April 1900: ‘Diplomacy’ – Dramatic Entertainment by “The Players” in the Athenaeum Theatre, in Aid of the Glasgow Samaritan Hospital for Women

An article on page six of The Glasgow Herald, on Wednesday the 4th of April, 1900, reads:


“DRAMATIC ENTERTAINMENT BY ‘THE PLAYERS.’—Hitherto that excellent amateur

combination ‘The Players’ have been content to perform somewhat light dramas, of which they

have shown themselves excellent exponents. This year, however, they have chosen for

their eighth annual entertainment in the Athenaeum Theatre ‘Diplomacy,’ a piece with which

the names of many leading actors are associated. That ‘The Players’ possess ability, besides a

keen ambition, was evident from their performance last night. In the piece there are all the

essential elements of tragedy, together with a plot so intricate and worked out in such masterly

fashion, yet withal so dependent on look and gesture as to render a touch of amateurishness

disastrous. The scene in which Countess Zicka (Miss Katherine Aitken), a political spy deeply

in love with Julian Beauclerc, hearing of his marriage to her friend and prompted by her leader,

Count Orloff (Mr James Todd), steals the despatch and encloses it in a courteous but unimportant

letter written by Dora to the Baron, was acted with a finesse rarely seen in a company of amateurs.

Later, when Henry Beauclerc, the most seasoned diplomat of the party, finally traps the adventuress

and by a stroke of genius forces her to confess her guilt, Miss Aitken showed an artistic appreciation

of her part. Nor was Miss Davidson, as Dora, less admirable. Her acting was sympathetic and her

demeanour girlish, though never obtrusively so. In the act in which her husband declares his belief

in her guilt she rose to a height which showed her capable of strong tragic emotion. Mr Jowitt’s acting

was also good, and he proved himself capable of fulfilling the duties of practised diplomat. Mr Bray’s

Julian was at first inclined to be a trifle exaggerated, but in the dialogue with his wife he acted strongly.

The other parts were well sustained, Miss Strauss making a graceful Marquise. Algie was elegantly

impersonated by Mr Charles H. Little. The piece, which is in aid of the Glasgow Samaritan Hospital

for Women, will be repeated to-night and to-morrow.”



Please see Wikipedia for more information about Diplomacy which is an 1878 English translation and

adaptation of the 1877 French play, Dora, by Victorien Sardou (1831-1908) .



An advertisement for the three performances can be found on page six of the Herald, on Monday the 2nd

of April.



Please see the other entries on this site for “The Players” and Diplomacy.



George Fairfull-Smith, June 2021.