawab is throughout a gentleman, dignified and courteous, and his sentiments are honourable and patriotic. The introduction of the women may have the effect of blurring his patriotism a little, and perhaps that could be pointed out to the author, but I do not think she ought to be cut out by authority. ‘Malpur’ suggests Manipur, but I do not think any particular state is meant. Recommended for license, G. S. Street

Licensed On: 14 Jun 1916

License Number: 296

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British Library Reference: LCP1916/14

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66135 J

Performances

DateTheatreType
3 Jul 1916 Coliseum, LondonProfessional Licensed Performance
Read Narrative
The programme for the production noted the author's indebtedness to Colonel Fletch for his 'kind assistance on matters pertaining to the East'. Scenes were designed by Fagan.