Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

This play is practically another version of 'The House of Fear' by the same author, of which two versions were read and the latter of them passed last May. The alterations, however, make it an ordinary melodrama of the 'white slave' order. The villain, Stark Barrasford, is no longer a mysterious magnate but a common procurer. He tries to lure the heroine, Lil, to his house with the object of first seducing and then taking her abroad as his supposed wife to sell her. After some vain attempts on his part, she consents to go to his house to see the villainess, Brenda. She is given a poisoned chocolate but recovers consciousness before anything happens, though she is made to believe she has been 'ruined'. She goes home; the villain offers to marry her; she refuses and is turned out by her father. Her true lover Tom comes home and seeks Barrasford, but the latter is killed by his valet, who has heard that he was the real betrayer of his, the valet's, own sister. Years pass, Lil turns up again as a successful novelist, succours her impoverished parents, forgives the villainess and marries Tom. The scene of attempted seduction, p.p.28 and 29 is unpleasant, but not more so than others of the kind. There is a scene, p.27 of the girl taking off her dress to try a new one, but that the author assures us is quite decorous and need not be otherwise. Highly coloured plays about the 'white slave trade' are exceedingly unpleasant, but many have been allowed and this is no worse than others It can at least be said in the author's favour that he does not make vice pleasant. I have marked, on p.p. 4, 24, 48 and 49 passages emphasizing the sordidness of the business, but I do not think there would be any point in cutting them out. Recommended for Licence, G. S. Street. [The following is a separate sheet] Aug 9th 1916. A modified version of the attempted seduction scene has been sent in. There are now only a few sentences between the girl's eating a drugged sweet, coming to and leaving the house, and the scene is no more unpleasant than innumerable others of the sort in licensed plays. I do not think any further modification need be required. G. S. Street

Licensed On: 1 Aug 1916

License Number: 379



British Library Reference: LCP1916/18

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66139 C


N/A Theatre Royal, AstonUnknown Licensed Performance