Graphics, Image for The Geneva Cross
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Graphics, Image for The Geneva Cross
THE   ADELPHI   THEATRE   CALENDAR
A Record of Dramatic Performances at a Leading Victorian Theatre

Formerly the Sans Pareil (1806-1819), later the Adelphi (1819-1900)
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Title:The Geneva Cross
Description:The Geneva Cross by George F. Rowe.  Act II: a grand marquee in the grounds.  Performed 500 times in the United States.
1st Performance:Oct 17, 1874
Theatre:Adelphi
Source:The Graphic, Nov 7, 1874, p. 437
See Source:Go to Source Images (8.9 MB)
Review:The Illustrated London News, Nov 24, 1874, p. 398

ADELPHI.

It is not too often that Mr. G. F. Rowe makes his appeal to the public from the stage.  His impersonation of Micawber would induce us to desire that his personal appearance there were frequently possible; but the actor-author has shaped out for himself an independent course, which sets him apart for rare occasions.  As a dramatist, he has strong practical claims, which are well supported by the new piece he produced here on Saturday, entitled "The Geneva Cross."  This is just such a theme and title as we should have expected from him.  It is illustrative of the late Franco-German war and has been already favourably received in the United States.  The action commences with the cannon-foundry of Pierre Le Brun, near Auxerre, and we are first presented with the workmen of the establishment, and in particular one Riel (Mr. H. Sinclair), for whom a certain letter is intended which falls into the hands of a rival, the overseer, Mathieu Moineau (Mr. A. Glover), who also loves Gabrielle Le Brun (Miss Marie Henderson), and whose hand has been promised to him by her father.  Moineau, retaining Riel's letter in his possession, denounces him as a spy, and occasions his dismissal; but Gabrielle more than once intercedes and gets him replaced.  In the second act, Gabrielle’s birthday is celebrated, and Riel is charged to place a floral crown upon her head and benefits by the opportunity to declare his love.  An exciting scene of quarrel follows, in which Riel appears in improved colours, for Riel declares himself to be Riel do Bourg, a nobleman, yet willing to wed a burgher's daughter.  Riel is, in fact, a Prussian student in search of experience.  He is, moreover, solicited by an unknown agent to reveal the secrets of the foundry, and, on his refusal, is threatened with mischief.  By this time the war has broken out, the popular cry is "To Berlin!" and Gabrielle, in the midst of the crowd, musket in hand, partakes of the general enthusiasm.  An interval occurs before the third act opens.  The incident at Sedan has happened, and the inhabitants of Paris, suffering from the siege, are perishing of famine.  The house of Pierre Le Brun shelters that worthy himself, also Gabrielle and her husband, Riel, who, to avoid fighting against his own countrymen, adopts the Geneva cross, which entitles him to devote himself to the sick and wounded.  Nevertheless, he is not allowed to withdraw so easily from service.  Moineau, who commands a regiment, orders him at once to join it; whereupon he feels compelled to reveal to his wife his Prussian nationality.  At first she shrinks from him, but afterwards aids in his escape.  Gabrielle for this act is, with her father, consigned to prison and condemned to die.  Such is the situation of affairs at the commencement of the fourth act.  Martago (Miss Edith Stuart) comes to the rescue of her foster-sister, Gabrielle, but Moineau continues revengeful, and her father is just about to be dragged away to death when the bombardment shatters the walls, and Riel, with a multitude of Prussians, rushes in.  Moineau falls by a stray shot, and the victorious Riel clasps his wife, while the Prussian flag is planted in triumph, and the curtain falls on a scene of military brilliance and confusion.  That a piece so full of interest and action, notwithstanding some serious shortcomings and many tedious situations, should have thoroughly succeeded is not at all surprising.  Mr. Rowe has added to his laurels by its production.



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EDITORIAL
PAGE

DAILY
CALENDAR

AUTHORS
& TITLES

ACTORS &
ACTRESSES

MUSIC, SONG,
& DANCE

MANAGEMENT

BIBLIOGRAPHY

GRAPHICS
GALLERY

THEATRE
RESEARCH

ADELPHI
TODAY

BOOK
VERSION

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MAP

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Copyright © 1988, 1992, 2013 by Alfred L. Nelson, Gilbert B. Cross, Joseph Donohue.
Originally published by Greenwood Press as The Sans Pareil Theatre 1806-1819, Adelphi Theatre 1819-1850: An Index to Authors, Titles, Performers, 1988, and The Adelphi Theatre 1850-1900: An Index to Authors, Titles, Performers and Management, 1992.
Creative Commons License
The Adelphi Theatre Calendar revised, reconstructed and amplified.  Copyright © 2013, by Alfred L. Nelson, Gilbert B. Cross, Joseph Donohue.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License, with the exception of graphics from The Clip Art Book, edited by Gerard Quinn and published by Crescent in 1990.  These images are reproduced in accord with the publisher’s note, which states "The Clip Art Book is a new compilation of illustrations that are in the public domain.  The individual illustrations are copyright free and may be reproduced without permission or payment.  However, the selection of illustrations and their layout is the copyright of the publisher, so that one page or more may not be photocopied or reproduced without first contacting the publishers."