|A Private Wire
FRANK DESPREZ & ARNOLD FELIX
First produced 31st March 1883 to 1st January 1884 at the Savoy Theatre, as companion piece to Iolanthe.
No copy of printed libretto or vocal score in British Library. Libretto in Lord Chamberlain's collection. This indicates that the piece was licensed to be performed at the Avenue Theatre, and only Frank Desprez is credited as author.
Performed on tour March to July 1884 with Cast: Beatrice Grosvenor, Minna Rowley, Jesse Smith, F. (or H.) Browning; and also in the same year Freda Bevan, Lucy Carr-Shaw, William Martell and Leonard Roche appeared in it, but perhaps not at the same time.
The scene is two ground floor flats, a lady's and a gentleman's, separated by a street running up the middle of the stage from front to back. Phillip lives in one, Rose in the other. Phillip's father has forbidden the match and made his son promise not to see or write to Rose, but Phillip has had a telephone installed so that they can talk. The reason for the father's refusal is that he himself is planning to marry Rose's mother, though why this should be an objection is not explained. (Consanguinity creates no problem to the unions of Aline and Alexis and their parents in The Sorcerer). On visiting her daughter, Mrs. Frumpington finds the telephone, and hearing Phillip's voice, rather improbably mistakes it for the ghost of her late husband. Phillip mistakes her for Rose and a misunderstanding arises. All is eventually sorted out, Phillip and Rose are engaged, and the parents agree not to marry. The dialogue is very witty, but the plot stupidly implausible.
30 November, 2011