Great War Theatre

Performances at this Theatre

7 Dec 1914 Three MusketeersUnknown
4 Jan 1915 Sexton Blake On The East CoastUnknown
28 Jun 1915 The Love ChildProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 1 July 1915, narrated the plot, commenting on it as it went along. The review began, 'Although the “War Babies” myth manufactured by sensation-mongers has already been pretty well demolished, it has given the ready-witted playwright the cue for the composition of various popular dramas on the “Unmarried Mother” or “Child of Love” theme. Among the first crop of these is The Love Child, by Ada G. Abbott, which [is] making its appearance this week in the London district, at the Brixton. There it was received with not undeserved enthusiasm on Monday ... That Miss Abbott’s powerful and absorbing piece, with the actress-authoress in the leading role of Meg Huxter, should find favour, not merely with popular audiences, is easy to understand, for it inculcates a wholesome moral in a plain and straightforward way, without crude and repellent sensationalism. As Meg’s mother says in a warning before she dies from the effects of her husband’s brutality and her daughter’s shame, “The blood of youth runs hot. The passion of an hour may mean a life’s remorse”; and Meg herself adds the fitting corollary to this, when, ten years after “the Great War,” she meets again the father of her “love child,” to whom she cries bitterly, “It’s not boyish sport to ruin girls"'. Later in the review: '[the character] Curly, a burly fellow, infinitely less a blackguard than his comrades Steve and the sinister Boney, became, after Miss Abbott’s strongly, yet sympathetically played Meg, the most popular personage in the drama on Monday as represented with both force and humour by Mr. John Johnston, who made one of the hits of the evening with the rendering of his own song, “He’s my Pal,” addressed, to a splendid and most intelligent bull-terrier, that performed all sorts of tricks. A favourite also was clever little Miss Nellie Crowther, who, as Tommy, the “Love-Child,” acted and sang with great spirit as the soldier-boy and toy-soldier-loving chip of the old block. The play certainly bears some sort of twisted-round resemblance to “Oliver Twist,” for, besides Meg and Steve being something like Nancy and Bill Sikes, Tommy might have been put to the same base purposes as little Oliver had not his mother allowed him to be adopted by the childless Lady Rose Kingdon, to save him from the clutches of the crooks. Further, old Huxter makes some amends for a mis-spent life by giving information again to the police, and thus meeting his death by being hurled over the barristers, in act four, by Steve and Boney, in order to prevent the child coming to harm ... The “comic relief” of the play turns in somewhat Gilbertian fashion on the supposed scarcity of men in 1924, this alleged result of the War being ill imagined by Miss Abbott to lead to an elderly butler Portal being, as the only man servant in the Kingdon establishment, run after by Sophy, the footwoman, Hannah, the female chef, and Jane, the page girl, and finally disappointing them all by accepting the hand – and money – of Flint, the chauffeur and “plain woman.” The scenes in which these characters appear are broadly humorous, and were treated as such, by that experienced comedian, Mr. Edwin Keene, who also rendered “My Pretty Jane” effectively; Miss Esther Carthew; and Misses Marguerite Cryer, Maron Holly, and Gladys Beatrice, who wore natty and becoming blue uniforms ... The Love Child ought to meet with decided success on tour’.
16 Mar 1919 The Man Who Stayed At HomeProfessional
12 Apr 1920 General PostProfessional
9 Aug 1920 The Freedom of the SeasProfessional
Read Narrative
Performed by Robert Brasher's company for the week. Cast included: Robert Brasher (actor), Nancy Warner (actress), C.B. Keston (actor), Vera McCallum (actress), Park Bedford (actor), Stephen Jack (actor), Charlton Hutchinson (actor), Harry Gilbey (actor)
17 Feb 1930 The Luck Of The NavyProfessional
30 Oct 1939 The Man Who Stayed At HomeProfessional
Read Narrative
‘Some might be inclined to think that Lechmere Worral [sic] and J. E. Harold’s [sic] old-fashioned spy play, “The Man Who Stayed at Home,” would be a sound attraction for the Brixton Repertory's 144th production, considering the present political situation, yet a good house appeared deeply interested in the play on Monday. It is well staged and produced by Colin Gordon, with settings designed and executed by Jack Drayton. Arnold Bell has a light comedy part, which he obviously enjoys as Christopher Brent, and Diana King gives a sympathetic and understanding portrayal of Mollie. The pompous J. P., John Preston, is admirably interpreted by Noel Carey, and Richard Humphrey is effective as Percival. James Page and Peter Hoar are both sufficiently sinister. Jean Stephenson is seen to advantage as Miriam Leigh. Joan Mathison contributes a notable and. amusing study of a chattering spinster, and June Melville completes the cast in her own capable way’. The Stage, 2 November 1939