17 Mins.; Full Stage (Special Set). “When the Sun Rises” is a dramatic thriller that will serve in a good spot on a small time bill and entertain nicely. There are three people, but the greater part of the work is on the shoulders of a man and woman, the other man, who has the role of dispatch bearer, is most likely the carpenter of the act. the scene of the action is laid in South Africa during the Boer War. An English Colonel and his wife are the principal characters. The hour is just before sunrise, and the scene the interior of the Colonel’s quarters. At the rise the woman reads aloud the copy and an order for the execution of one of the members of the command for neglect of duty, and intimates that she will do all in her power to prevent it taking place. The Colonel enters. She pleads with him to save the boy’s life (the audience is left to infer that the youth was her lover). The Colonel maintains he is powerless to act, as the finding of the court martial has been forwarded to Ladysmith, to the commander-in-chief. Since then the little command has been surrounded by the enemy and all communication the main army cut off. The wife then confesses the boy is the Colonel’s own son, born after he divorced his first wife. The husband decided to forge an order to stay the execution. The first gleam of drawn is seen outdoors and a single shot is heard (even though the Colonel calls it a volley). I: is too late. Ah, but no! Hark! A horse is heard approaching and the despatch rider arrives. It was at him the outpost fired, and the dispatches are from General Buhler, to the effect the boy is to be given a chance to die honorably at the hands of the enemy in case they capture him as the “enclosed papers must be forwarded to be relieving force,” and so the son is saved. The sketch has the makings of a good thriller, providing it is played properly and the action is hastened by cutting some of the talk and the scenery chewing. In the hands of Holbrook Blinn it could be whipped into a real act for almost any time, not excepting the Princess theatre.
Variety, Volume XXXVI, no.12, November 21, 1914