Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

This is a light and more or less sparkling comedy of a very topical kind. A point for consideration is if some of it be not a little too topical. The plot is simple. Culver, the accounts controller, denounces the degradation of titles in the new list of honours. He himself is offered a baronetcy and wishes to refuse it. His wife wishes him to accept it and the play is mainly the contest between their wills, very skilfully presented. At the end of act II Mrs Culver having intimated that his refusal will end conjugal relations between them - this is quite delicately managed - Culver consents. Now their daughter Hildegarde has been writing 'advanced' articles attacking the Government in 'The Echo' under the name of Sampson Straight. In act III she and her brother, a school-boy, who hate the baronetcy idea, put pressure on Mrs Culver and when the boy says that if the baronetcy is persisted in he will go into the Flying Corps instead of the safer Siege Artillery she gives way. (This is certainly an unsympathetic touch). Then an adventurer whose real name is Sampson Straight turns up and claims the articles. He is discomfited by the appearance of Tranto, the editor of 'The Echo' but when Tranto announces that the Government, if Culver refuses, proposes to offer the baronetcy to 'Sampson Straight', Culver consents and Mrs Culver wins. Attacks on the alleged sale and degradation otherwise of honours are frequent in the newspapers and in ordinary talk and satire on that subject cannot of course be kept from the stage - even if that were desirable. General talk of that sort may pass. But I have marked passages where it is rather extreme. Act I, p.25 about the swindling contractor. That can hardly be interfered with. Act I, p.26. The ideas of (1) the man bribed for withholding a damaging book, and (2) the innuendo that a man with some damaging knowledge about the head of the government is bribed, go rather far, especially the latter. Personally I should not interfere, as it is tolerably vague and the whole piece is designedly very light and more or less absurd, but the point may be considered. The Harmsworth family and its titles is glanced at in act I, p.6 but I think that fair satire. Recommended for License, G. S. Street.

Licensed On: 17 Jun 1918

License Number: 1626

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British Library Reference: LCP1918/11

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66193 G

Performances

DateTheatreType
22 Jun 1918 Royalty, LondonUnknown Licensed Performance