Competitions nos. 125A and 125B: results

Philip Jordan returns for this one, and notes that, at the end of some correspondence in the Greenock Telegraph of June 27, the gnomic comment ‘”Interested” should enquire at the fire-station” appears. He asks for the original letter that elicited this reply. Again, this strikes me as a slightly modern competition – it could be set today. There is no mention in the report of many of the familiar names, except for the top winner, the venerable William Hodgson Burnet, and near-but-not-quite James Hall. However, we do get a positive response to the same Miss K.T. Stephenson as 124 (of the same, as it were, vintage), and two recent and keen entrants, A.H. Ellerington and H.A.L. Cockerell. Three prizes are given out (yes, the B competition is attracting opprobrium again, and here perhaps are the first signs that it will eventually disappear) – the runners up are new names Miss Mary G. Thomas and W. Gladden (whose brief entry I think is very funny). It is possible that W. Gladden is ‘W.G.’, of course, a more regular entrant and winner.

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The B competition imagines Shaw meeting Cleopatra in heaven and Shaw having a better impression of her. A four line epigram (yawn) is requested. The only winner is William Bliss, although there is a near win by an entrant with a long-winded pseudonym, one who had entered the previous competition, in fact, Maher-shalal-hashbaz. I can’t imagine why this has been set. Shaw’s play dates from 1901, and I can’t find any references to contemporary productions. However, there are the 1948 film and 1945 stage productions I can show: about as close as I can come.

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Caesar and Cleo 1945 Caesar and Cleo

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