February 1910: Comedy at the Athenaeum – Miss Agnes Bartholomew Presents Miss Cicely Hamilton’s Comedy, “Diana of Dobson’s”

An article on page five of The Glasgow Herald, on Friday the 25th of February, 1910, reads:




‘Diana of Dobson’s’ was presented by Miss Agnes Bartholomew at the Athenaeum  last night,

and the performance will be repeated to-night. Miss Cicely Hamilton’s comedy makes heavy

demands on players, and the admirable rendering it received last night is all the more

creditable to Miss Bartholomew and the company who assisted her. There was little trace of

amateurishness either in the acting or the staging of the piece; indeed the performance was

worthy of more ambitious boards. The significance of the play, which enforces a social lesson,

was admirably emphasised. Miss Agnes Bartholomew bore with conspicuous success the

character of the rebellious ‘Diana.’ The other ‘wage slaves’ in ‘Dobson’s’ found admirable

exponents in Misses A. Crammond, Helen Bartholomew, Violet McRoberts, and Helen Inglis.

Mr E. C. McRoberts was good as the captain, and the splendid Mrs Cantelupe and that

admirable embodiment of the self-made man, Sir John Grinlay, were cleverly played by Miss

Jean Robertson and Mr A. Belmore Howie. ‘Diana of Dobson’s’ is preceded by ‘Op o’ Me Thumb,’

an entertaining playlet, wherein Miss Agnes Bartholomew and Mr E. C. McRoberts (as a rather

extraordinary costerswain) were also very successful. An orchestra under the direction of Mr

James Logan rendered excellent renditions.”



Diana of Dobson’s is a 1908 feminist novel and play by Cicely Hamilton (1872-1952), and is subtitled

A Romantic Comedy in Four Acts. Ostensibly a romantic comedy, it has been added to the canon of

feminist theatre because it critiques many contemporary social issues including sweated labour,

homelessness, sexual double standards and the nature of marriage.


Hamilton was an English actress, writer, journalist, suffragist and feminist, part of the struggle for

women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom. She is now best known for the feminist play How the Vote was

Won, 1909.


‘Op o’ Me Thumb is a 1904 one-act play by the English authors Frederick Fenn and Richard Pryce.

It was produced as a film named Suds, in 1920, and starred Mary Pickford.


An advertisement for the performances at the Athenaeum is on page eight of The Glasgow Herald,

on Monday the 21st of February, 1910.




George Fairfull-Smith, November 2022.