Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

This is one of the many plays of its offensive if well-meaning kind, for which a license is now sought as a matter of course on the strength of the successful appeal on behalf of ‘damaged goods’ by distinguished clerical and medical authorities, whose views the Lord Chamberlain could not well ignore. It’s subject, which alone would formerly have barred it from our stage, is the havoc, physical as well as moral, wrought by what its author calls ‘syphilis’. The symptoms of this disease, notwithstanding its orthography, are recognised by a doctor called in to the schoolboy son of Sir Hector Mallory, an MP whom the medical man has been vainly attempting to persuade to introduce a more vigorous crusade against ‘syphilis’ and against the conspiracy of silence concerning its causes and effects. The crude argument ad hominem is pointed by the strange discovery that Lady Mallory the little boy’s mother is responsible for the disease which is killing him, and which she contracted years before his birth from her intimacy with a certain dissolute Lord Rossmore, her lover before she met her husband. The end of her harrowing confession is that she poisons her doomed child and then, when her husband chivalrously offers to take her crime upon his own shoulders, proceeds to poison herself. To my taste 'the tainted woman’, though treated inoffensively as its subject will allow, is too disagreeable - to put it mildly - for presentation to a theatrical audience. as propaganda however it may - though I doubt it - do good by warning playgoers not to run the risk of catching ‘syphilis’ so it must be recommended for license. Ernest A. Bendall.

Licensed On: 22 Aug 1917

License Number: 1115

British Library Reference: LCP1917/17

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66172 O


27 Aug 1917 Cinema, EveshamUnknown Licensed Performance