Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

At last a really good play about spies, with possible people and incidents and without any foolish violence of language. The plot, as is usual with good detective stories and plays, is full of incident and a summary hardly does justice to it. Briefly, however, it is as follows. The forces on one side are a lady who runs a superior boarding house on the coast, with an English name, but a German and the widow of a German officer; her son having the same English name, an official in the admiralty; a German governess and a German waiter: these are engaged in the usual business of spies, making drawings of military positions, sending documents by pigeons, making signals and so forth. On the other side are an English government detective of a high order posing as a foolish young man and under disfavour for not having enlisted, who has come down to observe the others and an English woman who is in [on] the secret and helps him. The other characters are a foolish old JP who muddles things and his daughter, in love with and loved by Brent, the secret service man. To describe the various convolutions of these people and how Brent defeats the alien manoeuvres, would take many pages. The culmination is when Brent and Carl (the German lady's son) confront one another and Brent prevents Carl burning down the house as a signal to a German submarine and himself signals to English vessels which destroy her. Then, of course, Brent's character is cleared and he is made happy. It is all quite exciting: a good detective play plus the topical interest of spies, and refreshing in that the latter are credible people. Recommended for license. G. S. Street

Licensed On: 18 Nov 1914

License Number: 3025

British Library Reference: LCP1914/33

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66081 Q

Performances

DateTheatreType
1 Dec 1914 Royalty Theatre, LondonUnknown Licensed Performance
17 Feb 1919 Theatre Royal, LincolnProfessional
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Performed twice nightly with matinee Wednesday by the Taylor Platt company.
24 Feb 1919 Theatre Royal, PrestonProfessional
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Presented for the first time in Preston, in the fifth year of touring
24 Feb 1919 Empire Theatre, PrestonProfessional
13 Mar 1919 Theatre Royal, Leamington SpaProfessional
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Performed for three nights with matinee Saturday.
16 Mar 1919 Brixton Theatre, Brixton, LondonProfessional
17 Mar 1919 Theatre Royal, Bury, LancashireProfessional
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Performed for the first three nights of the week.
24 Mar 1919 Theatre Royal, BournemouthProfessional
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Performed for the week by the Taylor Platt Company.
31 Mar 1919 Grand Theatre, SouthamptonProfessional
14 Apr 1919 Worthing Theatre, WorthingProfessional
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Performed every night by the Taylor Platt Company.
21 Apr 1919 Palace Theatre, RamsgateProfessional
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Presented for the week for the holiday week.
21 Apr 1919 Palace Theatre, RamsgateProfessional
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Performed for the week by the Taylor Platt company.
28 Apr 1919 Theatre Royal, BarnstableProfessional
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Presented by the Taylor Platt company, Monday-Wednesday
19 May 1919 Westcliff Palace, SouthendProfessional
2 Jun 1919 Theatre Royal, YarmouthProfessional
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Presented by the Taylor Platt Company.
23 Jun 1919 King's Theatre, HammersmithProfessional
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Performed for the week.
7 Jul 1919 Borough Theatre, StratfordProfessional
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Performed for the week with matinee Wednesday.
29 Nov 1919 Cripplegate Institute, LondonAmateur
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Performed for one night by the Delphic Dramatic Society.
29 Apr 1920 Globe Theatre, PlymouthAmateur
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Amateur performance in aid of theatre funds.
24 May 1920 Isle of Wight Circuit, Isle of WightProfessional
7 Jun 1920 Palace Pier, HastingsProfessional
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Performed for the week
7 Jun 1920 Palace Pier, HastingsProfessional
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Performed for the week
14 Jun 1920 West Pier Theatre, BrightonProfessional
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Performed for the week
28 Jun 1920 Hippodrome, Golders Green, LondonProfessional
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Performed for the week by Gerald Alexander's Company.
21 Sep 1920 Pavilion Theatre, NewquayProfessional
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Performed Tuesday and Wednesday at 8.15pm. Thursday-Saturday 'Freedom of the Seas' was performed.
23 Sep 1920 Pavilion Theatre, PenzanceProfessional
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PErformed Thursday-Saturday at 8pm.
29 Nov 1920 Hippodrome, TodmordenAmateur
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Performed 29-30 November by Todmorden Amateur Players in aid of the Todmorden and District Nursing Association
10 Jan 1921 West Pier Theatre, BrightonProfessional
31 Jan 1921 Pavilion, TorquayProfessional
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Performed for the week.
9 Apr 1921 Palace Theatre, BurnleyAmateur
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Performed by the Burnley Amateur Comedy Company for one night only in aid of the 5th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment.
30 Dec 1921 Capesthorne Hall, Chelford, CheshireAmateur
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Given by amateurs in the private theatre of Capesthorne Hall residence of General Bromley-Davenport, who took the chief role.
27 May 1922 King's Theatre, OswestryAmateur
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Performed on 27, 28 and 29 May for the benefit of the Shropshire Orthopaedic Hospital by Oswestry A.C.D
18 Dec 1922 Victoria Theatre, DundeeProfessional
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Performed for the week
22 Jan 1923 Canterbury Theatre, CanterburyAmateur
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Performed by the Canterbury Players in aid of the Kent and Canterbury Hospital for the week with matinees Thursday and Saturday.
5 Feb 1923 Queen's Theatre, DundeeProfessional
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Performed for the week
21 May 1923 Hippodrome, BirkenheadProfessional
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Performed Whit Monday,
25 Aug 1923 Opera House, CoventryProfessional
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Performed Monday, Tuesday and Saturday evenings.
15 Oct 1923 Ambassadors, SouthendProfessional
1 Sep 1924 Repertory Theatre, PlymouthProfessional
20 Oct 1924 Theatre Royal, Leamington SpaProfessional
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One night only. Performed by the Raynor Repertoire Company, headed by Ennis Lawson.
1 Dec 1924 Queen's Theatre, DundeeProfessional
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Performed for the week by Herbert Mansfield and Repertory Company
14 Apr 1925 New Theatre, CreweProfessional
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Performed Tuesday and Wednesday by the Raynor Repertory company.
10 Aug 1925 Coliseum, ShorehamProfessional
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Performed by Herbert Mansfield's company including Jayne Grey.
28 Sep 1925 Opera House, CoventryProfessional
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Performed by the Raynor Repertory Company for one night only.
18 Nov 1925 Good Templar Hall, Broughty FerryAmateur
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Performed by the Barnhill Dramatic Society
10 Dec 1925 Memorial Theatre, Stratford-on-AvonAmateur
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Performed by the Stratford Amateur Players on 10, 11 and 12 December.
13 Mar 1926 Moseley and Balsall Heath Institute, BirminghamAmateur
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Presented by the member of Camp Hill Old Edwardians Dramatic Society for one night.
15 Apr 1926 Lecture Hall, LittlehamptonAmateur
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Presented by the Littlehampton Amateur Dramatic Society on Thursday and Friday (15, 16 April)
16 Aug 1926 Opera House, NorthamptonProfessional
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Performed for the week by the Elephant and Castle Repertory Company.
19 Nov 1926 King George's Hall, LondonAmateur
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Performed by United Dairies D.S. on 19 and 20 November.
29 Nov 1926 Hippodrome, RotherhamProfessional
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Performed Monday-Wednesday by the Veneer Repertory Company.
29 Nov 1926 Hippodrome, RotherhamProfessional
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Performed Monday-Wednesday by the Veneer Repertory Company.
13 Dec 1926 Regent Theatre, LondonProfessional
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Performed for the week.
6 Jun 1927 Hippodrome, GloucesterProfessional
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Performed for the week by the Denville Players
11 Jul 1927 Her Majesty's Theatre, CarlisleProfessional
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Performed for the week. 'The play proves to have so much vitality as to suggest that war dramas have been too hastily placed on the shelf' (The Stage, 14 July 1927)
19 Sep 1927 Playhouse, BroadstairsProfessional
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Performed for the week.
26 Sep 1927 Hippodrome, CannockProfessional
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Performed for the week twice nightly with cast including Julian Courtville.
17 Nov 1927 St Oswald's Hall, SheffieldAmateur
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Performed by the Howlden Players, Nov 17-19 included.
4 Feb 1928 Town Hall, Lynton, North DevonAmateur
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Presented by the Lyn Amateur Dramatic Society around 4 February 1928.
13 Feb 1928 Prince of Wales Theatre, RugbyAmateur
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Presente by the Temple Players on 13-18 February.
22 Feb 1928 Pier Theatre, Herne BayAmateur
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Performed for four nights (22-25 February) by the Herne Bay Bohemians Operatic and Dramatic Society.
14 May 1928 West Cliff Concert Hall, RamsgateProfessional
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Performed Monday-Thursday by the Grant Anderson Repertory Company.
14 May 1928 West Cliff Concert Hall, RamsgateProfessional
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Performed Monday-Thursdayby the Grant Anderson Repertory Company.
1 Oct 1928 Pavilion Theatre, PerthProfessional
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Performed by the Herbert Mansfield Company.
18 Oct 1928 Regent Theatre, BarnstableProfessional
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Performed for three nights from Thursday 18 October.
5 Nov 1928 Manor theatre, ExmouthProfessional
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Presented for three nights by T. Adrian Heathcote Productions.
12 Nov 1928 Theatre Royal, WorthingProfessional
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Performed by the Imperial Players for three nights, Monday-Wednesday.
24 Dec 1928 Leas Pavilion, FolkestoneProfessional
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Performed on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and the rest of the week twice a day.
15 Apr 1929 Alexandra Theatre, BirminghamProfessional
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Performed for the week by Leon Salberg and his 1929 Repertory Company including Bruce Belfrage and Faith Liddle.
29 May 1929 Grand Theatre, DerbyProfessional
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Performed for the week twice nightly.
16 Dec 1929 Her Majesty's Theatre, WalsallAmateur
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Performed Monday and Tuesday in aid of the funds of the Victoria Nursing Institution. Produced by Stanley Eglington.
30 Oct 1939 Brixton Theatre, Brixton, LondonProfessional
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‘Some might be inclined to think that Lechmere Worral [sic] and J. E. Harold’s [sic] old-fashioned spy play, “The Man Who Stayed at Home,” would be a sound attraction for the Brixton Repertory's 144th production, considering the present political situation, yet a good house appeared deeply interested in the play on Monday. It is well staged and produced by Colin Gordon, with settings designed and executed by Jack Drayton. Arnold Bell has a light comedy part, which he obviously enjoys as Christopher Brent, and Diana King gives a sympathetic and understanding portrayal of Mollie. The pompous J. P., John Preston, is admirably interpreted by Noel Carey, and Richard Humphrey is effective as Percival. James Page and Peter Hoar are both sufficiently sinister. Jean Stephenson is seen to advantage as Miriam Leigh. Joan Mathison contributes a notable and. amusing study of a chattering spinster, and June Melville completes the cast in her own capable way’. The Stage, 2 November 1939
31 Jan 1972 Thorndike Theatre (Leatherhead), LeatherheadProfessional
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‘Twenty-one years of theatre in Leatherhead is being celebrated at the Thorndike with a revival of the famous 1914 play “The Man Who Stayed at Home” by Lechmere Worrall and J. E. Harold Terry; the first professional production since Jersey in 1950 and Bolton in 1943. Directed by Jordan Lawrence - who, with Michael Marriott and Hazel Vincent Wallace formed the original triad who opened the first small theatre in the town in January 1951 - this presentation is perfectly in period and comes across as a truthful representation of the unsophisticatedness of even the world of espionage nearly 60 years ago. The audience is permitted a few giggles at the idea of anyone falling about at the sight of a microphone and a concealed “Marconi set” but it never gets out of hand. Under the director’s skilful hand this very good play holds together in its own right and is so absorbing that, on the night I was there, one small boy in the audience yelled an urgent “look out!” when the villain pulled a gun on the hero. David Stoll, best known as a farce actor, proves his strong dramatic ability as the able-bodied Christopher Brent who would neither enlist to fight for his country nor give reason for not doing so and Brian Spink is excellent as the Admiralty official who is really a German spy, while Carmen Silvera is at her best as his equally involved but not nearly so black-hearted mother. Villainy is also well represented by Margaret Diamond as one of their confederates while the side of the goodies is strongly upheld by Sonia Graham as chief assistant counter-spy, Carole Mowlam as Brent’s bewildered but loyal fiancee, Leon Sinden as her blimpish father, Barbara Bolton as a startled spinster and Ian Ogilvy as a keen young soldier who, while impressing the enemy as effete and foolish, proves equal to an emergency when it comes. Last performance February 12’.