Sinners (1918)

Sinners by Brandon Fleming

Birmingham, Prince of Wales Theatre, June 3, 1918


Sir Noel Barchester H.K. Ayliff
John Lynton Dennis Wyndham
Robert Ransom Leslie Howard
James Mountford Wilfred E. Payne
Maid Ruth Brook
Marion Barchester Eva Leonard Boyne
Lady Barchester Gertrude Sterroll
Ruth Carleon Marga La Rubia


The father is the last of a county family of legendary origin: no doubt his morbid fear of its extinction accounts for his perpetual insistence upon his great heritage of untarnished traditions. His code of social arrogance and his creed of religious intolerance are so oppressive that his two daughters, his only children, revolt, one openly, one clandestinely. The secret rebel is a mean, pitiful, callous little thing, whose nature is distorted by her deceit; the open rebel is generous, noble, and courageous. The younger sister has a very sordid episode in her life, for which the other sister takes the blame. In doing so the price of her sacrifice is almost her ultimater ruin, but matters are righted in a powerful and rapid scene by her lover, the strong man from America. To recount the plot expt in very full details is to discountenance the story, but the detail is so dexterous and so plausible that its improbability vanishes; it has much of the severity of logic which may be learned from Sardou. The management of situations, and especially the liaison des scènes, is commendable with little indication of immaturity.
The acting is admirable. Miss Marga La Rubia as the actress has every effect calculated with exact precision; her strong personality and attractive temperament prevent the obtrusion of certain inconvenient questions. Miss Eva Leonard Boyne is commendably unrelenting in the representation of the detestable younger sister, Marion. Mr. H.K. Ayliff is an impressive stage baronet, with his ponderous bigotry and intolerance. The three other men — Mr. Leslie Howard as the irresponsible, very English boy who is about to marry Marion; Mr. Dennis Wyndham as the honest young man John, who “makes good”; and Mr. Wilfred E. Payne as the impudent and complacent blackmailer — are all excellent; whilst Miss Gertrude Sterroll as the suppressed, but not altogether suppressed, gentle mother plays a difficult part with unobtrusive firmness. The author, Mr. Brandon Fleming, who appeared in uniform of a lieutenant with green gorget patches, was applauded cordially at the conclusion, as he deserved.
(Birmingham Daily Post, June 4, 1918)