November 1930: New Scottish Play – First Performance in Glasgow of James Bridie’s “What it is to be Young”, by the Albany Players and The Quest, in the Athenaeum Theatre

An article on page fifteen of The Glasgow Herald, on Wednesday the 12th of November, 1930, reads:






Two heads are said to better than one, and certainly the combined performance of James Bridie’s

new comedy, ‘What it is to be Young,’ by the Albany Players and The Quest groups in Glasgow

seemed to prove the truth of the old adage. A most delightful presentation of this play, which is

new to the Scottish stage, began a run of five nights in the Athenaeum Theatre last night, and

attracted a large attendance. A prologue, written specially for the Scottish premiere of the play

by the author, was spoken by Mr John Pollock.


While there is nothing subtle about the play, it has an air of truth which gently fans the flames of

honest enjoyment. The sense of truth comes not from the situations which build the plot—these are

not at all convincing—but from the portrayal of normal, pleasantly irritating people with characteristics

which may be found in most of the persons whom one sits next to in the tram or bus. The scene is laid

in a lonely inn in wildest Perthshire, where the love of adventure of ‘the modern young woman’ brings

about an impasse which in its working out is highly diverting, though the denouement is weak.


The players are without exception very good, but none will take umbrage at the particular mention of

Professor Gryce (Mr Hugh McGettigan), General Dix (Mr T. J. Honeyman, the producer), Virginia Dix

(Miss Isabelle I. Weir), Miss Parker (Miss Phyllis McNeil), and Mrs Dix (Miss Margaret Shaw). There

were numerous occasions on which the players were inclined to hurry their words while the audience

was still laughing, and one or two occasions of poor grouping, but these things will improve as the week

goes on. The other characters were :—Captain Cochrane (Mr Gilbert D. Fisher), Mrs Gryce (Miss Ann

Malvenan), Joe Kelly (Mr Jas. I. Pritchard), and John Macdonald (Mr J. Donald Kelly).


The performances are in aid of the Glasgow District Nursing Association,”



An advertisement for the play is on same page as the review.



George Fairfull-Smith, June 2021.