Year: 1950

Location: St. James`s Theatre

Part: Captain Carvallo

Review: "Captain Carvallo was played with remarkable charm by James Donald, who has a wonderfully precise sudden side-long look, that he use to great effect." 

  Denis Cannan`s delightfully witty comedy was an immediate success when it opened at the St. James`s Theatre on the 9th August as the second production under Sir Laurence Olivier`s management. Sir Laurence himself produced the play prior to his Hollywood visit.

: The debonair captain of the "enemy" forces, who are fighting over this disputed territory, arrives at the farmhouse with his batman, and demands to be billetted. Acting on instructions, the Professor pretends to be Smilja`s husband.
Carvallo loses no time in endeavouring to make a conquest of his attractive hostess, even though she has hitherto led the blameless life of a lay-preacher`s respectable spouse. Finding the Captain and Smilja in a compromising embrace the Professor`s reaction is scarcely that of an outraged husband. When a little later Caspar Darde had burst in on the scene (in Winke`s clothes) and immediately hailed Smilja as his wife, naturally Carvallo`s suspicions are aroused and he holds an inquiry. The leader calls to instruct his subordinates to liquidate Captain Carvallo and his batman. Unhappily Darde and Winke rather like these two "enemy" intruders, and anyway Darde has hopes of saving the Captain`s soul.
Darde and the Professor have hatched a plot whereby they will pretend to blow up the Captain while he is otherwise engaged, and the little lay preacher is even led to believe that the assignation Carvallo has with his wife for that night is all for the good. The Captain had nearly discovered their plot when Darde was assembling the tins of dynamite but a rapid decision to hold a prayer meeting on the spot had saved the situation.
The next morning the Captain and his man and Smilja and the maid, have heard nothing of the violent explosion. Meantime gunfire is heard and Gross makes an effort to contact headquarters.
When Gross has discovered their ruined billet, he realises how easy it would be to be presumed dead and desert from the army and marry Anni. The Captain, though marvelling at his batman`s sudden constancy, sees the point, and agrees to cover his tracks. The battle moves nearer, and it is time for Captain Carvallo to take his leave. Never before had he been so sincerely attracted by a woman. It is easy, too, to see that this has been the great romance of Smilja`s life. As she hands him the geranium he always carries into battle, they take a silent farewell of each other.
source: Theatre World Oct. 1950