Walker, London

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Walker, London is a farcical comedy in three-acts by James Matthew Barrie (1860 – 1937)[1].

The newspaper review

Review in the Port Elizabeth Telegraph, December 3, 1892.

"Walker, London, was admirably staged, and the "house boat" (sic) scene on the Thames was a beautiful piece of scenic representation, quite superior to anything that could have been produced in the old theatre.

"The play is full of fun and frolic and was admirably acted throughout.

"The Golightly's are enjoying their picnic in their boat house (sic).

"There is the mother, Mrs Golightly, her daughter, Bell Golightly, a learned young lady who has taken her BA at Cambridge; and an audacious young scamp, Willie Golightly, who poses as a cricketer and delights in being styled "W G," after the famous wielder of the bat.

"Then there appears upon the scene a young man called Kit Upjohn, an aspirant to Parliamentary fame, who falls violently in love with Bell, and a medical student named Andrew McPhail, who is equally "gone" on Nanny O'Brien.

"Everything seems to be going well for a happy denouement, barring the usual lover's quarrels, when Jasper Phipps makes his appearance and proves a disturbing element in the otherwise happy circle.

"A slight accident had occurred to Bell, who, falling into the water and fainting, was rescued by an old boatman named Ben; but with Ben's connivance Jasper takes credit to himself for the rescue; pretends that he had performed prodigies of valour upon this and other occasions, and ensures the gratitude of everybody.

"When he informs them further that he is a certain distinguished traveller, Colonel Niell, he obtains not only their confidence but their affection.

"Some remarkable scenes occur, and the complications only find a fitting solution when Sarah Rigg unexpectedly makes her appearance at the boathouse and claims Jasper as her wandering love - and "Walker, London," proves to be a person of no higher grade than a professor of the tonsorial art!

"Of course, explanations follow - the lovers make up their differences, and all ends happily as the marriage bell."

Performance history in South Africa

December 2, 1892: Performed at the opening of the new Port Elizabeth Opera House. Starring: Mrs B Wheeler (Mrs Golightly), Camille Townsend (Bell Golightly), R Saunders (Willie Golightly), styled as ‘WG’, Ronald Bayne (Kit Upjohn), Edward Vincent (Andrew McPhail), Rhoda Kildare (Nanny O’Brien), Frank Wheeler (Jasper Phipps) and Helen Rous (Sarah Rigg).


Port Elizabeth Telegraph, December 3, 1892.

A copy of the play can be found online at: https://archive.org/details/walkerlondonafa00barrgoog

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