Will Count­ess get her first love back?

Rossendale Free Press - - Memory Lane -

IN this week’s Mem­ory Lane fea­ture we look back at a se­lec­tion of pho­to­graphs from a show per­formed by Rawten­stall Am­a­teur op­er­atic Society in 1953.

Vik­to­ria and her Hus­sar tells the story of a Hun­gar­ian count­ess who re­mar­ries as she be­lieves that her hus­band has been killed dur­ing the war - only for him to turn up alive. It was per­formed at the Pub­lic Hall, Hasling­den, from Mon­day to Satur­day, March 9 to 14, at 7.15pm, with a mati­nee on the Satur­day at 2.30pm.

The show opens in Siberia in the af­ter­math of the First World War, where Ste­fan Koltay has been sen­tenced to death for be­ing a coun­ter­rev­o­lu­tion­ary.

In the Ja­panese gar­den of the Amer­i­can Em­bassy in Tokyo, cel­e­bra­tions are be­ing held for the im­pend­ing wed­ding of Count Ferry Hegedüs, brother to Count­ess Vik­to­ria and Lia San.

The hap­pi­ness of this event is con­trasted with sad­ness as Vik­to­ria and her hus­band, Am­bas­sador John Cun­light, are posted to St Peters­burg.

Ste­fan ar­rives at the em­bassy and tells the am­bas­sador that he is a Hun­gar­ian citizen who has es­caped im­pris­on­ment in Siberia and is seek­ing diplo­matic pro­tec­tion.

As his wife is Hun­gar­ian, am­bas­sador Cun­light read­ily agrees, but what he does not know is that Vik­to­ria and Ste­fan had mar­ried be­fore the war.

When Vik­to­ria and her hus­band go to St Peters­burg, Ste­fan and his bat­man Janzci go with them. Although Janzci is home­sick, Ste­fan says he will only re­turn if Vik­to­ria comes with him.

Vik­to­ria re­veals that Ste­fan was listed as be­ing killed in the war when his reg­i­ment was wiped out in bat­tle - hence why she mar­ried an­other.

It is ob­vi­ous that she still loves him, but when the Rus­sians en­ter the em­bassy he has to leave with­out her to avoid cap­ture.

The play then moves on, to a year down the line, when the grape har­vest is be­ing cel­e­brated in the vil­lage of Doroszma.

There is an age-old cus­tom that on the day of the wine fes­ti­val there shall be three wed­dings.

One will be Janzci and his love Ri­quette, an­other will be Ferry and Lia San (Ja­panese mar­riages are not recog­nised in Doroszma, so they must marry again) and Vik­to­ria will form the first half of the third cou­ple - but will it be re­newal of her mar­riage to Cun­light or will she wed Ste­fan?

Our pic­tures show, clock­wise from top left, the dancers in the show, Ri­quette and Janzci played by A Had­field and J Hey­worth, Lia San and Ferry played by A Jor­dan and JS Land­less, a scene ti­tled ‘ap­ply­ing make up’ and fi­nally (bot­tom left) the cover of the sou­venir pro­gramme.

If th­ese pic­tures bring back mem­o­ries or you have any of your own to share, please get in touch with the news­desk. Many thanks to all our reg­u­lar nos­tal­gia con­trib­u­tors.

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