Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

The 'pals' are Micky, a brave young Irish soldier, and Sheila, who have many troubles brought upon them by the jealous animosity of the male and female villains of the piece, Philip and Caroline, who are respectively the English lover and the unworthy sister-in-law of Sheila. For very complicated motives Sheila goes to France after the outbreak of the war to take over to the Marquis of Valois the child of her dead brother, who, it seems, saved the marquis's life in battle, and who is to be posthumously rewarded by help given to this widow and orphan baby. With the best intentions Sheila poses as this widow - the worthless Caroline - and wins the love of the marquis, for whom matters are complicated by the appearance on the scene of the real widow, bent on blackmailing with the aid of the rascal Philip. The muddle is further increased by Sheila’s attempt to shield - for the sake of her French lover - his uncle, a German spy; and also by the self-sacricing effort of her Irish 'pal' to help her out of her maze of misery. The bewildering plot suggests the inexpert dramatization of a sensational novel: but, if it is often inconsequent, it is never objectionable, and is accordingly recommended for license. Ernest A. Bendall.

Licensed On: 15 Dec 1915

License Number: 3915



British Library Reference: LCP1915/33

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66119 Q


20 Dec 1915 Grand Theatre, LutonUnknown Licensed Performance
3 Jan 1916 Theatre Royal, LincolnProfessional
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'The story is out of the beaten track and is cleverly told.' Twice nightly. ('Lincolnshire Echo', 4 January 1916, p. 4)
10 Jan 1916 Theatre Royal, Stratford, LondonProfessional
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'Eva Elwes, who is responsible for Pals, has constructed a play that is never lacking in movement and often grips the imagination. The interest is well sustained, and the author has been at pains not to handicap the play with a superabundance of those comic scenes that so often militate against the success of Irish melodrama. The dialogue is good and the characterisation well above the average.' ('The Stage', 13 January 1916, p. 23)
17 Jan 1916 Pavilion, NorthwichProfessional
7 Feb 1916 Grand, BrightonProfessional
14 Feb 1916 Variety, EastleighProfessional
21 Feb 1916 Junction Theatre, ManchesterProfessional
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Twice nightly
6 Mar 1916 Rotunda, LiverpoolProfessional
20 Mar 1916 Grand Theatre, StocktonProfessional
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Twice nightly
3 Apr 1916 Theatre Royal, JarrowProfessional
15 Apr 1916 Theatre Royal, SheffieldProfessional
17 Apr 1916 Empire Theatre, LongtonProfessional
24 Apr 1916 Queen's Theatre, LeedsProfessional
1 May 1916 Opera House, St Helen'sProfessional
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'... a drama of absorbing interest ... Many incidents are introduced in connection with the present war.' ('The Stage', 4 May 1916, p. 8)
8 May 1916 Theatre Royal, BarnsleyProfessional
15 May 1916 Grand Theatre, HalifaxProfessional
22 May 1916 Hippodrome, HuddersfieldProfessional
29 May 1916 Palace Theatre, RochdaleProfessional
12 Jun 1916 Grand, AccringtonProfessional
19 Jun 1916 Hippodrome, WiganProfessional
26 Jun 1916 Hippodrome, LeighProfessional
26 Jul 1916 Hippodrome, LeighProfessional
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'Mrs M.E. Ward, who plays the part of Sheila Desmond in the Irish play, "Pals", was unable to appear at the Leigh Hippodrome on Wednesday owing to the shock caused by the news of the death of her son, who was a Second Lieutenant in the Army. An understudy is playing the role for the present.' ('The Era', 2 August 1916, p. 8)
4 Sep 1916 Theatre Royal, DewsburyProfessional
11 Sep 1916 Alexandra Theatre, BirminghamProfessional
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'When the lapse of time has provided a proper perspective, the war will doubtless provide material for novel and drama only a little less gripping on the imagination than the event itself. In the meantime purveyors of fiction and minor drama are seizing their opportunity while the guns roar, and thus at the Alexandra Theatre this week we have in "Pals" a play with the war as a definite background. Miss Eva Elwes, the author, has softened the tenour of the play, however, by introducing at an early stage a charming Irish atmosphere, and this is perhaps the best feature of the production.' (Birmingham Daily Post', 12 September 1916, p. 7)
18 Sep 1916 Empire Theatre, Cradley HeathProfessional
25 Sep 1916 New Theatre Royal, CastlefordProfessional
1 Oct 1916 Alexandra Theatre, HullProfessional
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'That a good part of this play has as its background the fighting areas of France must counted to it for merit in the eyes of those to whom it is addressed. It is melodrama, but also tonic. This is its first visit to the city, where it seems to have had a cordial welcome.' ('Hull Daily Mail', 3 October 1916, p. 3)
30 Oct 1916 Empire, GarstonProfessional
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Twice nightly
13 Nov 1916 Theatre Royal, North ShieldsProfessional
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T. Edward Ward's company in "Pals" and "Her Luck in London". ('The Era', 15 November 1916, p. 9)