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FOOTLIGHT NOTES
no. 384

updated
Saturday, 29 January 2005

Charlie, The Sport,
Haymarket Theatre, London, 25 July 1907

Charlie, The Sport

A scene from Charlie, The Sport, Haymarket Theatre, London, 25 July 1907,
with, left to right, E.W. Tarver, Rhoda Ray, Harry Norton and Hugh C. Buckler.

(photo: Dover Street Studios, London, 1907)

'This picture illustrates the dramatic moment in Mr. Michael Morton's translation of M. [Tristan] Bernard's play. Charlie, the Sport, a racecourse pickpocket (Mr. H.C. Buckler) has his girl (Miss Rhoda Ray) "sneaked" from him by another pickpocket known as Harry, the Swell (Mr. E.W. Tarver), but just as Harry is about to commit to felony Charlie, in spite of great temptation, warns him of the presence of "tecs".'
(The Sphere, London, Saturday, 24 August 1907, p.186)

'Sentimentality runs riot in the new Haymarket first piece, an adaptation from the French of Tristram Bernard which Mr. Michael Morton styles Charlie the Sport, and the aim of the little play would seem to be to show that as noble as a heart may beat in the bosom of a pickpocket as in that of the most duty-loving constable. The Charlie in question, having been jilted by his sweetheart for one of his "pals," sees a chance of being revenged on them both, for his successful rival is on the point of walking straight into a police-trap. But the thought of how distressed the girl will be at her new lover's capture softens his anger, and so, with a proud sense of heroism, he gives his "pal" timely warning, and then, when he is left alone, bursts into tears of misery. The scene of the miniature drama's action is laid in the grassy approach to a racecourse, and the "sporting" atmosphere is very adroitly suggested. Probably it was the realism with which the details of a race-meeting were reproduced on the stage, rather than the ingenuousness of its sentiment, which won the piece last week the hearty approval of its first-night audience. Mr. H.C. Buckler as "the sport," Mr. E.W. Tarver as his rival, Miss Rhoda Ray as the fickle girl, and Miss Lydia Rachel and Mr. H. Norton in the minor parts, all contribute towards an admirable interpretation.'
(The Illustrated London News, London, Saturday, 3 August 1907, p.154c)

Rhoda Ray


Rhoda Ray as Jennie in Charlie, The Sport,
Haymarket Theatre, London, 25 July 1907

(photo: Dover Street Studios, London, 1907)

Charlie, The Sport was produced at the Haymarket to precede the main play of the evening, My Wife, with C. Aubrey Smith and Marie Löhr, the first night of which was on 28 May 1907.

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