By Vincent Douglass
A Play in Three Periods-1880, 1900, 1920 Presented by VICTOR SMYTHE
Performed by the Station REPERTORY PLAYERS. S.B. from Manchester
Cast (in order of their appearance) :- 1880
THE PROLOGUE 1900-1920
THE PROLOGUE (1880)
THE action opens in the hall of a country mansion, situated on the outskirts of Smedley, on the borders of Lancashire and Yorkshire. It is about 10 o'clock on a stormy December night, in the year 1880. Outside the wind howls and shrieks, and the rain beats incessantly on the window panes. A vivid contrast to the fury of the storm is presented inside the hall, where a log fire sheds its warm glow. Primrose, the butler, enters with a taper and proceeds to light the two candies which he places upon the table in the centre of the room ; he then brings the chess-board and three long clay pipes which he arranges neatly on the table. A low rumble of thunder is heard and, as it dies away, there comes a knock at the door and Primrose goes out.
ACT 1. SCENE 1 (1900).
Twenty years have rolled by. The scene is laid in the same room. Many changes have taken place : modern furniture has supplanted the antique, robbing the hall of much of its romantic charm, but the roses and flowery plants which abound everywhere, on this beautiful afternoon in May, give the room an air of comfort and beauty. The sinking sun shines through the easement windows, and, growing red, the colours of sunset creep slowly over the sky as the evening light deepens.
ACT I., SCENE 2.
Two hours elapse. It is nine o'clock on the same evening. The curtains have been drawn and the room is empty. The distant music of a piano floats into the hall from the drawing-room.
ACT II., SCENE I (1920)
Another twenty years have passed and once more the advance of progress has made its imprint on the hall. The moonlight pours in through the casement windows and the fire, which is burning brightly, sheds a soft, amber glow over the hall.
ACT II., SCENE 2.
Two hours have elapsed. The room is precisely the same, the silence being broken at intervals by the snores of the lonely old man who lies in the arm-chair by the fire. Primrose enters, and as he looks down upon his master, he appears to grow older, his face becoming pale and drawn. (Booklets, price 2d., containing the story of the play, can be' obtained from the Manchester. Station.)