Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

A simple story of the War and a commendable one in that it is free from brutality and the absurd travesty of military matters usual in such things. Otherwise it does not amount to much. In the first act, in a Belgian farm, just before the War a German artist has betrayed the farmer's daughter under a promise of marriage. Prompted by him she accuses a newly married man whose wife, however, still believes in him. In act II, during the War, this matter is put right. The German arrives wounded at the farm, signals from the belfry tower, is detected by a comic character, but escapes in a zeppelin. In act III peace is supposed to have followed the defeat of the Germans. The German spy's victim is dying repentant. The young husband is supposed to have been killed - after killing the villain in a battle - but turns up all right and the Angelus rings on a happy and reunited family party. There is no harm in the play. We might, however, be informed what is the 'tableau as arranged’, which forms the first scene of Act III. Recommended for license, G. S. Street

Researcher's Summary:

When licensed by the Lord Chamberlain, this play was listed as written by A. Howard. However newspaper research reveals that it was written by Dorothy Mullord. The 'Yorkshire Evening Post' on 21 March 1916 noted that it 'has several goods points, though some people may find it too melancholy'. It praised in particular the scene where the zeppelin approaches to pick up a German officer. The zeppelin effect was created by a 'luminous representation of an airship rising slowly and ingeniously above the turrets of the tower. The Zeppelin really seems to be approaching high above the tower.' The article also notes that the author played the character of Angela.

Licensed On: 20 Jan 1916

License Number: 18

British Library Reference: LCP1916/1

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66122 R


7 Feb 1916 Hippodrome, WillesdenUnknown Licensed Performance
7 Feb 1916 Hippodrome, WillesdenProfessional
14 Feb 1916 Theatre Royal, WoolwichProfessional
6 Mar 1916 Elephant and Castle Theatre, LondonProfessional
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Performed all week with matinees Monday and Thursday at 2.30 (The People, 5 March 1916)
20 Mar 1916 Theatre Royal, LeedsProfessional
3 Apr 1916 Osborne Theatre, ManchesterProfessional
10 Apr 1916 Theatre Royal, AstonProfessional
17 Apr 1916 Theatre Royal, SmethwickProfessional
24 Apr 1916 Royal Hippodrome, SalfordProfessional
1 May 1916 Hippodrome, MexboroughProfessional
15 May 1916 Theatre Royal, BristolProfessional
29 May 1916 Hippodrome, CroydonProfessional
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"This week we are back once more into all the excitement of melodrama. “The Story of the Angelus the story of the war. The horrors of "battle, terrors of Zeps. treachery of spies, heroism of maidens, all as warp and weft make the great picture whence good emerges out of all. and joy bells close the drama. The singing of Sullivan's “Story of the Angelos'' is very effectively given Mr. Fred Clifford, who also sustains the role of “Father Philippe." Mr, Eric Morden is very forcible and successful as "Emile Vinelle.” Mr. Henry Carlisle an excellent villain. Just now of German villain an audience expects great things and it gets it, for “Heinrich Kramer" receives what is highest compliment bombardment of continuous hisses. “Simeon Peters." the funny man of the story, who combines simplicity with duplicity. most amusing, and a spy adds interest to the tale. Mr. G. Lester is a fine old “Pere Van Hayden.” Miss Gwendoline Verschorle and Miss Lilian Peake are good in their parts of “Cecille Vinelle" and "Annette Peronne.” The piece is well played with great vigour, startlingly sensational, and delights the audience" (Surrey Mirror, 2 June 1916)
12 Jun 1916 Comedy Theatre, ReadingProfessional
3 Jul 1916 Royal Opera House, CoventryProfessional
17 Jul 1916 Shakespeare Theatre, LiverpoolProfessional
21 Aug 1916 Palace theatre, BordesleyProfessional
18 Sep 1916 Grand Junction Theatre, ManchesterProfessional
2 Oct 1916 Palace, NewcastleProfessional
9 Oct 1916 Grand, HartlepoolProfessional