Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

A touching and well-written little play. Mrs Proudfoot, a private’s mother, calls on Lady Riddington, a lieutenant’s mother, to give her a pocket-book the lieutenant had given the private; he thought he was done for but was not and had written to his mother from hospital. But Mrs Proudfoot, asked for her son’s name and number that he may confirm how the lieutenant had saved his life goes into a series of prevarications and makes off with the pocket-book, in which her son’s name has been written. She comes back, however, and explains. Her boy had gone into the firing line against orders and she was afraid he would be punished. But Lady Riddington is able to assure her that he had done a fine thing in mending a telephone under fire and would be rewarded, and the two women are happy together in their sons’ bravery. Recommended for license. G. S. Street

Licensed On: 25 Jun 1917

License Number: 1025

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British Library Reference: LCP1917/13

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66168 V

Performances

DateTheatreType
26 Jun 1917 Globe Theatre, LondonUnknown Licensed Performance
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This performance was a charity matinee under the stage direction of Mr. Barnard Moore. It raised £56 in aid of the Home Camps Concert Fund (Little Theatre Section). During the varied programme. Miss Clare Greet and Miss Frances Weatherall performed in the play.
4 Dec 1917 Apollo, LondonUnknown
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Performed as part of a Belgian Red Cross Matinee on behalf of the Belgian Red Cross (Ealing Depot). The sketch was performed by Miss Ruth Mackay and Miss Clare Greet cast, respectively, for the rôles of Lady Riddington (a Lieutenant’s mother) and Mrs. Proudfoot (a Tommy’s mother). The Era reviewed the performance: ‘This duologue is so good and so well adapted to the times that it deserves to have a prominent place in a regular bill. It is just a conversation between two proud and fond mothers, one belonging to the “classes”, the other to the “masses”, the uneducated woman trying to shield her boy from consequences of disobedience, her companion patiently endeavouring to prove that the success that crowned his bravery wiped away the fault. It is delightfully written and was beautifully acted by the two talented actresses' (12 December 1917).
21 Nov 1918 Victoria Palace, LondonProfessional
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Performed between 21 and 26 January 1918 at the Victoria Palace. The Era, on 23 January 1918 wrote: 'It is a good idea to bring into juxtaposition these two mothers, the one a poor working woman and the other a lady of title. The connecting link is a notebook belonging to the latter’s son, and sent home by him from the Front under the care of the poor woman’s son, who has been on leave. The rich young man had saved the other’s life, and had also written to his mother about a brave action by some unknown soldier that had saved the situation that day. It was performed by the poor man, who had temporarily “deserted” from the rear in order to be in the thick of the fighting. The reason for the mother’s secretiveness about her son’s name and number is the expected punishment for him, instead of the reward which is evidently to be his due. Miss Clare Greet is at her best in one of her familiar charlady parts, and Miss Elizabeth Chesney played the other character with a quiet dignity, although her voice has not yet accustomed itself to the needs of a large music hall’. The Stage wrote on 24 January 1918: ‘It is to be feared that there is little chance of anything like sustained popularity in the music-halls for Evelyn Glover’s comedy playlet, 'Their Mothers', which was played for the first time in variety on Monday evening by the clever actress, Clare Greet, and her accomplished partner, Elizabeth Chesney. The piece itself is well written enough, but is rather too conversational and intimate for its new surroundings. It was originally seen at the Apollo, and concerns an interview in wartime between two mothers whose sons are at the front’.