Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

This is a bustling spy play, with a multitude of characters and full of incident, quite effective and exciting in its way. The scene is nearly all in Germany. The hero is Desmond Okewood, of our Secret Intelligence. He meets in Rotterdam a German-American spy who promptly dies, thus enabling Desmond to personate him and penetrate into Germany, in search of his middling brother, Francis. Now the defunct spy was carrying (having recovered it in England) a politically compromising letter of the Kaiser. Dr Grundt, known as 'clubfoot', the chief of the German spy system, is of course, after the latter, and the rest of the play is a duel for its recovery between Grundt and Desmond, who now possesses it. an exciting series of adventures follows: in the royal palace in Berlin, where Desmond interviews the Kaiser; in a room at a hotel; where he knocks Grundt senseless; in the bedroom of Monica, an old love of Desmond now married to a truculent German count, where Desmond is hidden from his pursuers and finds his long lost brother; in a low beer cellar, where he escapes again' and finally in Monica's Schloss, where Desmond and his brother outwit and shoot Grundt and escape across the Dutch frontier with Monica, whose German husband has been conveniently killed at the Front. There is nothing in the least improper in the bedroom scene. The Kaiser appears only briefly in Act II, p. 4 to 12. He has of course frequently been presented on the stage since the war and I see nothing particularly objectionable in this passage. I give the reference however. Personally I do not like the cheap effect got out of the maltreatment of English prisoners, e.g. in Act 1, when they are seen and in Act III, p.37 when a German brute exults in tortures inflicted on them and is applauded by the others. This can hardly be interfered with however but I think that a word of caution might be given in regard to this beer-house scene. (Act III, Scene II) to the effect, that the drunken orgy must be kept within bounds. Recommended for Licence. G. S. Street

Licensed On: 20 Apr 1918

License Number: 1530

British Library Reference: LCP1918/8

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66190 A


N/A Apollo, LondonUnknown Licensed Performance