Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

This is a powerful piece of realism, as might of course be expected from Jack London. Jim Slark, a burglar of a revolting beast-like type, is waiting for the return of Dick Gascoigne, who has gone to rob a shop in Hatton Garden. Kate, Dick's girl, is with Jim, who expresses his suspicions that they mean to trick him out of his share, and also struggles with her in an effort to embrace her. Dick, a comparatively decent burglar, appears with a heap of jewels. The men quarrel, but after Kate has gone, sit down to a meal. Dick poisons Jim's coffee, but Jim has already poisoned Dick's food. After a scene which obviously will be extremely horrible, Jim dies in agony, and Dick also dies just as the police arrive Kate returns and wails over her dead mate and is allowed to go. It is a question how far the Lord Chamberlain would be well advised in forbidding a play simply on the ground of its being horrible when there is no indecency. I think in any case the presentation of extreme agony on the stage, harrowing and shocking the audience to an intolerable degree, should not be allowed and I call attention to p.14, where Jim dies. I think this should be modified and a strong caution given that it must not be too horrible. There are two minor matters calling for notice: on p.2 'that bleedin' look' is an objectionable expression, too much so perhaps, though not indecent, and on p.5 the passage of violence between Jim and Kate needs a caution. Otherwise the piece is Recommended for Licence. G. S. Street. [The following is written in ink below] 1/1/16 Undertaking received that the words on page 2 will be taken out of MS and that the violent themes will be modified. S.

Licensed On: 20 Oct 1916

License Number: 532

Genre(s):

Keyword(s):

British Library Reference: LCP1916/25

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66146 S

Performances

DateTheatreType
6 Nov 1916 Palace, HammersmithUnknown Licensed Performance