Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

As might have been expected from its authorship and pace of production this piece is less a drama than a scenario for the display of horsemanship, military combat, and desperate achievements of flight and pursuit by water and by land. The vivid action laid ‘somewhere in Russia in 1915’ shows how a Cossack officer accompanied, oddly enough, by a comic Scotchman, undertakes a dangerous mission on horseback by command of his Russian general; and how there are arrayed against him not only the forces of Germano-Turkish treachery but the elements themselves. Hand to hand combats are varied by the crossing of half-frozen rivers on blocks of ice, by the introduction of a usefully pugnacious bear among the dramatist personae, and finally by an ice-fall down a waterfall, which in dumb-show executes poetic justice upon the mounted villains of the piece. The spectacle will probably be thrilling in its way, and will certainly be void of offence. Recommended for license, Ernest A. Bendall

Licensed On: 3 Nov 1916

License Number: 555

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British Library Reference: LCP1916/27

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66148 D

Performances

DateTheatreType
N/A Hengler’s, GlasgowUnknown Licensed Performance
18 Nov 1916 Hengler's Circus, GlasgowProfessional
Read Narrative
The Cossack was billed as a 'white spectacle in six scenes' set on the Russian border in 1915 and containing 'a traitorous major and his German wife; a brave dispatch rider, who foils the plotters; [and] a peasant mother parting with her two younger sons to fight for our little father the Czar.' For comic relief 'Doodles' masquerades as a war corrispondant who travels all the way from 'Gleska' to imbed himself with the Russian army and after a series of comic adventures dies for his adopted country. The final 'sauve qui peut,' sees the horses and cast plunge into the river of ice. ('Daily Record' 20 November 1916) Other acts in the same bill included: Miss Cashmore's Great Sporting act, the Hanlon Family Gymnasts, the Motor Cycling Sealions, the Mizuno Troupe Japanses entertainers, and Hiawatha the educated Chimpanzee