Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

This is an extremely disagreeable little play, ending in a horrible little "thrill'. The time is supposed to be after the War. A woman is a member of "The Avengers", a society formed for killing Germans known to have committed outrages but who had escaped justice. Exactly five years ago she was the victim of an outrage at Louvain, at the hands of a German officer. He is now disguised under an English name and comes to make love to her - she posing as a Countess and unrecognised by him. She denounces him and then reveals herself as the snake charmer whom he had forcibly made his mistress. She also reveals a snake and tells him that a King Cobra is waiting for him in another room. The only alternative from a loathsome death from one or other is for him to shoot himself. He does so and "Zerlina falls on table and the snake rears its head over her body". This last seems to me a horrid sort of effect and I think it unwholesome. Precedents, however, are against spinning a play for mere horror, and the play without the snake would be nothing. It occurs to me that as it is for an "Electric Theatre" it may be intended to use it as a film, in which case it is sure to be denounced as the sort of thing that demoralises children, and it ought to be understood that the Lord Chamberlain's licence has nothing to do with film production. It is reluctantly Recommended for Licence. G. S. Street.

Researcher's Summary:

To date, researchers on the project have not been able to find any evidence of a performance of this play.

Licensed On: 30 Jan 1917

License Number: 767

British Library Reference: LCP1917/3

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66158 D


3 Feb 1917 Martin's Electric Theatre, BarkingUnknown Licensed Performance