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- OF THE MASTER OF MRS. CHILVERS - 1/19 -


THE MASTER OF MRS. CHILVERS--AN IMPROBABLE COMEDY

by Jerome K. Jerome

THE FIRST ACT SCENE: Drawing-room, 91, Russell Square. TIME: 3 p.m.

THE SECOND ACT SCENE: Liberal Committee Room, East India Dock Road. TIME: 5 p.m.

THE THIRD ACT SCENE: The Town Hall, East Poplar. TIME: 10 p.m.

THE FOURTH ACT SCENE: Russell Square TIME: Midnight

THE CAST OF "THE MASTER OF MRS. CHILVERS"

AS IT WAS PRODUCED AT THE ROYALTY THEATRE, LONDON, ON APRIL 26TH, 1911, UNDER THE MANAGEMENT OF MESSRS. VEDRENNE & EADIE.

Lady Mogton Mary Rorke Annys Chilvers Lena Ashwell Phoebe Mogton Ethel Dane Janet Blake Gillian Scaife Mrs. Mountcalm Villiers Sarah Brooke Elizabeth Spender Auriol Lee Rose Merton Esme Beringer Mrs. Chinn Sydney Fairbrother Geoffrey Chilvers, M.P. Dennis Eadie Dorian St. Herbert Leon Quartermaine Ben Lamb, M.P. A. E. Benedict William Gordon Edmund Gwenn Sigsby Michael Sherbrooke Hake H. B. Tabberer Mr. Peekin Gerald Mirrielees Mr. Hopper Stanley Logan Mrs. Peekin Rowena Jerome Miss Borlasse Cathleen Nesbitt Miss Ricketts Hetta Bartlett

CHARACTERS IN THE PLAY

GEOFFREY CHILVERS, M.P. [President Men's League for the Extension of the Franchise to Women] A loving husband, and (would-be) affectionate father. Like many other good men, he is in sympathy with the Woman's Movement: "not thinking it is coming in his time."

ANNYS CHILVERS [nee Mogton, Hon. Sec. Women's Parliamentary Franchise League] A loving wife, and (would-be) affection mother. Many thousands of years have gone to her making. A generation ago, she would have been the ideal woman: the ideal helpmeet. But new ideas are stirring in her blood, a new ideal of womanhood is forcing itself upon her.

LADY MOGTON [President W.P.F.L.] She knows she would be of more use in Parliament than many of the men who are there; is naturally annoyed at the Law's stupidity in keeping her out.

PHOEBE MOGTON [Org. Sec. W.P.F.L.] The new girl, thinking more of politics than of boys. But that will probably pass.

JANET BLAKE [Jt. Org. Sec. W.P.F.L.] She dreams of a new heaven and a new earth when woman has the vote.

MRS. MOUNTCALM VILLIERS [Vice-President W.P.F.L.] She was getting tired of flirting. The Woman's Movement has arrived just at the right moment.

ELIZABETH SPENDER [Hons. Treas. W.P.F.L.] She sees woman everywhere the slave of man: now pampered, now beaten, but ever the slave. She can see no hope of freedom but through warfare.

MRS. CHINN A mother.

JAWBONES A bill-poster. Movements that do not fit in with the essentials of life on thirty shillings a week have no message so far as Jawbones is concerned.

GINGER Whose proper name is Rose Merton, and who has to reconcile herself to the fact that so far as her class is concerned the primaeval laws still run.

DORIAN ST. HERBERT [Hon. Sec. M.L.E.F.W.] He is interested in all things, the Woman's Movement included.

BEN LAMB, M.P. As a student of woman, he admits to being in the infants' class.

SIGSBY An Election Agent. He thinks the modern woman suffers from over-indulgence. He would recommend to her the teachings of St. Paul.

HAKE A butler. He does not see how to avoid his wife being practically a domestic servant without wages.

A DEPUTATION It consists of two men and three women. Superior people would call them Cranks. But Cranks have been of some service to the world, and the use of superior people is still to be discovered.

THE FIRST ACT

SCENE:- Drawing-room, 91, Russell Square.

TIME:- Afternoon.

[MRS. ELIZABETH SPENDER sits near the fire, reading a book. She is a tall, thin woman, with passionate eyes, set in an oval face of olive complexion; the features are regular and severe; her massive dark hair is almost primly arranged. She wears a tailor-made costume, surmounted by a plain black hat. The door opens and PHOEBE enters, shown in by HAKE, the butler, a thin, ascetic- looking man of about thirty, with prematurely grey hair. PHOEBE MOGTON is of the Fluffy Ruffles type, petite, with a retrousse nose, remarkably bright eyes, and a quantity of fluffy light hair, somewhat untidily arranged. She is fashionably dressed in the fussy, flyaway style. ELIZABETH looks up; the two young women shake hands.]

PHOEBE Good woman. 'Tisn't three o'clock yet, is it?

ELIZABETH About five minutes to.

PHOEBE Annys is on her way. I just caught her in time. [To HAKE.] Put a table and six chairs. Give mamma a hammer and a cushion at her back.

HAKE A hammer, miss?

PHOEBE A chairman's hammer. Haven't you got one?

HAKE I'm afraid not, miss. Would a gravy spoon do?

PHOEBE [To ELIZABETH, after expression of disgust.] Fancy a house without a chairman's hammer! [To HAKE.] See that there's something. Did your wife go to the meeting last night?

HAKE [He is arranging furniture according to instructions.] I'm not quite sure, miss. I gave her the evening out.

PHOEBE "Gave her the evening out"!

ELIZABETH We are speaking of your wife, man, not your servant.

HAKE Yes, miss. You see, we don't keep servants in our class. Somebody's got to put the children to bed.

ELIZABETH Why not the man--occasionally?

HAKE Well, you see, miss, in my case, I rarely getting home much before midnight, it would make it so late. Yesterday being my night off, things fitted in, so to speak. Will there be any writing, miss?

PHOEBE Yes. See that there's plenty of blotting-paper. [To ELIZABETH.] Mamma always splashes so.

HAKE Yes, miss. [He goes out.]

ELIZABETH Did you ever hear anything more delightfully naive? He "gave" her the evening out. That's how they think of us--as their servants. The gentleman hasn't the courage to be straightforward about it. The butler blurts out the truth. Why are we meeting here instead of at our own place?

PHOEBE For secrecy, I expect. Too many gasbags always about the office. I fancy--I'm not quite sure--that mamma's got a new idea.

ELIZABETH Leading to Holloway?

PHOEBE Well, most roads lead there.

ELIZABETH And end there--so far as I can see.

PHOEBE You're too impatient.


OF THE MASTER OF MRS. CHILVERS - 1/19

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