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22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

The Fires of Fate (play 1909)

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The Fires of Fate (Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, 3 july 1909, p. 771)

The Fires of Fate (sub-titled: a modern morality play) is a British play in 4 acts written by Arthur Conan Doyle performed at the Lyric Theatre (London, UK) between 15 june and 11 august 1909, starring Lewis Waller as Colonel Cyril Egerton. The play was transferred to the Haymarket Theatre (London, UK) from 12 to 31 august 1909 starring Ben Webster replacing Waller who started a provincial touring from 23 august with a new cast. The play returned back to the Lyric Theatre on 6 september until 9 october 1909.

A revival of the play was played at the Adelphi Theatre (London) on 23, 27, 30 may and 3 june 1910 with Ben Webster as Colonel Cyril Egerton.

A potted play of Fires of Fate was also played from october 1909 to february 1910 at the Apollo Theatre (London) by The Follies with Morris Harvey playing the role of Lewis Waller.

A Spring Tour was then toured in UK by J. E. Vedrenne from 31 january to 21 may 1910 with Stephen T. Ewart as Colonel Cyril Egerton. Then an Autumn Tour was toured in UK by Glennister & Ingram's companies in august and october 1910 with Lewis Fielder as Colonel Cyril Egerton.

The play is an adaptation of the Arthur Conan Doyle's short story The Tragedy of the Korosko (1897).

In an interview, Conan Doyle described the play:

« Yes, I have called my new play 'a modern morality play' — at least, that is the sub-title, 'The Fires of Fate' is the name. What is the philosophy? Well, it is as old as the hills, and yet needs to be restated and revindicated with every generation. It upholds that optimism which I believe to be the supreme human wisdom, and that faith which will enable a man to be optimistic upon general principles, however much the particular instance may seem to be an exception to his scheme of philosophy. If he works on true to those general principles, he will always find his faith justified in some fashion — often an unexpected one. In this play a man is tempted to take his own life. He does not take it, and the course of events shows how mistaken and foolish, as well as wicked, he would have been had he done so. Again, there is a group of characters who all start with the common weaknesses of our modern civilisation. Each has his spiritual fault. They have led happy and comfortable lives, in which evil habits have developed. They are plunged together into a terrible experience. You see how each takes it, and you see how far those who survive are the better for it, and how in this instance pain and sorrow have shown themselves to be the great chastening and renovating force in life. Dramatic difficulties? Yes, indeed. The greatest is that where you have a play which discusses philosophy and illustrates it in somewhat violent action. You necessarily have it set in two keys. Your more thoughtful scenes may offend those who love action, your active scenes may offend the thoughtful. However, you can only tell by trying. » - Aberdeen Journal (2 june 1909, p. 7)



Photos


1909-fires-of-fate-waller-scene1.jpg
1909-fires-of-fate-waller-scene2.jpg


Cast

Colonel Cyril Egerton (Lewis Waller) and Miss Sadie Adams (Evelyn D'Alroy)
The Play Pictorial No. 84 (august 1909)

Lyric Theatre (15 june - 11 august 1909)

Lewis Waller's company


Haymarket Theatre (12-31 august 1909)


Provincial touring cast (august-september 1909)


Spring Tour (31 january - 21 may 1910)

J. D. Vedrenne's company, under the direction of George Parrington


Revival Adelphi Theatre (23 may - 3 june 1910)


Autumn Tour (29 august - 3 december 1910)

Stage Management : A. C. Holmes


Performances

The Fires of Fate at the Theatre Royal
(Manchester, 2-7 may 1910)
  • London (1909)
    • 15 june - 11 august 1909 : Lyric Theatre (London, UK)
    • 12-31 august 1909 : Haymarket Theatre (London, UK)


  • Provincial Tour (1909)
    • 23>28 august 1909 : King's Theatre (Sunderland, UK)
    • 18 september 1909 : Shakespeare Theatre (Liverpool, UK)
    • 20>25? september 1909 : Theatre Royal (Newcastle-on-Tyne, UK)


  • Back to London (1909)
    • 6 september - 9 october 1909 : Lyric Theatre (London, UK)


  • Spring Tour (1910)
    • 31 jan - 5 feb 1910 : Fulham Theatre (Fulham, London suburb, UK)
    • 7-12 february 1910 : Coronet Theatre (Notting Hill Gate, London suburb, UK)
    • 14-19 february 1910 : Kennington Theatre (Kennington, London suburb, UK)
    • 28 feb - 5 march 1910 : Opera House (Cheltenham, UK)
    • ~21 february 1910 : Royal County Theatre (Kingston-On-Thames, UK)
    • 7-12 march 1910 : New Theatre (Oxford, UK)
    • 14-19 march 1910 : Grand Theatre (Hull, UK)
    • 21-26 march 1910 : Theatre Royal (Edinburgh, UK)
    • 28 march - 2 april 1910 : His Majesty's Theatre (Aberdeen, UK)
    • 4-9 april 1910 : His Majesty's Theatre (Dundee, UK)
    • 11-16 april 1910 : Theatre Royal (Glasgow, UK)
    • 18-23 april 1910 : Opera House (Southport, UK)
    • 25-30 april 1910 : Theatre Royal (Dublin, Ireland)
    • 2-7 may 1910 : Theatre Royal (Manchester, UK)
    • 9-14 may 1910 : Theatre Royal (Brighton, UK)
    • 16-21 may 1910 : ? (Nottingham, UK)


  • Autumn Tour (1910)
    • 29-31 august 1910 : Gaiety Theatre (Hastings, UK)
    • 1-3 september 1910 : Pleasure Gardens Theatre (Folkestone, UK)
    • 5-7 september 1910 : Empire Theatre (Southend-on-Sea, UK)
    • 8-10 september 1910 : Theatre Royal (Worthing, UK)
    • 12-? september 1910 : Opera House (Tunbridge Wells, UK)
    • 12-14 september 1910 : Theatre Royal (Margate, UK)
    • 19-21 september 1910 : West Pier Theatre (Brighton, UK)
    • 26 sept - 1 oct 1910 : Lyceum Theatre (Ipswitch, UK)
    • 3-8 october 1910 : Devonshire Park Theatre (Eastbourne, UK)
    • 10-15 october 1910 : Winter Gardens (Blackpool, UK)
    • 17-22 october 1910 : ? (Middlesborough, UK)
    • 24-29 october 1910 : Theatre Royal (Bolton, UK)
    • 31 oct - 5 nov 1910 : Royal Theatre (Chatham, UK)
    • 7-12 november 1910 : Grand Theatre (Swansea, UK)
    • 21-26 november 1910 : New Theatre Royal (Portsmouth, UK)
    • 28 nov - 3 dec 1910 : Royal Artillery Theatre & Opera House (Woolwich, UK)


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Reviews

Review (The Graphic, 26 june 1909, p. 868)


Misc.

  • On saturday 10 july 1909, the Queen and suite visited the Lyric Theatre and witnesses Mr. Lewis Waller's production of "Fires of Fate". [1]





  1. Manchester Courier and Lancashire Genral Advertiser (12 july 1909, p. 6)

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