Great War Theatre

Performances at this Theatre

N/A The Bells of St ValoirUnknown
N/A What a BargainUnknown
N/A Dear Sir UnlessUnknown
N/A Blame the CinemaUnknown
N/A Stopping The Breach (one act from Lady Emma's Romance)Unknown
N/A The Char-LadiesUnknown
N/A ArabesqueUnknown
N/A The Angels at MonsUnknown
N/A MostUnknown
N/A Simpson's StoresUnknown
N/A Innocent and AnnabelUnknown
N/A SquibsUnknown
30 Nov 1914 The Bells of St ValoirProfessional
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This play was performed as part of the weekly variety shows at the Coliseum, London. 'It is inevitable that in these times there should be something approaching an avalanche of war and patriotic items in music hall programmes, but it is equally certain that managers should exercise a kind of censorship with a view to preventing the production of pieces whose principal merit is that they deal with a phase of the War...the company and the popular author are wasted upon topical matter that has little dramatic value...the German villain makes a stronger appeal on the score of conviction than does the French hero' (Stage, 3 December 1914)
14 Dec 1914 To The Day [My Friend, Thomas Atkins]Professional
21 Dec 1914 Der TagProfessional
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The play ran here for around two months and was followed by a tour. The cast changed during the run with Irene Vanbrugh replaced by Lillian Braithwaite in late January 1915. It was performed as part of a variety programme at the Coliseum, with other pieces in December beingHenry Irving in 'A Story of Waterloo' by Arthur Conan Doyle, and various patriotic musical pieces. Reviews were mixed. 'Sir James Barrie's one-act play, impulsively written and impulsively accepted by Mr Oswald Stoll for production' (Globe, 16 December 1914); 'If not a great masterpiece, it has fine moments' (Birmingham Daily Gazette, 22 December 1914); 'Der Tag is hardly a play in the accepted sense of the word; it is a treatise on the War and its cause' (Stage, 24 December 1914). It was however 'welcomed by an overflowing audience at the Coliseum' (Manchester Courier, 23 December 1914)
28 Dec 1914 His Rest DayProfessional
1 Mar 1915 The BetUnknown
2 Mar 1915 The BetProfessional
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"The Bet" played at the Coliseum for 3 weeks. The Globe (3/3/15) - "the playlet ... is unworthy of her (Réjane's) reputation". Cast: Madame Réjane (as herself), M Bosman (German major), Bryan Powley (Major Darcourt), Francis Drake (Lieut. Penderton), Reginald Relsie (Lieut. Fanshawe), Mr Cameron (2nd Lieut. Cartwright), Jacques Remiche (M L'Hermitte).
6 Mar 1915 Issac You Tell HerUnknown
15 Mar 1915 Agathe à PetrogradUnknown
19 Apr 1915 The DebtProfessional
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The play was performed here until around 10 May 1915. It was performed by Leslie Carter; Athene Seyler; Thomas Sidney; and Lena Ashwell. The strong female characters of the play and strong performances from female performers were praised.: "Miss Lena Ashwell is to be welcomed on another visit to the variety stage, especially as the piece which she brings has a considerable topical interest, and provides her with opportunities for the display of her histrionic gifts [...] a woman burning with a fierce desire to do something to avenge the sufferings of those who are fighting on the Continent for the "stay at homes" of all descriptions" (The Stage, 22 April 2015). In another review: "to say the least, it is refreshing to have a war sketch without any death agonies on the stage [...] Miss Lena Ashwell makes the most of her part of a courageous Englishwoman but for whose timely intervention the entire Government would have been annihilated. The acting is certainly a more real affair than the play." (Western Mail, 21 April 1915) Performed alongside: 'Robert le Diable' by Meyerbeer; 'A dancing Lesson' (Emilie Hayes); Jewel song from 'Faust' (G.H. Elliott); 'The Grumblers' (Lois Barker and Percy Tarling); 'Judged by Appearances' (featuring James Welch); Suzanne Sheldon (recitations); the McNaughtons; the Cyolev Buffoons; Auber
14 Jun 1915 The Way to WinUnknown
14 Jun 1915 The Way to WinProfessional
21 Jun 1915 Hullo, Repertory!Unknown
28 Jun 1915 DutyUnknown
5 Jul 1915 The Haunted HusbandUnknown
12 Jul 1915 The Haunted HusbandUnknown
16 Aug 1915 Le BrésilienUnknown
23 Aug 1915 CytheraUnknown
30 Aug 1915 Le Bureau De PosteUnknown
4 Oct 1915 The New WordProfessional
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‘[A] Barrie play will be done at the London Coliseum to-night - “The New Word” - in which Mr. O. B. Clarence and Miss Helen Haye will appear’. The Globe, Monday 4 October 1915. ‘“The New Word”. Mr. Oswald Stoll knows the value of a Barrie play , and it is not surprising, therefore, to find the distinguished author’s latest piece making its first variety appearance at the Coliseum this week. It is comparatively recently that the sketch was first seen at the Duke of York’s, so that there is no necessity to go into detail regarding the story, nor need one emphasise the excellence of the work of O. B. Clarence, Helen Haye , and Geoffrey Wilmer, who are responsible for the principal parts. “The New Word” is essentially a human piece, with sentiment and humour intermingled, and it is sure in its appeal to a popular audience’. The Stage, 7 October 1915. Helen Haye, O. B. Clarence and Co. in “The New Word” were still being advertised at the Coliseum, Charing Cross, in The Globe, Thursday 21 October 1915. The closing date of 23 October is a conjecture.
29 Nov 1915 "Q"Unknown
3 Jan 1916 Les CathédralesProfessional
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The cast included: Sarah Bernhardt (Strasbourg), Mme Mea (Notre Dame), M Normand (French soldier). The Globe commented that 'it seemed perfectly natural that in the end the audience should rise at one accord and sing The Marseillaise. Somehow one realised more than ever before how much France has suffered and how much she has consecrated herself to accomplish. In paying rapturous homage to the actress the audience seemed equally to be paying homage to France.' (Globe, 5 January 1916). The Birmingham Daily Gazette commented that 'It is impressive because its feeling is not fictitious, but profound and poignant.' (4 January 1916). The Cheltenham Looker-on further noted that 'Human nature is a queer mixture [...] It is curious that this wonderful piece of declamation by the great actress and her small company should be the chief rival to pantomime and review in popular estimation.' (15 January 1916). The Hendon and Finchley Times noted that the play was an 'interesting comment on German women as inferior animals' (21 January 1916). It was performed alongside 'The Bridal Suite' with Seymour Hicks and Isobel Elsom, Vesta Tilley, Imperial Russian Ballet, Cornella and Edie, Coram.
17 Jan 1916 Match BoxesProfessional
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Performed alongside: 'Du Théâtre au Champ d'Honneur'.
17 Jan 1916 Du Théâtre au Champ D'HonneurProfessional
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Performed by Sarah Bernhardt in a performance which also featured "A Pair of Knickerbockers", "Match Boxes", Albert Chevalier, Vesta Tilley.
14 Feb 1916 The Iron HandUnknown
21 Feb 1916 The Iron HandProfessional
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Performed for three weeks at the Coliseum by Arthur Wontner, Mary Rorke, Sidney Valentine, Fisher White, George Tully and Netta Westacott.
7 Mar 1916 Real Thing at LastUnknown
27 Mar 1916 Real Thing at LastProfessional
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This is a film shown as part of the variety bill at the Coliseum.
3 Apr 1916 Les CathédralesProfessional
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This was a 'reappearance' by Sarah Bernhardt, alongside Raymond Roze's "Arabesque", "Arrival of a Rival", "A Five Shilling Bet", "Always Tell Your Wife".
10 Apr 1916 Une d’Elles!Amateur
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"It was a sweetly pathetic piece of acting and showed Mmme. Bernhardt at her best." (The People, 16 April 1916) The cast included: Sarah Bernhardt, Mlle Seylor, M Normand, M Denebourg, M Montpass, M. Baert. Other acts on the bill were: Florence Smithson (singer), Mlle Odette Myrtil, Fred Lindsay, Hymack, Mex.
8 May 1916 My Lonely SoldierUnknown
3 Jul 1916 The Fourth Of AugustProfessional
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The programme for the production noted the author's indebtedness to Colonel Fletch for his 'kind assistance on matters pertaining to the East'. Scenes were designed by Fagan.
17 Jul 1916 The Fourth ActUnknown
31 Jul 1916 The Great Redding Street BurglaryProfessional
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Performed for three weeks. 'All this is amusingly portrayed by Miss Helen Haye’s company, but it seems to fall little flat on the audience, who perhaps rather resented the unexpected attack on their feelings and pockets.' (Sporting Times, 5 August 1916)
31 Jul 1916 The Great Redding Street BurglaryUnknown
14 Aug 1916 Howard and SonProfessional
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Cast included: Sir George Alexander (Sir Anthony Howard); Mr J D Beveridge (Charles); Mr Charles Glenny (Mr George Biggin). A review commented that: 'Up to a point Howard and Son is an interesting little piece, which is exceedingly well played, but its central idea seems to be somewhat lacking in conviction [...] It is the father's attitude towards the absent son that, as we have said, provides the central idea for the playlet, and here the authors seem to have gone a little off the track of life. The most natural thing for Sir Anthony to have done would have been to have exhibited his fatherly love and appreciation of the effort's of thousands of other people's sons by ringing up for the police and detaining Biggin. [...]The audience on Monday afternoon gave play and players an enthusiastic reception, Sir George having to bow his acknowledgments several times.' (Stage, 17 August 1916) Also mentioned as performing on the same bill were: Loie Fuller (dance teacher) with her young dancers; Julien Henry, Margaret Norton and Gordon Lennox (singers), Hayley's Juveniles - being Augustus Yorke and Robert Leonard - (actors) performing "Isadore, You Tell Her"; Helen Haye and Company (actors) performing "the Great Redding Street Burglary"; Chester Kingston and Cliff Berzac and his (sic) amusing circus the Bioscope; and Mr Alfred Dove (conductor) and his orchestra 'providing their customary items.'
26 Aug 1916 In the TrenchesProfessional
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A 'great reception...the light-hearted gaiety of the cockney Tommy....the Bairnsfather touch...splendid spirit' (Era, 23 August 1916). 'Leslie Henson is at the head of a company of clever players...[in a recent notice] we pointed out earlier or two incongruities, and...the causes of complaint have now been removed...a merry little trifle in the Bairnsfather vein...may hurt those who have lost loved ones in the war...the vast majority of the audience revel in the comical doings and sayings of the Cockney soldiers' (Stage, 24 August 1916) 'whether it is in the best of taste to produce such a realistic presentation of life in the firing a matter which alone concerns those whom it may affect. But the of a very merry order and is played with great humour ...the depiction of the eccentricities of the heroic but always light-hearted cockney soldiers and their companions roused much merriment in a crowded house' (People, 27 August 1916) Performed for the week by Ralph Roberts, Robert Blythe, Charles Penrose, J.F. Dockery, Leslie Henson, Mabel Woof, Jack Buchanan (actors).
25 Sep 1916 Waiting at the ChurchUnknown
9 Oct 1916 The Law of the SandsUnknown
4 Dec 1916 Howard and SonProfessional
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Performed by Sir George Alexander, Mr J D Beveridge, Mr Charles Glenny. Also on the same bill: The Trio of Great Concert Artistes, Melsa The Famous Polish Violinist; Louise Dale The Brilliant English Soprano; Solomon The Wonderful Boy Pianist; (also) Mr G.P. Huntley Supported by Irene Browne and Co in "Selling A Pup" by Margaret Haye; Mark Sheridan Comedian; Grock The French Musical Clown and Partner; Daisy Dormer Comedienne; Marie Dainton in Imitations.
15 Jan 1917 Mr Livermore's DreamProfessional
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'A lesson in thrift ... war economy playlet written, apparently, to order...frankly Sir Arthur Pinero is not happy in his present sphere, and his economy play is a mild little piece without much that is attractive. It is a kind of modernised 'Scrooge' story...Until there is obtained a play that is really likely to appeal to the reason of audiences - members of which are not entirely fools or prodigals - it would seem a better course to leave the theatre out of a form of propaganda that is not as convincing as it should be' (stage, 18 January 1917)
12 Feb 1917 Pro PatriaProfessional
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Performed from 12 February through until 11 March 1917 and described by the Pall Mall Gazette as an 'admirable patriotic playlet' (6 March 1917). Cast included: Mrs Patrick Campbell (Therese), Gladys Ellam (Marie), Mr Claremont (Jean), Henry Dan[?] (Fritz von Kessler), Stephen Wentworth (Pierre), Farmer Skein (General Count von Kessler). The Era commented that 'The piece is spoilt by a certain lack of clarity in its plot and a looseness in its construction' (14 February 1917). However later in the run noted that 'Mrs Patrick Campbell ... continues to stir the audience with her fine acting' (28 February 1917). Performed in the same bill were "The Fourth of August" and variety acts.
21 May 1917 In the TrenchesProfessional
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Performed for the week by Harry Buss, Mick Webber, J. F. Dockery, A. J. Charlwood, A. Stevenson, H. Mitchell (actors), Donal Parsons (writer of song "Living in a Trench".
4 Jun 1917 Hello Morton!Unknown
13 Aug 1917 The Marriage Will Not Take PlaceUnknown
13 Aug 1917 PartitionUnknown
27 Aug 1917 SimoethaUnknown
26 Nov 1917 Charwomen and the War or The Old Lady Shows Her MedalsProfessional
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Performed by G.H.Mulcaster (Private Dowey), A. Carlaw Grand (Mr Wilkinson), Irene Rooke(Mrs. Dowey, Chorus-Frances Wetherall, Helen Colville & Pollie Emery.
5 Dec 1917 Charwomen and the War or The Old Lady Shows Her MedalsProfessional
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Performed by Billy Meeson, Vesta Tilley, Keith Vincent, and Zomah.
24 Dec 1917 Maid Of FranceProfessional
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Performed by Marguerite Scialtiel alongside variety acts. The Stage commented that 'a possible fault upon the author's part is when he makes Joan of Arc rail over much against the English in her opening speech' (3 January 1918).
21 Jan 1918 Annajanska, The Wild Grand DuchessProfessional
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Performed for 12 performances here by Miss Lillah McCarthy. A review in the Globe on 22 January 1918 commented: 'There is Shavian touch about the new playlet Annajanska, the Wild Grand Duchess, which was produced by Miss Lillah McCarthy at the Coliseum last night. It is from the Russian of Gregory Biessipoff, and the subject is the Revolution. Besides the striking figure of the Duchess (Miss McCarthy) as she throws off a heavy cloak and emerges in the snow-white uniform of the Imperial Hussars as the young officer who will rouse and save the nation, there is the old General, ably played by Mr. Randle Ayrton, whose-devotion to his Panjandrum is only equalled by his contempt for and anger with those who have the making and re-making of men in the troublous times of today. The sketch was well received by last night’s audience. This week’s programme also includes Miss Vesta Tilley in a new song scene, “London in France,” and Neil Kenyon with some excellent studies of Scottish humour’. Other acts on the same bill were: ‘Miss Vesta Tilley in a new song scena, “London in France”’; Neil Kenyon with some excellent studies of Scottish humour’; ‘Mr. Mark Hambourg; a circus item; and a touch of ballet from Lydia Kyasht’ (mentioned in The Globe of 22 January 1918 and The Graphic of 26 January 1918, both below).
24 Jun 1918 The Voice Of DutyUnknown
22 Jul 1918 Home DefenceUnknown
11 Nov 1918 We Should WorryUnknown