“Wallace and Bruce, or The Scottish Chiefs”, at the Prince of Wales’ Theatre, November 1867
The first performance of the “National Drama” took place on Saturday the 23rd of November, 1867, and, on the 27th, The Glasgow Herald commented, on page four:
“PRINCE OF WALES’ THEATRE. – ‘Wallace and Bruce,’ a new three-act drama, founded on Miss Porter’s romance of ‘The Scottish Chiefs,’ has been performed at this Theatre since Saturday last. The first act represents the betrayal of Wallace; the second, his trial and sudden death, as set forth in the novel; and the third, the battle of Bannockburn and victory of Bruce. The first and second acts are not without a certain degree of interest; the third is more calculated to raise a smile than arrest attention. We think the number of characters might have been judiciously lessened. Two ‘comic’ people appear occasionally, and succeed towards the close, by the use of a flail and a pair of crutches, in driving off a couple of English soldiers, armed with swords; but, notwithstanding this astonishing prowess, their services might have been dispensed with, perhaps without the loss being greatly felt. The part of Lady Helen Mar is taken by Miss Sarah Thorne, and very effectively performed. Mr Cooke appears first as Wallace, and latterly as Bruce. His acting is tolerably successful. The style in which the other characters are represented does not call for special remark. ‘Leah’ continues to interest, Miss Thorne’s impersonation of the Jewish maiden eliciting warm expressions of approval.”
Some advertisements for the play include references to “MISS SARAH THORNE IN TWO CHARACTERS”. Wallace and Bruce and Leah were performed on each evening.