Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

This is a straight talk to workmen who are wasting their high wages. The time is supposed to be just before the end of the War. Jim, an ordinary workman, is making £10 a week and wasting it all. His wife, Peg, foresees that there will be hard times when the War is over; she is working at munitions herself, in secret, lest Jim should spend her earnings as well, so that there may be something in hand for their boy Harry when he gets home from the front. Bill, Jim's pal, having made advances to Peg and having been sharply repulsed by her, excites Jim's suspicions about her in regard to another man, and Jim turns her out of doors. In act II there has been peace for a few weeks; Jim is out of work and penniless and on the point of being turned out of his cottage. Harry comes home and gives him a bit of his mind. But Peg - whom Jim now knows to be straight - comes back with the money she has saved and the family is put on its legs again. The play is vigorously written and has an entirely sound and public-spirited intention. Recommended for license. G. S. Street

Licensed On: 4 Jan 1916

License Number: 11



British Library Reference: LCP1916/1

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66122 K


10 Jan 1916 Collins' Music Hall, Islington, LondonProfessional Licensed Performance
Read Narrative
'So obviously a piece with a purpose that one hesitates to deal it as a contribution to the ordinary traffic of the stage. In a certain sense it may be said to have some relation to the recently produced munitions play called 'War Mates', since it deals with practically the same subject from another point of view. Whether that point of view is a right or a wrong one need not be fully discussed in the columns of a strictly theatrical journal ... [it] will have to be largely overhauled before it can carry any lasting conviction as a sermon on War economy. The author, to say nothing of several instances of unconscious humour, has treated his subject in a manner that lays him open to the argument that he seeks to indict a whole class for the folly and short-sightedness of the few' (Stage, 13 January 1916). Cast included Elsie Craig, E. Rayson-Cousens, Frank Denis, Andrew Smith, Richard Bosco and Leslie Hamilton .
31 Jan 1916 Chelsea Palace, LondonProfessional
21 Feb 1916 Empire, BirminghamProfessional
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'is a playlet written with a purpose, and teaching a lesson which the present time, it is to feared, is much needed.' (Birmingham Mail, 22 Febraury 1916). Cast included Elsie Craig, E. Rayson-Cousens, Frank Denis, and Richard Bosco.
28 Feb 1916 Finsbury Park Empire, Finsbury ParkProfessional
6 Mar 1916 Empire, LeedsProfessional
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It is not long since 'War Mates' the fierce little play against strikes in war-time, was here, and 'Too Late' which has been seen at the Leeds Empire this week, so much suggests a companion sermon that it was interesting to learn that its author had never seen 'War Mates' when he wrote it. ...Remembering what I was told about occasional protests from pit or gallery against the uncompromising propaganda of 'War Mates', I asked whether the 'Too Late' company had had any similar experience. They haven't but they remembered 'hear-hears' by female voices which went to show how much truth there was in the sketch-portrait of the working wife who, in some poor households, supplies all the foresight and does all the saving that ever is done, and does in secret and in fear' (Yorkshire Evening Post, 11 March 1916)
5 Jun 1916 Palace Theatre, SouthamptonProfessional
19 Jun 1916 Hippodrome, CoventryProfessional
3 Jul 1916 Palace Theatre, BurnleyProfessional
Read Narrative
'The play, which will be presented two acts, deals with a modern problem, and whilst conveys real truth, comedy the ruling element the story, and remembering the author's great success in "A little bit fluff," his latest production, this class will be welcomed.' (Burnley News, 1 July 1916). 'It is a play to be seen and taken to heart' (Burnley Express, 5 July 1916) Cast included Elsie Craig, E. Rayson-Cousens, Frank Denis, Richard Bosco and Leslie Hamilton.
10 Jul 1916 Empress, BrixtonProfessional
28 Aug 1916 Empire Theatre, DewsburyProfessional