Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

This is a chaotic farcical revue, with a story treating mainly of the absurd proceedings of a private detective employed at a store, where he manages to set all the assistant by the ears and provokes a quarrel between the proprietor and his son, who is in love with the typist. The store-manager is a German spy who engineers a strike among the employees, and is eventually ‘run in’ together with a detective, who is, it seems, one of his accomplices. Inoffensive nonsense; but the words of some of the songs, which are missing, must be forwarded for consideration. Recommended for license. Ernest A. Bendall.

Licensed On: 8 Oct 1917

License Number: 1172

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British Library Reference: LCP1917/20

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66175 B

Performances

DateTheatreType
8 Oct 1917 Bedford, Camden, LondonProfessional
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Performed for the week by: George Hestor (actor), Dorothy Frostick (actress), Winnie Collins (actress), Charles Hammell (actor), Ethel Arden (actress), Jack Mann (actor), Hugh Webb (actor), Joan Hestor (actress), George Farnley (actor), Norman Carn (actor), Marie Ellis (actress), Billy Jeffries (actress), Nellie Hill (actress). Also Fred Karno (co-writer), George Hughes (co-writer), John Gerant (co-writer and Karno's manager). 'Fred Karno’s latest production, Nosey Knows, produced here on Monday, October 8, 1917, is full of boisterous merriment and general brightness. There is every indication the piece will rank among the best that Mr. Karno has given us. It is certainly not revue, as the term is generally accepted nowadays, and although there is but the suggestion of some kind of coherent story the whole is primarily a well-conceived mixture of broadly comic business and clever satire. Excellent though it is at present, one readily appreciates that Nosey Knows will develop into something even better. The principal object of the authors has been to make their audiences laugh, and they have been eminently successful ... Nosey Parker – which is by Fred Karno, George Hughes and John Gerant, and has been produced by Fred Karno – should be much in demand with present-day audiences as a commendable antidote for these depressing times' (Stage 11 October 1917).
8 Oct 1917 Bedford Music Hall, Camden, LondonUnknown Licensed Performance
22 Oct 1917 Empire Theatre, Finsbury ParkProfessional
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Performed for the week by George Hestor (actor) as Nosey Parker, Hugh Webb (actor) as Jack Smart, ‘a man of many aliases’, Jack Mann (actor), Chas. Hammel (actor), Norman Carn (actor), George Farnley (actor), Winnie Collins (actress), Dorothy Frostick (actress), Ethel Arden (actress), Marie Ellis (actress), Joan Hestor (actress), Billie Jeffries (actress), Nellie Hill (actress). Also on the bill were Harry Champion, the O’Hara Sisters, Dora Lyric, the Sisters Langley, and J. G. Taylor, the philosophic jester.
29 Oct 1917 Empire Theatre, New Cross, LondonProfessional
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Performed for the week with George Hestor and Dorothy Frostick. Also on the bill: Albert Whelan, the O’Hara Sisters, Bert Harrow, and Wee Georgie Harris complete the bill.
12 Nov 1917 King's Theatre, SouthseaProfessional
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Performed for the week by George Hester (sic – Hestor) (actor), Jack Mann (actor), Charles Hammel (actor), Winnie Collins (actress), Dorothy Frostick (actress), Ethel Arden (actress). Also on the bill: Jos de Moraes, vocalist; Vivian Foster, the ‘vicar of mirth’; the Delson-Good Trio, French comedy acrobats; and Kioto, ‘a clever Japanese equilibrist.
3 Dec 1917 Empire, NewcastleProfessional
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Performed for the week by George Hestor (actor), Winnie Collins (actress), Ethel Arden (actress), D. Frostick (actress), Nat Lewis (actor).
10 Dec 1917 Coliseum, GlasgowProfessional
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Performed for the week by George Hestor (actor), Dorothy Frostick (actress), Ethel Arden (actress), Winnie Collins (actress).
17 Dec 1917 Empire, LiverpoolProfessional
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Performed for the week by George Hestor (actor), Dorothy Frostick (actress), Marie Ellis (actress), Nat Lewis (actor). ‘Fred Karno is anxious that the public shall know that Nosey Knows (Empire next week) is not a revue. I think he could have saved himself the trouble. We know our Karno by now’. (Liverpool Echo, 14 December 1917)
24 Dec 1917 Empire Palace, EdinburghProfessional
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Performed this week as half the bill.
7 Jan 1918 Empire Theatre, NottinghamProfessional
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Performed this week by George Hestor (actor), Dorothy Frostick (actress), Ethel Arden (actress), Joan Hestor (actress), Marie Ellie (sic - Ellis) (actress), Norman Carn (actor), Jack Mann (actor), Nat Lewis (actor). Also Fred Karno (co-writer), George Hughes (co-writer), John Gerant (co-writer). ‘Patrons of the Empire will have the pleasure next week of witnessing another Karno creation, and appetites will be whetted accordingly. Nosey Knows is Fred’s significant labelling of his latest effort, which he insists is not a revue but a “farcical musical sketch” … Karno and his collaborators, George Hughes and John Gerant, have managed to crowd in more than a sufficiency of the business that really matters, whilst at the same time resolutely refusing to make the plot a non-essential’. (Nottingham Journal, 5 January 1918)
14 Jan 1918 Empire Theatre, SheffieldProfessional
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Performed for the week.
28 Feb 1918 Palace Theatre, HullProfessional
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Performed for the week by George Hestor (actor), Dorothy Frostick (actress), Ethel Arden (actress), Joan Hestor (actress), Marie Ellis (actress), Norman Carn (actor), Charles Hammel (actor), Nat Lewis (actor). ‘Laughter should reign at the Palace next week when Fred Karno’s latest joy-compeller, Nosey Knows, occupies the stage. Fred is very insistent upon the point that it is not a revue, but a farcical musical sketch’. (Hull Daily Mail, 25 January 1918)