Examiner of Plays' Summary:
A brisk melodrama, not ill done. Chief villain, a German spy; second villain, a sanctimonious profiteering tradesman; villainess, his daughter, the spy's mistress; heroine, his poor relation and drudge; hero, a gallant Tommy. Hero exposes villain and is made to believe the heroine unfaithful; is taken prisoner and escapes in time to avoid death by torture at the villain's hands; returns and all is explained. The German prison camp scene might be made too horrible but it is very short and we have had many such scenes; they do good, perhaps in reminding people of what our men may suffer. The play is commendably free from vulgarity. Recommended for licence. G. S. Street
This hugely succesful play began as 'Called Up' but at the end of November 1918 it was renamed 'Coming Home' and staged under the new title. From early November 1919 'Coming Home' began to be staged as part of a repertoire of plays rather than as E. Vivian Edmonds' sole attraction. Other stock companies also began to play it (Denville company on June 14-19 and July 12-17 1920; Albert Sember company on November 1-6 1920 and May 8-13 and August 15-16 1922).
Licensed On: 9 Jul 1918
License Number: 1661
British Library Reference: LCP1918/12
British Library Classmark: Add MS 66194 Q
|15 Jul 1918||Theatre Royal, Barnsley||Professional||
Performed from 15-20 by E. Vivian Edmonds (company manager, author and actor), Gladys Ford-Howitt (co-producer and actress). The cast was: Reggie Travers ... Mr E. Vivian Edmonds "Bill Blower" ... Mr. Frank Fountain Eric Mullins ... Mr. Rupert W. H. Corri Enoch Hargraves ... Mr. John F. Preston Mr. Smith ... Mr. J. Adrian Byrne Samuel Butterworth ... Mr Fred G. Kay Billy Blair ... Mr. Ernest Vasey Fritz ... Mr. Ernest C. Winn Mr. Sykes ... Mr. Tom Howard Rhoda Hargraves ... Miss Minnie Watersford Matilda Hargraves ... Miss Florence Davis Lilian Alice Jenks ... Miss H. Graham Edwins Mary Darling ... Miss Gladys Ford-Howitt The company included two 'discharged heroes' (Barnsley Independent 20 July 1918) ‘The repertory season at the Theatre Royal is coming to an end, and Mr. E. Vivian Edmonds, Barnsley’s most popular acting manager, is, after producing 19 successful plays in 15 weeks, about to crown his wonderful record by producing his latest play, entitled 'Called Up'. During the repertory season the work must have been very strenuous, and we can only wonder that after having done so well Mr. Edmonds has managed to write a new play, which we are sure will be a success. During his stay in Barnsley he has produced some excellent plays, and never once has he failed to put them on in a style worthy of a first-class London theatre.' (Barnsley Independent, 13 July 1918)
|22 Jul 1918||Opera House, Coventry||Professional|
Performed for the week. ''Called Up', [Vivan Edmonds'] new piece first appeared last Thursday at Barnsley, so that Coventry is the second town to be visited with it. It has many merits, and the pleasure of the good houses was very marked. A war story, it contains many applauded reflections on profiteers and profiteering, and appeals, perhaps particularly, to women with husbands, sons or sweethearts at the war, and who necessarily form the larger part of entertainment patrons.' (Coventry Evening Telegraph, 23 July 1918)
|29 Jul 1918||Theatre Royal, Castleford||Professional|
|29 Jul 1918||Theatre Royal, Castleford||Professional|
|19 Aug 1918||Hippodrome, Huddersfield||Professional|
Performed for the week by E. Vivian Edmonds, Misses H. Hewitt (actress), F. Davis (actress), N. Corri (actress), H. G. Edwins (actress), and Messrs. F. Fountain (actor), W. Corri, (actor) J. F. Preston (actor), A. Cheevers (actor), and F. G. Kay (actor), Arthur Morton (a local vocalist). Hettie Hewitt took over the role of Mary Darling from Edward Vivian Edmonds’ wife Gladys Ford-Howitt, perhaps because of Gladys’ pregnancy: the birth of their son John E F Edmonds was registered at Wandsworth in the period October-December 1918. 'There is no lack of incident in Mr. E. V. Edmonds's drama, Called Up which is the attraction at the Hippodrome this week. It introduces the audience a couple of sanctimonious profiteers who not object trading with enemy agents order to amass wealth, but who with a touch of poetic justice are called when the age is increased, and are not enamoured of the prospect. Boisterous British soldiers and an internment camp in Germany are prominent in the plot, into which is interwoven an interesting story of love and intrigue. in which virtue is finally triumphant. The drama provides an excellent evening’s entertainment for those who are fond of full-blooded melodrama, and who like their pathos served up hot and strong ... On Friday night The Third Man, by the same author, is to be given’. (Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 20 August 1918)
|26 Aug 1918||Theatre Royal, Dewsbury||Professional|
|2 Sep 1918||Grand Theatre, Halifax||Professional|
Performed 2-7 September (excluding 6 September).
|16 Sep 1918||Royal Court, Warrington||Professional|
Performed 9-14 September.
|16 Sep 1918||Opera House, Burton-on-Trent||Professional|
Performed 16-21 September.
|23 Sep 1918||Grand Theatre, Doncaster||Professional|
Performed 23-28 September. ‘a manly drama founded on the war. It shows us the early days of the struggle – soldiers billeted in private houses, the always-present German spy smuggling contraband out of the country, the dashing Tommy and the simple-hearted country lass falling in love with him, till the scene changes. Then we have the novelty of an internment camp in Germany, where British soldiers, starved and beaten, suffer untold agonies at the hands of their Prussian gaolers. [...] It is all very manly, very thrilling, very real, and though melodrama pure and simple it grips the heart of all who see it. Mr. Edmonds plays with robust vigour, and Miss H. Hewitt, his leading lady, is a pathetic and sweet little figure as his trusting wife’. (Doncaster Chronicle, 27 September 1918)
|30 Sep 1918||Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham||Professional|
Performed 30 September to 5 October. ‘Stimulated by the news from the various battlefronts it needed little effort last evening on the part of Mr. E. Vivian Edmonds’s talented company at the Alexandra Theatre to rouse large audiences to enthusiasm as they presented the patriotic play entitled Called Up. There is much that is similar in all patriotic plays, but Called Up tells in happy fashion the story of volunteers, who, billeted in a coastal town, discover the dastardly intriguing of a Mr. Smith (Arthur Cheevers), whose sentiments and conduct were against the country he had made, for his own treacherous purposes, his place of domicile. [...] The whole play is delightful, and the humour is of the rare and refreshing variety’. (Birmingham Daily Post, 1 October 1918)
|7 Oct 1918||Lyceum Theatre, Crewe||Professional|
Performed 7-12 October.
|14 Oct 1918||Hippodrome, Leigh||Professional|
Performed 14-19 October.
|21 Oct 1918||Palace, Wellingborough||Professional|
Performed 21-26 October.
|28 Oct 1918||Theatre Royal, Leicester||Professional|
Performed 28 October to 2 November.
|4 Nov 1918||Prince's Theatre, Bradford||Professional|
Performed 4-9 November. Though only of recent production, every town already visited has testified its approval of the work by crowding the theatres nightly. Mr. Edmonds is a man of many parts, for in addition to playing the leading character, he is the author of the piece, and from his facile pen has flowed such well known successes as It is fully expected that the Bradford public will endorse the favourable verdict pronounced by the other towns' (Bradford Daily Telegraph, 2 November 1918)
|11 Nov 1918||?, Accrington||Professional|
|18 Nov 1918||Theatre Royal, Wolverhampton||Professional|
|25 Nov 1918||Hippodrome, Salford||Professional|
This appears to be the first time the play was performed under the new title 'Coming Home'. It was performed from 25-30 November.
|2 Dec 1918||Grand Theatre, Mansfield||Professional|
Performed under the title 'Coming Home' from 2-7 December.
|9 Dec 1918||Alhambra, Stourbridge||Professional|
Performed under the title 'Coming Home' from 9-14 December.
|16 Dec 1918||Hippodrome, Manchester||Professional|
Performed 16-21 December.
|23 Dec 1918||Junction Theatre, Manchester||Professional|
Performed 23-28 December.
|30 Dec 1918||Hippodrome, Darwen||Professional|
Performed 30 December to 4 January 1919.
|6 Jan 1919||Theatre Royal, West Stanley, Co. Durham||Professional|
Performed 6-11 January 1919.
|13 Jan 1919||Hippodrome, Nuneaton||Professional|
Performed 13-25 January 1919.
|27 Jan 1919||Hippodrome, Darwen||Professional|
Performed 27 January -1 February 1919.
|3 Feb 1919||Royal Bedford, Leigh||Professional|
Performed 3-8 February 1919.
|17 Feb 1919||King's Theatre, Colne||Professional|
Performed 17-22 February 1919.
|24 Feb 1919||County Theatre, Bedford||Professional|
Performed 24 February - 1 March 1919.
|3 Mar 1919||Grand Theatre, Luton||Professional|
Performed: 3-8 March. Advertised as 'A play for the mothers, for the soldiers, for the sailors, for sweethearts and wives, who have long prayed for those two little words, “Coming Home”' (Luton News and Bedfordshire Chronicle, 27 February 1919).
|10 Mar 1919||Grand, Brighton||Professional|
Performed 10-15 March and possibly also week of 18 March.
|24 Mar 1919||Elephant and Castle Theatre, London||Professional|
Performed 24-29 March.
|31 Mar 1919||Palace theatre, Bordesley||Professional|
Performed 31 March to 5 April.
|5 Apr 1919||King's Theatre, Colne||Professional|
PErformed 5-10 May 1919
|7 Apr 1919||Empire Theatre, Longton||Professional|
Performed 7-12 April 1919.
|14 Apr 1919||Opera House, St Helens||Professional|
Performed 14-19 April.
|21 Apr 1919||Theatre Royal, Leeds||Professional|
Performed 21-26 April. ‘There is [a] villain in Coming Home, at the Theatre Royal, a German spy, true to stage type, but his villainy is only a side-line. The Pharisee with his broad dialect – is it Yorkshire Lancashire, the way? - and vulgar display of new-gained wealth and social standing, is the arresting figure in the play. Plentiful comedy and witty and clever exchanges between the Pharisee and the hero, a gentleman ranker billeted the former’s house, raise the play well above the level its kind. With strong effect in his declamatory passages, and a happy knack of avoiding anti-climax by a quick change to comedy and whimsicality, Mr. Vivian Edmonds, the author and producer of the play, fills the part of the hero the capably’. (Yorkshire Evening Post, 22 April 1919)
|28 Apr 1919||Grand, Accrington||Professional|
Performed 28 April to 3 May by cast including: , E. Vivian Edmonds, Gladys Ford Howitt, Phyllis Ray, Alice Fountain, H. Graham Edwins, Fred Gresham, Arthur Cheevers, Henry Sheppard, Jesse Flint, Ernest C. Wvnn, Robert Jones, Frank Fountain, and Harry Warde’.
|12 May 1919||Royal Theatre, Barnsley||Professional|
Performed 12-24 May 1919. Notice for the Royal Theatre, Barnsley, ‘E. Vivian Edmonds and company occupy the boards here with Coming Home, played twice nightly. This play was produced here some time ago with success under the title of Called Up, and to judge by the reception on Monday evening, it has lost none of its popularity. Mr. Edmonds and Gladys Ford-Howitt portray the chief parts with ability, and receive excellent support from a capable company’ (Stage, 15 May 1919)
|26 May 1919||Theatre Royal, Jarrow-On-Tyne||Professional|
Performed 26 May - 7 June at 6-50 and 8-50. ‘Mr. E. Vivian Edmonds and Company have been appearing nightly in Coming Home. Mr Edmonds himself appearing as Reggie Travers, a man who was called up. He has been ably supported Miss Gladys Ford-Howitt, as Mary Darling, the poor relation, a part the lady has taken with great success. The heavy part has been ably sustained by Mr. Arthur Cheevers, as a commercial traveller named Smith. He is an enemy agent and is helped in his work by a grocer. Mr. Fred Gresham takes the part of Mr. Enoch Hargreaves, the profiteer with great success, Miss Phyllis Rae is very good as Rhoda Hargreaves, who becomes the victim of the enemy agent. Miss Alice Fountain is very amusing as Matilda Hargreaves. sister to the grocer. Miss H. Graham Edwins takes the part of Lilian Alice Jinks, a maid of all work. Mr. Frank Fountain as Bill Blower and Mr. Harry Warde as Eric Mullins, soldiers called up, keep the house in continual amusement. The play is well staged and all the parts are well taken. Miss Ford-Howitt has been enthusiastically applauded each evening. For next week The Maid of the Mill is announced’ (Jarrow Express, 30 May 1919)
|9 Jun 1919||Theatre Royal, South Shields||Professional|
Performed 9-14 June 1919: ‘There was a big crowd last night at the Theatre Royal, South Shields, at the opening performance of a play entitled Coming Home. The plot is of the military order, and opens at the home of a hypocritical profiteering grocer, Enoch Hargreaves, where three soldiers have been billeted. One of them, Reggie Travers, is a gentleman ranker, and falls in love with Mary Darling, a poor relative of the family, a part which is played with great charm by Miss Gladys Ford-Howitt. There is the well-dressed German spy posing as Mr. Smith, in love with the grocer’s daughter Rhoda, and secretly scheming mischief to British interests in which he is aided by the psalm-singing provision merchant. This dastardly plot is discovered by Reggie Travers. The three soldier companions are called up and go through trying times. They encounter the German once more in interned [sic] camp, where Reggie, after a fierce struggle, kills him. It is a piece full of strong situations in which the hero's part is played with much power by Mr E. Vivian Edmonds. The role of the spy is cleverly interpreted by Arthur Cheevers. Mr Harry Warde as one of the soldiers introduces some excellent songs, and Mr Frank Fountain gives a capital representation of the third soldier. There is much humour in Miss H. Graham Edwin’s acting as the frisky domestic and in Miss Alice Fountain’s account of the maiden sister of the grocer, which important part is played with much success by Mr Fred Gresham’ (Shields Daily News, 10 June 1919)
|16 Jun 1919||Cambridge Theatre, Spennymoor||Professional|
Performed 16-21 June 1919.
|23 Jun 1919||Opera House, Nottingham||Professional|
Performed 23-28 June 1919.
|30 Jun 1919||Royalty Theatre, Chester||Professional|
The Stage, 3 July 1919: does not list 'Coming Home' as being on tour; but lists instead ‘Edmonds, E. Vivian 30, R., Chester; July 7, O.H., Burton-on-Trent’.
|7 Jul 1919||Opera House, Burton-on-Trent||Professional|
The Stage, 3 July 1919: does not list 'Coming Home' as being on tour; but lists instead ‘Edmonds, E. Vivian 30, R., Chester; July 7, O.H., Burton-on-Trent’.
|14 Jul 1919||Her Majesty's Theatre, Walsall||Professional|
Performed 14-19 July 1919.
|21 Jul 1919||Theatre Royal, Worcester||Professional|
Performed 12-26 July 1919. The Stage, Thursday 24 July 1919 had an advertisement, ‘For this wonderful attraction, which is packing every theatre visited. [...] Last week at Walsall, business phenomenal. Money turned away nightly. Not a war play, but a topical peace (sic) that appeals to everyone'
|28 Jul 1919||Theatre Royal, Smethwick||Professional|
Performed for the week
|4 Aug 1919||Pavilion Theatre, Wombwell||Professional|
|11 Aug 1919||Theatre Royal, Merthyr Tydfil||Professional|
|18 Aug 1919||Palace Theatre, Amnmandford||Professional|
|25 Aug 1919||Alexandra Theatre, Widnes||Professional|
|8 Sep 1919||Grand Theatre, Nottingham||Professional|
|15 Sep 1919||?, Wombwell||Professional|
|22 Sep 1919||Prince's Theatre, Portsmouth||Professional|
|13 Oct 1919||Theatre Royal, West Bromwich||Professional|
|27 Oct 1919||Theatre Royal, Leigh||Professional|
|3 Nov 1919||Hippodrome, Burslem||Professional|
|6 Nov 1919||Theatre Royal, Stratford East||Professional|
|10 Nov 1919||Olympia, Bulwell, Nottingham||Professional|
Performed 10-12 November, in repertoire with other plays: ‘For the first time drama held away at the Bulwell Olympia last night, and the innovation seemed have “caught on” judging by the full houses. Coming Home by E. Vivian Edmonds and company was the attraction. Although a drama, it has many humourous incidents and the breezy optimism of E. Vivian Edmonds does not fail to provoke laughter. The emotional part of the falsely accused wife is in the capable hands of Miss Gladys Ford-Howitt. The play is based on incidents of the war from 1915 till, coincidentally, a year to-day and has a realistic scene of German internment camp’. (Nottingham Evening Post, 11 November 1919)
|1 Dec 1919||Grand Theatre, Doncaster||Professional|
|7 Dec 1919||New Theatre, Port Talbot||Professional|
Performed 7-9 as part of the week's repertoire.
|14 Dec 1919||Metropole, Abertillery||Professional|
Performed 14-27 December.
|15 Mar 1920||Metropole Theatre, Glasgow||Professional|
The Stage, Thursday 25 March 1920 has an advertisement for the Metropole, Glasgow, ‘Coming Home, E. Vivian Edmonds, registered this season’s record Saturday, following an excellent five nights. Congratulations. Last week, well over £400’.
|29 Apr 1920||Prince's Theatre, Portsmouth||Professional|
Performed on Friday 29 and Saturday 30th April.
|17 May 1920||Grand Theatre, Oldham||Professional|
Performed by the Grand Theatre Stock Company 17-22 May.
|12 Jun 1920||Royal Theatre, Henley||Professional|
Not performed by E. Vivian Edmonds' company. Notice for the Royal Theatre, Hanley: ‘The Denville stock company are attracting fine business. Coming Home is this week's play, presented by Dolly Wright, Bert Bannister, J. Hayes Edwin, Marguerite Trevosper, Beatrice M. Anderson, Frank Caffrey, Edward H. Hobart, Edwin Beverley, St. John Stuart, and Will E. Gardiner’ (Stage, 15 July 1920)
|14 Jun 1920||New Theatre Royal, Birkenhead||Professional|
Not performed by E. Vivian Edmonds' company. Notice for the New Royal Theatre, Birkenhead, ‘The Denville-Kelly stock season continues to be successful. The fourth week’s attraction is Coming Home, and the company do justice to the play. A twice-nightly programme, without early doors or booking fees, is proving popular with playgoers’. ( Stage, 17 June 1920)
|21 Jun 1920||Hippodrome, Ellesmere Port||Professional|
Performed this week alongside other plays: Notice for the Hippodrome, Ellesmere Port, ‘With vivid memories of the previous visit, patrons give a rousing welcome to E. Vivian Edmonds and his company, a popular member of whom is Gladys Ford-Howitt. Additional interest is lent to the visit by reason of the fact that Mr. Edmonds is the author of the pieces which are being played. Four nights are devoted to Her Only Son, a powerful play. Coming Home and The Maid of the Mill are also being given much to the delight of patrons who cherish memories of previous performances. Mr. Brown, the popular manager, deserves credit for having caught the local “atmosphere”, and is doing very well’. (Stage, 24 June 1920)
|26 Jun 1920||Royal and Empire Theatre, Merthyr Tydfil||Professional|
Performed this week alongside other plays.
|23 Aug 1920||Grand Theatre, Plymouth||Professional|
Performed for the week but not by E. Vivian Edmonds' company. Performers included: Beckett Bould (actor), Phil Harper (actor), Clifton Earle (actor), John Durant (actor), C. Alan Hineson(?) (actor), Violet Ingram (actress), Dora Weber (actress), Maudie B. Douglas (actress). ‘Quite a novelty in the dramatic fare usually provided for patrons of the Grand Theatre, Plymouth, will be submitted next week in the shape of Coming Home, a drama in which the comedy element predominates. In place of the usual dramatic thrills, we have a series of side-splitting situations which keep the audience in roars of laughter from the rise of the curtain to the fall. The piece will be interpreted by the usual popular stock company ...'. (Western Morning News, 21 August 1920)
|23 Aug 1920||Theatre Royal, Barnsley||Professional|
E. Vivian Edmond's Company performing for two weeks here. (23 August - 4 September)
|16 Oct 1920||Prince's Theatre, Portsmouth||Professional|
Performed on 16 October only by E. Vivian Edmonds' company: ‘Four separate dramas will be presented at the Prince's Theatre during next week by E. Vivian Edmond’s [sic] company. The week will open with The Third Man, to be played on Monday and Tuesday, followed on the next two days with The Daughter of a Thief, and on Friday and Saturday with Maid of the Mill and Coming Home respectively’ (Hampshire Telegraph, 8 October 1920)
|1 Nov 1920||Theatre Royal, Sunderland||Professional|
Performed by Albert Sember’s company for the week.
|17 Jan 1921||Theatre Royal, Stratford East||Professional|
Performed alongside other plays this week by Vivian Edmonds' company.
|24 Jan 1921||Metropole Theatre, Glasgow||Professional|
Performed by Vivian Edmonds' company in the first of a two-week period at the theatre.
|8 May 1922||Palace Theatre, Gloucester||Professional|
Albert Sember's company performed for the week of 8-13 May. Cast were: Reggie Travers ... Val Gurney Enoch Hargreaves ... Albert Sember Eric Mullins ... Willie Reid Billy Blane ... Peter Tyson Bill Blower … George Dudley Samuel Butterworth … E. W. Bretton Mr. Smith … Vincent Carlyle Rhoda Hargreaves … Lilian Moubray Matilda Hargreaves … Ruth Wallace Lilian Alice Jinks ... Jeannie Hackett Mary Darling ... Camille Ronald
|14 Aug 1922||Theatre Royal, Bristol||Professional|
Performed this week.
|15 Aug 1922||Grand, Hartlepool||Professional|
Performed on 15 and 16 August by Albert Sember's company in the last two week's of the company (Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail, 16 August 1922)
|20 Nov 1922||Theatre Royal, Stratford||Professional|
Performed this week: ‘Mr. E. Vivian Edmonds remains at the Royal with his company this week and the programme comprises Coming Home, The Third Man, and The Daughter of a Thief, each being played for two nights. On Monday Coming Home had a capital interpretation, Mr. Edmonds scoring once again as Reggie Travers, into which part he was able to put much humour as well as some sound acting on more dramatic lines. Miss Hettie Hewitt played wistfully as the downtrodden Mary, and was well contrasted by the bold Rhoda of Miss Phyllis Orme and the droll Lillian Alice of Miss Eva Reed. Miss Lizzie Gordon was also well cast as Matilda. Mr. J. E. Reed was a conventional villain as Smith. The joyous natures of Bill and Eric were, fittingly shown by Mr. Jack Armitage and Mr Fred Carrol. Mr. David Day playing Billy, and Mr. A. Sanders appearing as Butterworth. The excellent study of Hargreaves by Mr. Ernest C. Edwards deserves special mention’ (Stage, 23 November 1922)