Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

This is a spy play, better written than most and with a quite exciting third act. The spies suggest those of 'The Man who Stayed at Home', being a German woman posing as an English lady and her son who has been brought up as an English naval officer for purposes of treachery. There is also a master-spy, Schaffer, disguised as a wounded Belgian officer. The hero is a gallant commander of a submarine and the spies' bright idea is to get form him the code key word which will disclose important naval plans to them and to send him drugged in an aeroplane to Berlin. He goes unsuspectingly to dinner with them but finds out their character before dinner. The plot is complicated by a love affair, a girl's photograph (with the missing word on it) a midshipman who comes accidentally to the rescue and so on. It is perhaps sufficient to say that after drugging, holding up, and the rest of it the hero outwits the spies and sends one of them to Berlin in the aeroplane instead of himself. The idea of a sub-lieutenant in the navy being a disguised German, with another in our air service (to assist in the aeroplane plot) and the general talk about the omnipresence and efficiency of German spies do not tend to have a useful effect, I think, but there seems to be nothing to interfere with. At one point (act III, p.19 and 21) the spies threaten the hero with mutilation, which is perhaps unnecessarily unpleasant, but its nature is not specified. Recommended for licence. G. S. Street

Researcher's Summary:

The play was a hit from its premiere at the Queen's Theatre, London. After an enforced termination at the Queens', the London production went on a short tour and then opened at the Garrick Theatre where it was performed until July 1919. It then transferred on 12 July to the New Theatre, London. By early 1919 there were two regional touring companies presenting the play across the UK. In early 1919 the rights were given for Australian and South African productions, and discussions were underway for the American, Dutch and French rights. In October 1919 Percy Hutchinson took the play to New York and from there to Canada. In mid-1927 Graham Wilcox Productions acquired the film rights. The film of the play was released in November 1927 and shown widely throughout 1928. It was directed by Fred Paul and starred Evelyn Laye in her debut role on film, alongside Henry Victor. Just over ten years later, in 1939, another film adaptation was released, starring Geoffrey Tone, Judy Kelly and Albert Burdon. It was also screened in mid-1942.

Licensed On: 22 Jul 1918

License Number: 1684

British Library Reference: LCP1918/13

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66195 I

Performances

DateTheatreType
1 Aug 1918 Theatre Royal, BournemouthProfessional Licensed Performance
Read Narrative
This was a trial run before the London run.
5 Aug 1918 Queens Theatre, LondonProfessional
Read Narrative
Premiered on Bank Holiday Monday. August 5th 1918 and continued to be performed through to mid February 1919. Percy Hutchinson began in the role of Clive Stanton, V.C. and then returned to the role in January 1919.
4 Oct 1918 Pleasure Gardens, FolkestoneProfessional
4 Oct 1918 Pleasure Gardens Theatre, FolkestoneProfessional
26 Oct 1918 King's Theatre, GlasgowProfessional
26 Oct 1918 King's Theatre, GlasgowProfessional
18 Nov 1918 Royal Lyceum, EdinburghProfessional
23 Nov 1918 Royal Lyceum Theatre, EdinburghProfessional
20 Jan 1919 Devonshire Park Theatre, EastbourneProfessional
3 Feb 1919 Gaiety Theatre, HastingsProfessional
10 Feb 1919 Pleasure Gardens Theatre, FolkestoneProfessional
17 Feb 1919 Theatre, DalstonProfessional
24 Feb 1919 Hippodrome, Golders Green, LondonProfessional
24 Feb 1919 Theatre Royal, StockportProfessional
11 Mar 1919 Theatre Royal, HanleyProfessional
20 Mar 1919 Empire Theatre, PrestonProfessional
24 Mar 1919 Wimbledon Theatre, Wimbledon, LondonProfessional
24 Mar 1919 Empire Theatre, BarnsleyProfessional
Read Narrative
This was the Midland company.
24 Mar 1919 Theatre Royal, BirminghamProfessional
24 Mar 1919 Theatre Royal, BarrowProfessional
Read Narrative
Presented by the Midland Company.
31 Mar 1919 Empire Theatre, KingstonProfessional
31 Mar 1919 New Theatre, CambridgeProfessional
Read Narrative
Presented by Percy Hutchinson's company for three nights and a matinee.
31 Mar 1919 Empire Theatre, BarnsleyProfessional
31 Mar 1919 Opera House, SouthportProfessional
31 Mar 1919 Empire Theatre, KingstonProfessional
7 Apr 1919 Grand Theatre, LutonProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed for six nights and a matinee.
7 Apr 1919 Opera House, SouthportProfessional
7 Apr 1919 Grand Theatre, MansfieldProfessional
14 Apr 1919 Opera House, BelfastProfessional
14 Apr 1919 Theatre Royal, BournemouthProfessional
21 Apr 1919 Grand Theatre, SouthamptonProfessional
21 Apr 1919 Opera House, CoventryProfessional
28 Apr 1919 Opera House, TorquayProfessional
28 Apr 1919 New Theatre, CreweProfessional
28 Apr 1919 New Theatre, CreweProfessional
5 May 1919 Theatre Royal, RochdaleProfessional
5 May 1919 Garrick Theatre, LondonProfessional
Read Narrative
Starring Percy Hutchinson.
5 May 1919 Pavilion Theatre, WeymouthProfessional
5 May 1919 Court Theatre, WiganProfessional
12 May 1919 Grand, AccringtonProfessional
12 May 1919 Olympia, LiverpoolProfessional
19 May 1919 Theatre Royal, BirkenheadProfessional
19 May 1919 Theatre Royal, BirkenheadProfessional
26 May 1919 Opera House, DudleyProfessional
26 May 1919 Opera House, NorthamptonProfessional
28 May 1919 Theatre Royal, TorquayProfessional
2 Jun 1919 Royalty Theatre, ChesterProfessional
2 Jun 1919 ?, HartlepoolProfessional
9 Jun 1919 Theatre Royal, BradfordProfessional
12 Jul 1919 New Theatre, LondonProfessional
4 Aug 1919 ?, SouthendProfessional
4 Aug 1919 Opera House, SouthportProfessional
4 Aug 1919 New Theatre, CambridgeProfessional
Read Narrative
Produced for six nights and a matinee and starring Percy Hutchinson.
11 Aug 1919 West Pier Theatre, BrightonProfessional
11 Aug 1919 Palace Theatre, Clackton-on-SeaProfessional
18 Aug 1919 Theatre and Opera House, CheltenhamProfessional
18 Aug 1919 Theatre Royal, BognorProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed for three nights this week.
18 Aug 1919 Theatre Royal, GuildfordProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed for three nights.
25 Aug 1919 Pier Theatre, EastbourneProfessional
25 Aug 1919 ?, BristolProfessional
25 Aug 1919 Victoria Opera House, BurnleyProfessional
1 Sep 1919 Gaiety Theatre, Douglas, Isle of ManProfessional
1 Sep 1919 ?, TauntonProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed for three nights.
1 Sep 1919 Theatre Royal, NorwichProfessional
4 Sep 1919 ?, Weston-Super-MareProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed for three nights.
8 Sep 1919 Lyceum Theatre, IpswichProfessional
8 Sep 1919 New Theatre, CardiffProfessional
15 Sep 1919 ?, WorcesterProfessional
15 Sep 1919 Palace Theatre, RamsgateProfessional
22 Sep 1919 ?, BathProfessional
22 Sep 1919 Hippodrome, SheernessProfessional
29 Sep 1919 Hippodrome, Golders Green, LondonProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed by Percy Hutchinson's 'principal company'.
29 Sep 1919 ?, WorthingProfessional
29 Sep 1919 County Theatre, ShrewsburyProfessional
6 Oct 1919 ?, StratfordProfessional
6 Oct 1919 Grand, LancasterProfessional
13 Oct 1919 ?, WatfordProfessional
13 Oct 1919 Opera House, BelfastProfessional
13 Oct 1919 Theatre Royal, WhitehavenProfessional
20 Oct 1919 ?, WoolwichProfessional
20 Oct 1919 Grand Theatre, AyrProfessional
27 Oct 1919 ?, HammersmithProfessional
27 Oct 1919 ?, PaisleyProfessional
3 Nov 1919 ?, PengeProfessional
3 Nov 1919 King's Theatre, GreenockProfessional
10 Nov 1919 ?, SwanseaProfessional
10 Nov 1919 ?, PerthProfessional
17 Nov 1919 Theatre Royal, InvernessProfessional
17 Nov 1919 Theatre Royal, PortsmouthProfessional
24 Nov 1919 Palace Theatre, GloucesterProfessional
24 Nov 1919 Grand Theatre, FalkirkProfessional
Read Narrative
Presented for the week
24 Nov 1919 Grand Theatre, HullProfessional
1 Dec 1919 Opera House, DunfermlineProfessional
1 Dec 1919 ?, WolverhamptonProfessional
8 Dec 1919 ?, RichmondProfessional
8 Dec 1919 Theatre Royal, LincolnProfessional
5 Jan 1920 ?, SwindonProfessional
5 Jan 1920 Grand, BlackpoolProfessional
12 Jan 1920 ?, ChathamProfessional
16 Jan 1920 Pleasure Gardens Theatre, FolkestoneProfessional
17 Jan 1920 County Theatre, St AlbansProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed at the weekend.
19 Jan 1920 ?, CrayfordProfessional
19 Jan 1920 Theatre Royal, West BromwichProfessional
26 Jan 1920 County Theatre, BedfordProfessional
26 Jan 1920 ?, DarlingtonProfessional
26 Jan 1920 ?, BedfordProfessional
23 Feb 1920 Gaiety Theatre, HastingsProfessional
8 Mar 1920 Grand Theatre, MansfieldProfessional
22 Mar 1920 ?, HanleyProfessional
22 Mar 1920 King's Theatre, EdinburghProfessional
29 Mar 1920 ?, NewportProfessional
5 Apr 1920 ?, WeymouthProfessional
5 Apr 1920 Grand Theatre, HullProfessional
12 Apr 1920 Theatre Royal, TorquayProfessional
19 Apr 1920 Grand Theatre, SouthamptonProfessional
Read Narrative
For six nights.
26 Apr 1920 Theatre Royal, BournemouthProfessional
26 Apr 1920 Theatre Royal, BournemouthProfessional
3 May 1920 Theatre and Opera House, CheltenhamProfessional
10 May 1920 Palace Theatre, Chelsea, LondonProfessional
Read Narrative
The first of a tour of the halls.
17 May 1920 Opera House, CoventryProfessional
26 Jul 1920 Theatre Royal, YarmouthProfessional
2 Aug 1920 Prince's Theatre, BristolProfessional
9 Aug 1920 West Pier Theatre, BrightonProfessional
16 Aug 1920 Isle of Wight Circuit, Isle of WightProfessional
23 Aug 1920 Art Theatre, WoolwichProfessional
30 Aug 1920 South Parade Pier, PortsmouthProfessional
20 Sep 1920 Worthing Theatre, WorthingProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed Monday-Wednesday with matinee Wednesday
4 Oct 1920 Palace, WatfordProfessional
18 Oct 1920 Borough Theatre, StratfordProfessional
25 Oct 1920 King's Theatre, HammersmithProfessional
26 Oct 1920 Queen's Theatre, LondonProfessional
Read Narrative
The play was revived at the theatre when Percy Hutchinson suddenly withdrew 'A Pair of Sixes', reportedly as a result of the coal strike.
1 Nov 1920 Empire, PengeProfessional
15 Nov 1920 Theatre Royal, BathProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed for six nights.
6 Dec 1920 Opera House, CorkProfessional
4 Jan 1921 Town Hall, AylesburyProfessional
Read Narrative
For two nights only, 4 and 5 January.
10 Jan 1921 Theatre Royal, Bury St EdmundsProfessional
19 Jan 1921 Club Hall, SevenoaksProfessional
Read Narrative
Flying visit for two nights only, Wednesday and Thursday (19 & 20).
28 Jan 1921 Memorial Hall, Chalfont St PeterProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed for three nights.
10 Feb 1921 Ripley Victory Hall, RipleyProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed for three nights.
16 May 1921 Prince's Theatre, BristolProfessional
23 May 1921 Grand Pier Pavilion, Weston-Super-MareProfessional
1 Aug 1921 West Pier Theatre, BrightonProfessional
10 Aug 1925 Alexandra Theatre, PontefractProfessional
Read Narrative
Part of a season by the Venner Repertory company, with Stephen C. Venner in the title role.
26 Oct 1925 Opera House, WakefieldProfessional
15 Nov 1925 Crown Theatre, EcclesProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed by the Broadhead Players.
22 Feb 1926 Hippodrome, MargateProfessional
1 Mar 1926 Queen's Theatre, DundeeProfessional
22 Mar 1926 Theatre Royal, BoltonProfessional
19 Apr 1926 Theatre Royal, BilstonProfessional
24 May 1926 Ambassadors, SouthendProfessional
5 Jul 1926 Opera House, NorthamptonProfessional
15 Jul 1926 Hippodrome, RotherhamProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed for three nights
21 Mar 1927 Opera House, KiddiminsterProfessional
23 May 1927 Theatre Royal, HydeProfessional
29 Sep 1927 Theatre Royal, BristolProfessional
12 Mar 1928 Alhambra, DevonportProfessional
Read Narrative
Presented by the Dorothy Mullord London Repertory Company.
3 Feb 1930 Little Theatre, BristolUnknown
10 Feb 1930 Grand Theatre, HullProfessional
Read Narrative
A personal visit by Percy Hutchinson and the full West-End company.
17 Feb 1930 Brixton Theatre, Brixton, LondonProfessional
3 Mar 1930 Lyceum Theatre, SheffieldProfessional
10 Mar 1930 Devonshire Park Theatre, EastbourneProfessional
Read Narrative
For six nights, starring Percy Hutchison
17 Mar 1930 Gaiety Theatre, HastingsProfessional
7 Apr 1930 Theatre Royal, PortsmouthProfessional
12 May 1930 Royal and Empire Theatre, PeterboroughProfessional
Read Narrative
Presented by Tod Slaughter
7 Jul 1930 Grand, BlackpoolProfessional
14 Jul 1930 Theatre Royal, NottinghamProfessional
Read Narrative
Starring Percy Hutchison
31 Jul 1930 Theatre Royal, BirminghamProfessional
4 Aug 1930 Court Theatre, LiverpoolProfessional
25 Aug 1930 Empire Theatre, CoventryProfessional
1 Sep 1930 Theatre Royal, HuddersfieldProfessional
8 Sep 1930 Prince's Theatre, BradfordProfessional
18 Sep 1930 Pier Theatre, EastbourneProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed for three nights with matinee Saturday.
22 Sep 1930 Palace Theatre, PlymouthProfessional
6 Oct 1930 His Majesty's Theatre, AberdeenProfessional
3 Nov 1930 Theatre Royal, HalifaxProfessional
1 Dec 1930 Grand Theatre, DerbyProfessional
13 Apr 1931 Royalty Theatre, MorecambeProfessional
24 Dec 1934 Playhouse, LondonProfessional
Read Narrative
A revival with Percy Hutchinson as the VC which ran until Saturday 5 January
4 Feb 1935 Pleasure Gardens Theatre, FolkestoneProfessional
11 Feb 1935 Little Theatre, BournemouthProfessional
Read Narrative
Presented for the week.
25 Nov 1936 Sandown Town Hall, SandownAmateur
Read Narrative
Presented by the Radnor Revellers, as their 48th performance since their formation 4 seasons earlier.
20 Mar 1939 ?, CraigellachieAmateur
Read Narrative
Presented this week by the Craigellachie Amateur Dramatic Society.
2 Oct 1939 Theatre Royal, LeedsProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed by the Arthur Brough Players.
20 Oct 1941 Prince's Theatre, BradfordProfessional
Read Narrative
An entirely new version performed by Phyllis Neilson-Terry, Tod Slaughter and Percy Hutchison.
27 Oct 1941 Theatre Royal, NottinghamProfessional
Read Narrative
Percy Hutchison returned to the theatre in a new 1941 version of the 1918 play. Evelyn Shillington, daughter of Mrs Clifford Mills, prepared the new version. IT starred Tod Slaughter and Percy Hutchison in his original role.
4 Nov 1941 New Theatre, HullProfessional
Read Narrative
Full West End cast including Phyllis Neilson-Terry, Tod Slaughter, and Percy Hutchison
11 Nov 1941 Theatre Royal, BrightonProfessional
17 May 1943 Theatre Royal, ExeterProfessional
6 Nov 1967 Leatherhead Theatre, LeatherheadProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed from 6 November to 25 November 1967. The Stage (16 November 1967) commented that the revival 'demonstrates more clearly than most plays how fundamentally ideas - and not only theatrical ideas - have changed over the last half-century [...] [it] does not seem quite so topical as one might expect. The sentiments of 1917 would never be uttered, and probably never experienced, in 1967, when, perhaps rather regrettably, they merely seem hilariously funny'. The cast included Patrick Ludlow as the Admiral: he had played the Midshipman in 1917. Others in the case included Graham James, Philip Gilbert, Susan Tebbs, Pamela Lane, Michael Cadman, Philip Morant, and Venetia Maxwell. The set design was by Sidney Jarvis.