April 1900: Indian Famine Relief Fund – “The Players”, in ‘Diplomacy’, at the Royalty Theatre

An article on page six of The Glasgow Herald, on Monday the 30th of April, 1900, reads:



matinee was given at the Royalty Theatre on Saturday in aid of the Indian Famine Relief

Fund. The performers were ‘The Players,’ a local dramatic combination of more than

ordinary ability, and the play was ‘Diplomacy.’ The object of the enterprise, the succour

of our famine-stricken brethren in India, elicited the practical sympathy of all classes

sufficiently to crowd the house in every part. The Lord Provost gave his patronage and his

presence, and the occasion was further honoured by the kindly interest of the magistrates,

Lord Blythswood, Sir James King, Bart.; Sir James Bell, Bart.; Sir David Richmond, and other

prominent citizens, many of whom were included in the audience. An artistic touch of Oriental

realism was imparted to the scene inside the theatre by the presence of a contingent of Lascars in

native dress, who lined the vestibule and the principal staircase, and of a large number of

young ladies in Eastern costume, who disposed of programmes at a profitable price, and later

in the afternoon ‘passed the tambourine’ for the  collection which followed the reading by

Miss Beatrice Lamb of an appropriate poem on the subject of ‘The Poor Man of Ind.’ [sic] Of

the performance it is unnecessary to speak in detail. Had it been in the hands of even a

mediocre company the cause which it sought to serve would have been its ample justification.

But ‘The Players’ stand in need of no such defence. While they devote themselves largely to

the sacred cause of charity, they are also in the happy position of being able to challenge

criticism of their claim to artistic distinction. Messrs Scott and Stephenson’s version of M.

Sardou’s ‘Dora’ is not the kind of work that may be lightly undertaken by amateurs whose

ambition is more obvious than their art. If the theme be a trifle conventional, not to say crude

in some points, strength and contrast of character are conspicuous in every scene, and for their

adequate interpretation and presentation the dramatic temperament and stage experience are

prime essentials. These ‘The Players’ possess in an eminent degree, and the performance on

Saturday not only delighted the vast audience, but greatly enhanced the reputation of the club.

The ladies and gentleman who filled the cast were:—Misses Lizzie Rowan, May Strauss, Katharine

Aitken, Margaret Davidson, and Daisy Macindoe; Messrs James Todd, Victor L. Alexander,

Laurence Jowitt, Neville Bray, Charles H. Little, J. Gordon Guthrie, Colin Macfarlane, Neil B.

Mackenzie, and Harry Tahl. The promoters of the matinee were generously assisted in their effort

by Messrs Howard and Wyndham, the proprietors of the theatre, and by other friends, to whom

they make grateful acknowledgments.”





Please see Wikipedia, for information about the Indian Famine of 1899-1900, and also for Diplomacy which

is an 1878 English translation and adaptation of the 1877 French play, Dora, by Victorien Sardou (1831-1908).



There is an advertisement for the matinee performance, on page six of the Herald, on Wednesday the 25th of April.



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



George Fairfull-Smith, May 2022.