Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

This is a well conceived and cleverly written comedy on the theme of "caste', as affected by the social upheavals due to the present war. It's hero is the leading tailor in a country town where in 1911 he is doing good work as a captain in the newly formed Territorials. In that capacity he comes across the daughter of one of his customers, a Baronet who, like his wife and son, is soaked in the prejudices of Tory "country" society. The girl, an impulsive radical at heart, utterly out of sympathy with the snobbish traditions of her family, falls in love with the tradesman who though he returns her affection is too generous to take advantage of it, though she practically offers to sacrifice for his sake all that her relations hold most sacred in life. The comedy of the first act, with the tailor's professional call on the Baronet and the contrast between their views, is followed by General Post which has been started in 1914 with the outbreak of war, with the magnificent work of the Territorials and with the levelling of social classes in the new army. Smith the tailor is now colonel of a regiment which the baronet's son has joined, and the humours of the situation, its surprises and difficulties, are elaborated with delightfully natural effect. Another interval of years is supposed to see the war ended victoriously for the Allies, the tailor turned into Brigadier General Smith VC, and the Baronet's family only too anxious to welcome him as a suitor for the heroine's hand. The girl's character has changed, as has that of her relations, and for a time it seems as though mutual misunderstandings must keep the lovers separated. In the end however, all is settled happily: and the fortunate blend of realism and romance will doubtless afford much innocent delight if its rendering is as natural as are its easy dialogue and neat action [...]

Researcher's Summary:

In January 1920 the play was being filmed at the Ideal company's studios in Elstree. Thomas Bentley was the producer. Lilian Braithwaite was the only original member of the company from Birmingham. She starred alongside Henderson Bland in the play which was being seen by audiences by June 1920. In 1920 Percy Hutchison also took the play to Canada, where he concluded his season at His Majesty's, Montreal at the end of July 1922. In December 1926 the play was adapted and broadcast on the radio by Gordon McConnel.

Licensed On: 9 Feb 1917

License Number: 789

British Library Reference: LCP1917/3

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66158 X


26 Feb 1917 Devonshire Park Theatre, EastbourneUnknown Licensed Performance
13 Jan 1919 ?, ReadingProfessional
20 Jan 1919 Prince of Wales' Theatre, GrimsbyProfessional
27 Jan 1919 Opera House, NorthamptonProfessional
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Presented by Percy Hutchison and Herbert Jay
3 Feb 1919 ?, HammersmithProfessional
10 Feb 1919 ?, Wimbledon, LondonProfessional
17 Feb 1919 Lyceum, TauntonProfessional
7 Apr 1919 Grand Theatre, CroydonProfessional
14 Apr 1919 Grand Theatre, DerbyProfessional
21 Apr 1919 ?, Brixton, LondonProfessional
28 Apr 1919 ?, WestcliffProfessional
12 May 1919 Dalston Theatre, DalstonProfessional
26 May 1919 Theatre Royal, YorkProfessional
29 May 1919 Theatre Royal, BathProfessional
2 Jun 1919 Shakespeare Theatre, LiverpoolProfessional
18 Aug 1919 Hippodrome, Golders Green, LondonProfessional
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Cast including Arthur Pitt, Amy Ravenscroft, Geoffrey Webe, Grace Sweeting, Chas. J. Barber, Vernon Sylvaine, and Fred De Vere.
11 Sep 1919 Wellington Pier, YarmouthProfessional
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Presented by Percy Hutchinson and Herbert Jay's Principal London Company.
6 Oct 1919 Worthing Theatre, WorthingProfessional
20 Oct 1919 Grand, LancasterProfessional
27 Oct 1919 Her Majesty's Theatre, CarlisleProfessional
3 Nov 1919 Gaiety Theatre, AyrProfessional
10 Nov 1919 Grand Theatre, FalkirkProfessional
17 Nov 1919 Theatre Royal, DunfermlineProfessional
24 Nov 1919 ?, PerthProfessional
1 Dec 1919 King's Theatre, GreenockProfessional
8 Dec 1919 Theatre Royal, AldershotProfessional
19 Jan 1920 Shodfriar's Theatre, Boston, LincolnshireProfessional
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Performed Monday-Wednesday.
2 Feb 1920 County Theatre, BedfordProfessional
8 Mar 1920 Prince of Wales' Theatre, GrimsbyProfessional
15 Mar 1920 Empire Theatre, PrestonProfessional
22 Mar 1920 Opera House, WakefieldProfessional
1 Apr 1920 Unknown Theatre, ScarboroughProfessional
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Performed for three nights.
5 Apr 1920 Grand Theatre, WellingtonProfessional
12 Apr 1920 Brixton Theatre, Brixton, LondonProfessional
19 Apr 1920 Theatre and Opera House, CheltenhamProfessional
26 Apr 1920 ?, Port TalbotProfessional
3 May 1920 Theatre Royal and Opera House, TorquayProfessional
10 May 1920 Theatre Royal, ExeterProfessional
17 May 1920 Lyceum Theatre, NewportProfessional
16 Aug 1920 New Theatre, CardiffProfessional
23 Aug 1920 Hippodrome, SheernessProfessional
11 Oct 1920 Palace Theatre, GloucesterProfessional
17 Jan 1921 Victoria Hall, SudburyProfessional
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For two nights only, 17 and 18 January. Performed by Percy Hutchison and Herbert Jay's company.
19 Jan 1921 Institute Hall, BraintreeProfessional
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For one night only.
5 Dec 1921 Hippodrome, TodmordenAmateur
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For three nights only, presented by the Todmorden Amateur Players.
18 Dec 1922 Hippodrome, Golders Green, LondonProfessional
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Performed twice nightly. Mr Gerald Alexander presents his West-End Company.
8 Jan 1923 West Pier Theatre, BrightonProfessional
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Presented by Gerald Anderson.
15 Jan 1923 South Parade Pier, PortsmouthProfessional
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Presented by Gerald Alexander's West End Company
29 Jan 1923 Pier Pavilion Theatre, WeymouthProfessional
6 Feb 1923 Avenue Hall, SouthamptonAmateur
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Performed by the South Hants Amateur Dramatic Club for two nights, in aid of the Royal South Hants and Southampton Hospital.
13 Feb 1923 Vista Cinema, WestburyProfessional
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Performed for two nights by Gerald Alexander's company.
22 Feb 1923 Theatre Royal, NorwichProfessional
26 Feb 1923 Theatre Royal, PontypoolProfessional
5 Mar 1923 ?, MonmouthProfessional
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Three nights only.
8 Mar 1923 Theatre Royal, GranthamProfessional
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Performed Thursday-Saturday.
12 Mar 1923 Theatre Royal, King's LynnProfessional
19 Mar 1923 Theatre Royal, YarmouthProfessional
26 Mar 1923 Marina Theatre, LowestoftProfessional
9 Apr 1923 Opera House, MacclesfieldProfessional
30 Apr 1923 Pier Theatre, EastbourneProfessional
27 Aug 1923 Ambassadors, SouthendProfessional
27 Oct 1923 Theatre Royal, Bury St EdmundsProfessional
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One night only, presented by special request by Dudley Stuart and Gerald Alexander.
4 Apr 1924 King Edward Hall, FinchleyAmateur
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Presented on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 by the Old Finchleians' Dramatic Society.
4 Aug 1924 Ambassadors, SouthendProfessional
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Revived by the Repertory Company.
10 Dec 1924 Jesmond Pavilion, NewcastleProfessional
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Performed by the Newcastle Repertory Theatre under the direction of Gordon Lea.
11 Oct 1926 Queen's Theatre, DundeeProfessional
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Produced by Jack Fortescue's Repertory Company.
25 Jul 1927 County Theatre, TruroUnknown
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Performed during the week, alongside other plays, by the Morris Players.
30 Apr 1928 West Cliff Concert Hall, RamsgateProfessional
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Produced by the Grant Anderson Repertory Company.
25 Jun 1928 Victoria Theatre, BurnleyProfessional
14 Jan 1929 West Cliff Concert Hall, RamsgateProfessional
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Produced for the week, with matinees Thursday and Saturday, and starring John Fortescue, Marian Victor and plays from the principal British Repertory Theatres.
9 Jun 1930 Repertory Theatre, PlymouthProfessional
14 Sep 1931 Theatre Royal, South ShieldsProfessional
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Performed by the South Shields Repertory Company
19 Mar 1940 Pier Theatre, HastingsProfessional
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Performed by the Court Players.
29 Apr 1940 Devonshire Park Theatre, EastbourneProfessional
31 Aug 1942 Theatre Royal, ExeterProfessional
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Adapted to the context of the Second World War by Hamilton Deane from the original play and staged for the first time. Produced by and starring Percy Hutchison.