Marie Tempest (1866-1942)
"Mary Goes First"
By Henry Arthur Jones.
Produced at the Playhouse on September 18th, 1913.
Messrs. Kenyan Musgrave, Charles V. France, W. Graham Browne, George Shelton, Herbert Ross, Richard Lluellyn, John AIexander, Horton Cooper, Misses Hamley Clifford, Margaret Bruhling, Claire Pauncefort, and Marie Tempest.
One of the most entertaining performances of the day is provided at the Playhouse, where the production of "Mary Goes First" has brought forward again the eminent playwright, Mr. Henry Arthur Jones. The dramatist has drawn liberally upon his fund of sarcasm, and out of the vexed question of precedence in society has evolved a brilliantly amusing comedy. Mary Whichello has been in the habit of leading the society of Warkinstall, and is far from pleased when a neighbouring magnate who has built a magnificent sanatorium for the town is rewarded for his patriotism by a knight-hood, thus obtaining first place for his wife. So annoyed is Mary that in the course of conversation with a third party she refers to her ladyship in terms which cause the newly-made. knight to threaten an action for slander.
Determined to regain her lost position Mary insists on her husband standing for Parliament as a Radical, hoping that the Prime Minister will reward his patriotism by including him in the list of Birthday Honours as a Baronet. By means of clever strategy Mary disposes of the threatened law suit, and when her husband (who is quite unfitted for politics) resigns his candidature, she so contrives matters that it appears that for the sake of the cause he resigns in favour of a man more capable than himself. She makes him pay that man's election expenses, and contributes largely to the party funds, and in the end he is rewarded with the coveted baronetcy.
Thus Mary enters into her own again. To say just how charming Miss Tempest is as Mary Whichello is difficult. Let it simply be said that she is herself, and this being admitted, the success of the play is inevitable. Sir Thomas Bodsworth, the local magnate with the new title, and his wife are played to perfection by Mr. Kenyan Musgrave and Miss Hamley Clifford. Mr. C. V. France gives a capital rendering of Mary's husband. Mr. George Shelton adds another excellent character-study to his already crowded list as Mr. Tadman, the old solicitor; and Mrs. Tadman is artistically played by Miss CIaire Pauncefort. Miss Margaret Bruhling and Mr. W. S. Browne make a charming and romantic young couple.
Playgoer and Society Illustrated, Vol 9 No 19, October 1913.
Movie Credits (source www.imdb.com)
1900 - San Toy [San Toy]
1915 - Mrs. Plum's Pudding [Mrs Plum]
1937 - Moonlight Sonata [Baroness Lindenborg]
1938 - Yellow Sands [Jennifer Varwell]