Great War Theatre

Address: London, UK

Performances at this Theatre

N/A On and Off the StageUnknown
16 Nov 1914 The War Lord's Dream An Episode In One SceneUnknown
30 Nov 1914 A Call to ArmsProfessional
26 Dec 1914 Dick WittingtonUnknown
18 Jan 1915 The FrenchwomanProfessional
Read Narrative
'one of the best-written and most capably-acted War sketches we have seen' (The Stage, 21 January 1915). Mary Mayfren (actor), F Tennant (actor), H A Lyons (actor), L Cancellor (actor), Jack Vyvyan (actor).
8 Mar 1915 Passing EventsProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed on Monday 8 March.
7 Jun 1915 The Man Who Wouldn'tProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed twice nightly as part of a variety act.
6 Sep 1915 East and WestUnknown
20 Sep 1915 Just SoUnknown
29 Nov 1915 The Whirl of the TownUnknown
27 Dec 1915 CinderellaUnknown
11 Sep 1916 In the TrenchesProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed for the week.
16 Oct 1916 A Day In A Dug-OutProfessional
Read Narrative
Others in the same bill were: Wilkie Bard, Maidie Scott, Jay Laurier, May Moore Duprez, Perceval Allen, Coram, Ella Retford, S.W. Wyndham, Omega Trio, Hamamura Family.
26 Dec 1916 The House that Jack BuiltUnknown
26 Dec 1916 RhymalitiesUnknown
26 Dec 1916 A Muddled MedleyUnknown
5 Mar 1917 Flying ColoursProfessional
Read Narrative
The Era, 28 February 1917 carried an advertisement for a variety bill the Palladium, London in the week commencing 5 March, including ‘Capt. Bruce Bairnsfather presents “The Johnson ‘Ole”. Harry Thurston as Old Bill the Walrus. Three performances daily of the full variety programme’. ‘An unusually brilliant galaxy of stars is being presented by Mr. Chas. Gulliver at the Palladium this week. The most important novelty is “The Johnson ‘Ole,” presented by Captain Bruce Bairnsfather, who shares the authorship with Mr. B. Macdonald Hastings. This snippet of trench life, most realistically produced, serves to introduce us to Old Bill (the Walrus), that delightfully humorous creation who figures so prominently in many of Captain Bairnsfather’s sketches, cleverly portrayed by Mr. Harry Thurston. Needless to say, the episode was rapturously received by the huge audience, khaki and otherwise, on Monday’. The Era, 7 March 1917. The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, 10 March 1917 published a photograph of ‘Mr. Harry Thurston in the Trench sketch entitled “The Johnson ‘Ole,” now being performed at the Palladium’. ‘That fine episode of trench humour, “The Johnson ‘Ole,” with Harry Thurston as Old Bill, the Walrus, remains a very popular item in the programme’ at the Palladium. The Era, Wednesday 14 March 1917. The show presumably closed at the Palladium on 17 or 24 March sine it opened in Liverpool on 26 March.
10 Dec 1917 Flying ColoursProfessional
Read Narrative
The Era, 5 December 1917.advertised ‘Capt. Bruce Bairnsfather presents Harry Thurston & Co. in “The Johnson ‘Ole”’ at the Palladium, London in the week commencing 10 December. ‘Bit of real luck for you - “The Johnson ‘Ole,” one of Bairnsfather and Macdonald Hastings’s best trench episodes, is on this week [at the Palladium]. The scene is laid in a Plug Street trench, and Mr. Harry Thurston plays” Old Bill.” A bit of real trench life is given us, and “Old Bill’s” own indomitable humour is not wanting. Also Bairnsfather’s touch lingers in the scenery to make the whole complete’. Pall Mall Gazette, 12 December 1917. ‘Did you go and see “The Johnson ‘Ole” last week It isn’t a thing you ought to omit if you want to see the way they do in the trenches. Besides, Old Bill will get you every time. By the way, I was talking to him last night: he is Mr. Harry Thurston in private life. “We try,” he told me, “to put the spirit of the humour of Mr. Bairnsfather’s pictures into the sketch, and yet to keep the realism, as far as it is possible.” And as a bit of the audience I think I can vouch that they have succeeded remarkably well. Mr. Thurston told me that Bairnsfather was coming along with some new episodes, which they hoped to produce very shortly. And very soon they hoped to take “Old Bill” into private life. So be on the look out!’. Pall Mall Gazette, 19 December 1917. At The Palladium this week ‘Harry Thurston as “Old Bill, the Walrus,” is fairly in his element in the mirth-provoking trench scene by Captain Bruce Bairnsfather and B. Macdonald Hastings, entitled “The Johnson ‘Ole,” and laughter of the heartiest description greets his excellent performance. Some of the expressions used by Old Bill, by the way, are in need of a little revision’. The Stage, Thursday 20 December 1917. The show presumably closed at the Palladium on Saturday 22 or 29 December since it opened in Bristol on 31 December.