Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

A dramatised version of the Biblical Legend of Jephthah and his sacrifice of his daughter Miriam. We are first shown how Miriam overhears her father's vow to sacrifice to Jehovah, as a thank-offering, the first to greet him on his return after a victory over the Ammonites. Miriam, who is betrothed to Jonathan, consults the prophetess Keturah in her struggle between love and patriotic duty which bids her to be the first to welcome her father, and thus to constitute the greatest sacrifice which he could make. Keturah's advice encourages the girl in her proposed self-abnegation, which, however, she points out, may be carried out not by her death on the altar, but by her life after she has taken a vow of virginity for the office of priestess. The wise woman's counsel is taken; there is a sad farewell between Miriam and her lover, who resist the temptation to betray Jephthah to his enemy and thus ensure his non-return; there are devout preparations by Miriam and her maidens for her sacrificial vow, and finally, her taking of the vow is followed by an Epilogue, addressed to the women of England, exhorting them in the present crisis to follow Miriam's example of unselfish patriotism. In spite of an occasional incongruity due to the modernity of the dialogue, the tone of this little piece is suitably dignified, nor is there anything that could jar in its Biblical allusions and quotations. Recommended for Licence, Ernest A. Bendall.

Licensed On: 29 Aug 1916

License Number: 427



British Library Reference: LCP1916/20

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66141 H


17 Oct 1916 St Peter's Hall, PlymouthUnknown Licensed Performance