Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

This is a 'propaganda' play, differing chiefly from the much discussed 'Damaged Goods' in that it deals - but not in the manner of a genius like Brieux - with the horrid subject of gonorrhea as a change from syphilis. It begins before the diseased hero's marriage to the heroine, who’s Aunt, a famous Harley Street specialist in ophthalmic sounds a warning note on hearing that he suddenly gave up football - at which he was a champion player - on medical advice. Her fears, which seem somewhat easily roused are justified when the young husband's first child is born blind, as a consequence of the complaint from which he himself has suffered, and of which he has been imperfectly cured. As a side-issue is brought in the fact - if it be a fact that if the lady doctor's advice had been followed, and nitrate of silver had been dropped into the new-born baby's eyes the sight would have been saved - a cure prevented by the narrow minded grandmother who is so shocked by the mere mention of venereal disease that she throws the bottle of nitrate in the fire. The end of the depressing drama is that the young mother goes mad. How far the medical detail is correct I do not know: but the didactic motive is sound and the treatment is as little offensive as may be. On the precedent therefore of 'Damaged Goods' the unpleasant but well-meaning play must be recommended for licence. Ernest A. Bendall.

Licensed On: 14 Mar 1918

License Number: 1464

British Library Reference: LCP1918/5

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66187 BB


26 Mar 1918 Theatre Royal, StratfordUnknown Licensed Performance
27 Mar 1918 Theatre Royal, LondonUnknown
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A Chronology of Productions for the Theatre Royal, Stratford lists the play as having been performed on 27 and 28th March 1918 on
9 May 1918 Hippodrome, ChesterfieldUnknown
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The Derbyshire Courier of Saturday May 4th 1918 advertises two performances of the play on the following Wednesday and Thursday (British Newspaper Archive) 'The Most Talked Of Play of the Present Day'
28 Apr 1919 Hippodrome, TodmordenProfessional
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A cast list is included with the advertisement for Tainted Goods in the 'Todmorden Advertiser and Hebden Bridge Newsletter' of Friday 25 April 1919 (British Newspaper Archive) "Sydney Vereker presents Miss L Bateman's London Co. in the Greatest and Most Talked-of Play of the Present day... This play specially appeals to those about to marry. An evening's entertainment that will bear the morning's reflection...A play that women should see for their preservation and men for their protection"