The Flag Lieutenant

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The Flag Lieutenant is a comedy drama by William Price Drury (1861-1949)[1] and Leo Trevor (1864 or 1865-1927)[].

The original text

A play about a lieutenant who is branded a coward after having saved a fort from Bashi Bazouks and allowing an amnesiac major to take the credit.

First produced at the Playhouse Theatre in London in 1908 it went on extensive tours, playing at regional theatres during 1909. Also taken to the British colonies by various companies, for example presented by J. C. Williamson Ltd. at Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne, on August 14th, 1909.

It opened at the Criterion Theatre, New York, on 30 August, 1909.

With the onset of the war the patriotic play was revived to open at the Haymarket Theatre in London on 28th November 1914.

Translations and adaptations

Filmed three times between the two World Wars: in 1919(Percy Nash[2]), 1926 (Maurice Elvey) and 1932 (Henry Edwards).

Performance history in South Africa

1909: Produced by Leonard Rayne in the Opera House, Cape Town, early in the year. According to D.C. Boonzaier (1923), this was one of Rayne’s finest productions, with him playing “Lascelles” himself, well supported by Gertrude F. Godart (as "Mrs Cameron") and Brough Pearce (as "the Thesiger").


Programme for a production of The Flag Lieutenant at Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne, on August 14th, 1909.[3]

Alan Goble. 2011. The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film. Walter de Gruyter: p.764[4]

D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1932. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: p.429.

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