Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

A dramatic and impressive little sketch. It is that of the mental struggle of a war-worn soldier, suffering from shell-shock in the trenches, against the temptation to inflict upon himself what he calls the "blighty touch", a wound sufficient to send him home out of the horrors. Just as he is about to commit this act of cowardice there appears to him in the dark desolation of his trench-surroundings a mysterious veiled woman, who moralizes the situation for him and with him, speaking to him first as a chance spectator of his shameful despair, and then revealing herself as the Spirit of the Woman of England, bringing to him the memory of his sweetheart who is worshipping him at home as a hero, and of all the sweethearts who through the centuries have inspired their heroic British lovers in their deeds of daring-do. Her successful little sermon is eloquently preached; and there is eloquence of another kind in the realistic "what the 'ell" and "blimey" arguments of the Tommy, whom she finally sends forward, after his dream, to his duty of giving it the "'Uns in the neck" once more [...]

Licensed On: 19 Dec 1916

License Number: 695

British Library Reference: LCP1916/33

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66154 L

Performances

DateTheatreType
9 Jan 1917 Alhambra, LondonProfessional Licensed Performance
Read Narrative
This performance was part of a matinee performed in aid of the Lord Kitchener Memorial Fund for Disabled Officers and Men of the Navy and Army. The play starred Lilian Braithwaite. Other acts in the same bill were: a scene from 'Diplomacy' (Gladys Cooper (actress), Owen Nares (actor)), 'Isadore - You Tell Her' (sketch - Augustus Yorke (actor), Robert Leonard (actor)), 'Little Girlie' (George Robey (actor), Wilkie Bard (actor), Violet Loraine (actress), Vesta Tilley (actress), Leslie Henson (actress), Peggy Kurton (actress)), Julia James, Madge Saunders, the Gaiety Theatre Chorus, Austin Melford and Lily St. John "in the famous Fox-Trot from 'Mr. Manhattan'", Adriah Fair, Marie Nillson and the Gresham Singers.
24 Jun 1918 Alhambra, LondonProfessional
Read Narrative
The play was performed alongside a 'Tableaux of the Allies' as part of a matinée performance of 'tableaux illustrating the Art of the Allies' performed in aid of the Scholarship fund of the Imperial Service College, Windsor. It was described as 'Powerfully played by Mr George Tully and Miss Lilian Braithwaite, the play lays strong hold of the imagination and gives a poignant insight into the minor tragedies of war.' (Times, 25 June 1918)