Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

This play deserves some consideration as being the first to have had dealing with German outrages on women and children. A French lieutenant, cut off with ten men, comes to the village where his young wife, soon to be a mother, is living with her mother and young brother. The wife tries to persuade him to remain with them but he of course is determined to re-join his regiment. While they are talking there is the noise of firing and the lieutenant, after firing at the Germans from the door goes out of the room. A German officer and two men enter. It seems that shots had been fired by the young brother on them and they have shot women and children in reprisal. The officer, after insulting the cure and Christianity, orders that the young woman should be locked in her room, where he would 'attend to her later' 'Tomorrow you may die if I choose' (page 8). The French lieutenant rushes on and is arrested. Then the boy who had fired is brought on and after defying the Germans is ordered to shoot the French lieutenant, the cure, and his mother (page 11) on pain of being shot himself. He levels his gun at his mother but on the word 'fire' shoots the German officer dead. He is bayoneted by the German soldiers. Then the French arrive and the German soldiers run off. It is to be observed that only the intentions of the German officer towards the young woman are indicated and that nothing indecent happens or indeed is spoken. I think that since atrocities of that kind and others as bad as telling the boy to shoot the other people have been persistently reported in the papers and the public is familiar with them there is no harm at present - in their being suggested on the stage. Even if the latter atrocity is an exaggeration I think we need hardly consider the feelings of German officers whom it seems almost impossible to libel. Recommended for license. G. S. Street.

Licensed On: 2 Oct 1914

License Number: 2968

British Library Reference: LCP1914/30

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66078 R

Performances

DateTheatreType
12 Oct 1914 Brixton Theatre, BrixtonUnknown Licensed Performance
9 Nov 1914 Brixton Theatre, BrixtonProfessional
Read Narrative
'This little in military life almost be used as a play in cause of recruiting [...] Unfortunately the author's name does not appear in the programme and no-one answered to the well-deserved call of author on Monday night. 'One Way of War' would make capital variety fare just now' (Stage, 12 November 1914)