Great War Theatre

Performances at this Theatre

Date Script Type
N/A Mother Goose Unknown
23 Dec 1914 Robinson Crusoe Unknown
8 Mar 1915 The Man Who Stayed At Home Professional
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The Leeds Mercury, 6 February 1915, reported that ‘On the 8th [March] “The Man Who Stayed at Home,” a play of great recruiting value, is to be given’ at the Leeds Grand Theatre. ‘“The Man Who Stayed at Home” is the play of the moment, and at its first appearance in Yorkshire a large audience at the Grand Theatre last night gave a reception as enthusiastic as it has enjoyed in its run the Royalty Theatre, London. And very deservedly so. The authors, Mr. Harold Terry, the novelist, of York, and Mr. Lechmere Worrall, have conceived a very exciting and thrilling spy story, which makes one of the best dramas that the stage has seen for a long time ... Mr. George Tully as Christopher Brent, the hero the story, carries a big responsibility, and he scores a great personal triumph. His insouciance in the assumption of the airs and inanities of the dude is no less convincing than amusing. There is, of course, a love interest in the play, and Miss Mary Merrall charmingly portrays the part of the sorely perplexed lover of Brent, while Miss Esty Marsh perfectly realises the part of Miriam Leigh, the assistant of Brent in the Sherlock Holmes business. The German element is all well sustained, and able artists in every part present a play which is in every phase a pronounced success’ (Yorkshire Evening Post, 9 March 1915; the actors named were members of the Vedrenne and Eadie company). Reviewed in The Stage, 11 March 1915.
21 Oct 1915 Armageddon Professional
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'Such splendid house furnished a striking refutation of the oft-repeated statement that British theatre-goers are chary patronising plays that deal with the war in a serious spirit. Whether " Armageddon ” be described as an epic drama or a serious war revue, it is at least worthy respect.' (Leeds Mercury, 22 October 1915)
25 Oct 1915 The Man Who Stayed At Home Professional
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‘“The Man Who Stayed at Home” makes a return visit this week to the Leeds Grand Theatre, where its reception last night revealed its undiminished popularity. Full of incident, this spy-play provides thrilling moments in plenty, dashed with a humour that largely emanates from the super-nut, whose vapid nuttishness so effectively conceals his true capabilities as an observer’. The cast included George Tully, Frank Woolfe, Augustus Keogh, Eugenie Vernie, Gladys Hamilton [members of the Vedrenne and Eadie company] (Leeds Mercury, 26 October 1915).
24 Dec 1915 Old King Cole Unknown
18 Sep 1916 Kultur At Home Professional
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‘“Kultur at Home" … is essentially a war-time play, depending for most of its popularity upon the hostility of the people at home towards the enemy, whilst the noise of battle resounds. Its theme - the exposition of the failings of the German social system - is to the lay mind a simple one, but it is full of pitfalls for the dramatist. To the audience at home the atmosphere at the outset is necessarily somewhat artificial, and the elimination of exaggeration is extremely difficult. In “Kultur at Home” the authors … have to a large extent avoided the tendency to over-draw the picture, and, after a thin opening, a really strong finale has prevented the play degenerating into a very moderate melodrama'. Leeds Mercury, 19 September 1916.
4 Dec 1916 A Kiss For Cinderella Professional
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The Leeds Mercury, Friday 1 December 1916, advertised Hilda Trevelyan and Percy Hutchison in Barrie’s ‘fancy’ A Kiss for Cinderella at the Grand Theatre commencing Monday 4 December for six nights, a special matinee on Tuesday and a matinee also on Saturday. The Leeds Mercury, 5 December 1916, published a review of the production: the play ‘is free from any association with politics or modern mentalities, if not from society or the war’.
26 Feb 1917 The Bing Boys Are Here Professional
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‘“The Bing Boys,” after their great success in London, are now on tour, and they make their first appearance in Leeds at the Grand Theatre this week. Last night they received the compliment of a crowded “house,” and their company was manifestly enjoyed. The show, as a whole, hardly warrants superlatives. It is mostly a familiar sort of entertainment of revue-ish type, charmingly dressed and attractively mounted, but lacking anything in the way of decided novelty'. Leeds Mercury, 27 February 1917.
2 Apr 1917 The Man Who Stayed At Home Professional
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The Era, 28 March and 4 April 1917, listed The Man Who Stayed at Home (Red) as On The Road from 2 April at the Grand, Leeds. Also The Stage, 5 April 1917. ‘While the. war lasts - and probably long after it has ended - spy plays will possess a peculiar attraction, and among them “The Man who stayed at Home,” which is paying its third visit to the Grand Theatre this week, will no doubt continue to be one of the most popular. It is well described as “a thrilling and amusing play,” for the means employed to bring about the dramatic climax - the exposure of a band of German spies – are diverting as well as clever' (Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 3 April 1917). ‘While the war continues, a spy play has a favourable atmosphere to work in, and it is not surprising to find that “The Man Who Stayed at Home” is making a sure appeal in its third year ... It is, without doubt, a clever play, and is not too trying for sensitive persons, although the atmosphere of a desperate game is always there' (Leeds Mercury, 3 April 1917).
25 Mar 1918 The Invisible Foe Professional
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Presented by Robert Courtneidge, and performed for the week by a cast including Julian Royce (actor), Queenie Gwynne (actress). No performance on Friday as it was Good Friday.
19 Aug 1918 Inside the Lines Professional
11 Oct 1918 The Burgomaster Of Stilemond Professional
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Performed on 11 and 12 October 1918.
2 Jun 1919 The Amorist Professional
16 Jun 1919 Peace Time Prophecies or Stories Gone Wrong Professional
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‘Bairnsfather’s creation, “the Better Ole,” … is the choicest pearl all. Mr. Edmund Russell is “Old Bill,” and his characteristic moustache so infests him with unwelcome attentions that he gasps for the peace of a nice quiet war again; and the final tableau presents him in the act of shooting his famous creator. The after-math of war, too, is burlesqued by the return of an officer, lulling himself to sleep at home in the manufactured glare of star-shells, and the tumult of high explosives. Only so can he gain sweet repose, as he curls himself up in his “flea bag.” These are the things that really make “Bubbly” worth seeing, though everything else is as dainty and pretty as can be’ (Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 17 June 1919). ‘The fame of “Bubbly” preceded its arrival in Leeds by some twenty months, and at the Grand Theatre last evening, when the 1,130th performance was given, a large audience gathered to welcome it. In some respects “Bubbly” bears an apt name. The iridescence of the soap bubble is there, but it is no means all froth ... Philip Braham’s music is delightful, and there are some quaint conceits, with a fund of topical matter and some really good burlesque. The company has been happily chosen. Miss Ivy Tresmand and Mr. R. Barrett-Lennard play and sing and dance together very effectively, and Miss Kathlene Martyn, Mr. Edmund Russell, and Mr. Ernest Seebold are others in a cast which includes a sprightly chorus’ (Leeds Mercury, 17 June 1919). ‘Revue titles have a habit of being meaningless, but the case of “Bubbly” may be counted an exception, for the show, in general, is as light and sparkling as the beverage that some call “bubbly,” and, be it added, almost as unsubstantial. Its bubbles rise and glimmer, and are gone. Happily, they carry no portent of a “morning after.” Best of the bubbles are the burlesque scenes - jolly, topical incidents, as for instance, a theme for a play handled in the manner of (a) O. Henry; (b) the Stage Society, and (c) the Lyceum Theatre; or affair of Old Bill, after the war, trying to escape from interviewers, women who want to marry him, and others; or the comedy of the major importing trench modes and manners into his drawing-room. “Bubbly” has nothing very new to offer in the presentation of musical numbers, though some would be made more of by artists of stronger personality’ (Yorkshire Evening Post, 17 June 1919).
8 Sep 1919 Seven Days Leave Professional
10 May 1920 Nurse Benson Professional
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‘Seeing that affair of “Nurse Benson” belongs quite definitely to the war period, the visit of that lady to the Leeds Grand Theatre is rather belated, though there is nothing else against her' (Yorkshire Evening Post, 11 May 1920). ‘After two weeks of opera at the Grand Theatre, Leeds, there is a vivid contrast this week in the humorous play, “Nurse Benson.” Based upon the common device of impersonation, the play affords ample scope for humour, and the bizarre situations which develop are ably dealt with by Miss Alice Wills, in the title-role, and the other members of Marie Lohr’s company' (Leeds Mercury, 11 May 1920). There are notes on some of the actors in the Yorkshire Evening Post, 15 May 1920.
13 Oct 1922 The Burgomaster Of Stilemond Professional
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Performed for one night as part of a week's repertoire by the company.