Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

This is an amusing and well-written little comedy at the expense of the Royal Irish Constabulary. Until the concluding two pages or so it might be regarded as friendly chaff, but these pages show a decided animus and are, I hope, unfair. The scene opens with two Irishmen drinking in a country public house, talking philosophy and abusing the police. It is after ten and the landlady is beseeching them to hurry and depart when a loud knock is heard. The customers are hidden in an inner room and the head constable enters. After some talk, he consents to a drink for his health's sake. Another knock: the head constable, afraid it is the Sergeant who will report him to the Inspector, hides in the coal-hole. Enter the Sergeant he also has a drink and discovers the Head Constable. They recriminate, agree to have a friendly drink, and on another knock, hide. Enter an ordinary constable: same business of drink, discovery and a friendly glass. Then the original customers are discovered and defy the police. And here comes in the unfriendly touch: the police arrest them after a struggle and march them off despite the landlady's pleading, the H. C. protesting 'duty'. I hope this an unfair picture, but I do not think it goes far enough in a libellous direction to be forbidden. If it were produced in Ireland (with which we are not concerned) it might provoke a row in districts where the RI. I. C is unpopular. In England I do not think it is more than a slightly bitter joke. All the same, such ridicule of the police is not altogether desirable, and it is with some regret that, since freedom of criticism must not be lightly taken from the stage it is, Recommended for license, G. S. Street.

Licensed On: 17 Jun 1915

License Number: 3509

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British Library Reference: LCP1915/16

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66102 I

Performances

DateTheatreType
28 Jun 1915 Coliseum, LondonUnknown Licensed Performance
8 Apr 1918 Court Theatre, LondonProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed by Arthur Sinclair's company, The Irish Players, for one week. The bill included 'The Building Fund' by William Boyle, and 'The Coiner' by Bernard Duffy. Tickets were priced at 10/6 for stalls, Dress circle, 7/7 and 5/-, Upper Circle 5/- and 4/-, Pit, 2/6, and Gallery 1/-.