Romanticismo, 1918

Romanticismo, by Gerolamo Rovetta
Directed by Edith Craig

Comedy Theatre, London — March 19, 1918
King’s Hall, London — April 14, 1918

Read the play (in Italian) – Internet Archive


Saba Raleigh  Countess Teresa Lamberti
Ruth Bower  Countess Anna Lamberti
 Stella Rho  Giuditta Ansperti
Cowey Wright  Count Vitaliano Lamberti
Norman V. Norman  Count of Rienz
Leslie Howard Marquis Giacomino d’Arfo
Martin Lewis  Rodolfo Cezky
Tom Heslewood  Giovanni Ansperti
 W.R. Staveley  Mauro Strasser / Francesco
 Geoffrey Guise  Don Carlo Morelli
 Pat Kerwan  Casimiro Fratti
 Corney Grain  Faustino
 Hubert Woodward  Baraffini
 Jess Dafynne  Carolina
Miss Holman   A Peasant Woman
 Audrey Cameron  Demostene


Rovetta’s “Romanticismo” at the Comedy, by courtesy of Messrs. Charlot and Chudleigh […] There was a powerful cast and their spirited acting redeemed certain constructive weaknesses and inequalities obvious enough at the previous performance and lent the life and force enough to level them up with the best parts of the play. The scene between the betrayer, Cezky, and Lamberti’s wife, that seemed so artificially dragged on, became not only natural, but inevitable, because of Mr. Martin Lewis’ immense sincerity. And the scene of Anna’s interrogation was worked up to breath-taking intensity of interest by Mr. Norman V. Norman, a Di Rienz of the “iron hand in a velvet glove” school, and by Mrs. Saba Raleigh as the sensible, dominating Countess Teresa, and Mrs. Ruth Bower, who made the tragic despair of the tortured wife very vivid and moving. Then, Mr. Cowley Wright’s delivery of the oath of fealty, as Lamberti, was made mamorable and, by the way, the rushing together of the patriots at the culminating emoional point was a stroke of genius, which betrayed the hand of the producer, Miss Edith Craig. Miss Stella Rho’s Giuditta Lamberti was a powerful work. Mr. Leslie Howard, a very English Italian as the mercurial young Marquis, Mr. Pat Kerwan as Dr. Fratti, Mr. Geoffrey Guise as Don Carlo, Mr. Tom Heslewood as Ansperti, and Mr. W.R. Staveley as Strasser and Francesco were all excellent, as also were Mr. Corny Grain, Mr. Hubert Woodward, Miss Audrey Cameron, Miss Jess Dafynne, and Miss Holman in the other parts.
(The Era, March 27, 1918)

At the King’s Hall, Covent Garden, yesterday afternoon, the Pioneer Players gave a performance of Rovetta’s Romanticismo, in an English translation by F.M. Rankin. This is the play which some Italian players acted in London in its original tongue earlier in the year; and its subject is the effort of Lombardy and the Veneto to throw off the Austrian yoke in the middle of the last century. In its English dress the play doubtless appears a little more romantic, and its language a little more high-falutin’ than in the original; but its sentiment rings true, and its subject cannot fail to move Englishmen and women to-day, as it moved English men and women while the long struggle was in progress. The English actors and actresses gave a very good account of the piece; most prominent being Mr. Cowley Wright, as the hero, who gives his life for his country; miss Ruth Bower, as his devoted young wife; Mr. Martin Lewis as the Polish refugee, who attempted to betray him; Mr. Leslie Howard, as his nephew—a true son of Italy, though a feather-brained young scamp; Miss Raleigh, as his Austrian mother, and Mr. Norman V. Norman as an exceedingly unpleasant Austrian official. The costumes of 1854, chosen by Mr. W.R. Staveley, were charming, and the production by Miss Edith Craig very effective.
(The Times, April 15, 1918)