Great War Theatre

‘Mr. Ernest Temple Thurston, known in his early youth as a poet, and latterly as a successful playwright and a most prolific novelist, died on March 19, in London, at the comparatively early age of 53. After playing golf at Rye, three weeks ago, he was attacked by lumbago and influenza, which developed into pneumonia. Mr. Thurston, who was born in Suffolk, and received part of his education at Carlisle Grammar School and Queen’s College, Cork, had two volumes of poems published when he was a boy of 16, this in part stopping his father’s plans for making him a brewer. He was married three times, and from a novel by his first wife, Katherine Cecil Madden, he dramatised “John Chilcote, M.P.,” which was brought out by George Alexander at the St. James’s, in 1905. Three years before that he wrote his first play, “Red and White Earth,” and a lengthy series of pieces followed. The list might be started with “Sally Bishop,” 1911, adapted from a novel of his; and other pieces were “The Greatest Wish,” also from a novel of his; “The Eleventh Hour,” “Driven” and “The Cost,” all of them in 1914; and “Ollaya,” 1916. In 1920 there followed his celebrated stage version of the oft-treated legend of “The Wandering Jew,” in the dominant triple role of which a distinguished success was made on the production in 1920, as on subsequent revivals, by Mr. Matheson Lang. This was, perhaps, Mr. Thurston’s best and best-known play; others being “A Roof and Four Walls,” “The Phantom Ship,” another old legend, that of the Flying Dutchman, dramatised once again; “ The Blue Peter,” also with nautical theme indicated by the title; “Judas Iscariot,” Stage Society, 1924; “Emma Hamilton,” dealing with Nelson’s enchantress, 1929; and “Charmeuse,” 1930. His very last work, “The Broken Heart,” was published a couple of months ago, and the Censor quite lately prohibited the performance at the Coliseum of a playlet showing the execution of that female spy, Mata Hari. A most versatile man, Mr. Thurston enjoyed golfing, tennis, fishing, and sketching, as well as painting, and he gave a one-man show of water-colours in the West End a couple of years back. Perhaps the most popular of his many books was “The City of Beautiful Nonsense,” and another of his very last was entitled “A Hank of Hair.” The Stage, 23 March 1933. See also many other newspaper obituaries and

Gender: Male

Served in the armed forces? No

Scripts associated with Ernest Temple Thurston

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