Great War Theatre

Address: London, UK

Performances at this Theatre

N/A The Sleeping Beauty BeautifiedUnknown
N/A OllayaUnknown
N/A Puss In BootsUnknown
27 Apr 1915 Masque of War and PeaceUnknown
27 Apr 1915 Masque of War and PeaceProfessional
Read Narrative
‘Lady (Arthur) Paget, President of the American Women’s War Relief Fund, is arranging a matinée at Drury Lane Theatre (kindly lent Mr. Arthur Collins) towards the end of April, in aid of the American Women’s War Hospital at Paignton, South Devon. Mr. Louis N. Parker has written a new Masque of War and Peace specially for the occasion, and many well-known representative artists have already generously promised their services’ (Pall Mall Gazette, 19 March 1915; also other advance publicity in The Stage, 1 April 1915; Westminster Gazette, 5 and 9 April 1915; the People, 11 April 1915; Pall Mall Gazette, 13 April 1915; the Musselburgh News, 16 April 1915, which wrongly identified the masque as the one by Louis N. Parker that was performed in February 1900, as did the Kirkintilloch Herald, 28 April 1915; Liverpool Echo, 20 April 1915; The Globe, 23 April 1915). ‘The Queen, Queen Alexandra, Queen Amelia of Portugal, Princess Mary, Prince John, Prince Henry, Princess Victoria, Princess Christian, Princess Marie of Schleswig-Holstein, the Princess Royal, Princess Maud, the Due d’Orleans, the Grand Duke Michael of Russia, Countess Torby, and a large gathering of the members of the Corps Diplomatique honoured with their presence the matinee in aid of the American Women’s War Hospital (at Paignton), which took place at the Drury Lane Theatre this afternoon. The matinee was a huge success. Lady Arthur Paget, the organiser of the fête, paid all the out-of-pocket expenses, every penny taken for tickets being handed to the fund. The chief feature of the matinee was the “Masque of War and Peace,” specially written by Mr. Louis N. Parker, in which actresses representing all the Allied nations took part’ (The Globe, 27 April 1915). ‘The Drury-lane matinée yesterday, organised by Lady Paget in aid of the American Women’s War Hospital, that splendidly staffed retreat for our wounded soldiers at Paignton, in glorious Devon, realised £4,000 … The programme comprised the late Stanley Houghton’s “Pearls” and “The Masque of War and Peace,” specially written for the occasion by Mr. Louis N. Parker, the music being arranged from the works of English, French, and Russian composers. No seat was unoccupied’ (Liverpool Echo, 28 April 1915). ‘All the most famous and gifted actors and actresses of the day met together to help at the matinee. Britannia, beautifully portrayed by Miss Lilian Braithwaite, was the central, glittering figure in Mr Louis N. Parker’s “The Masque of War and Peace” - the chief item on the afternoon’s programme. Amid a weird scene of flying clouds, the Elements were first brought to life. Who so graceful and charming in the character of Water as Mrs. Langtry (Lady de Bathe) or Mlle Adeline Genée who floated on to the stage like a snowflake? Mme. Réjane was France, Mme. Lyuba Liskoff Russia, and a host of other famous actors and actresses were there in different parts. Hate (Miss Ethel Levey) and Frightfulness (Mr. Norman McKinnel) gave grimly realistic performances. The two characters were soon banished by all the Allies and the Elements, and then came Peace. First little Renee Mayer, a dainty, elfin figure in glittering white and gold - the Golden Age - came tripping in, spreading joy and gladness, and dancing wherever she went. A girl stepped forward bearing sheaves in her arms, and sang the National Anthem. The effect was electrical. The audience sprang to their feet and joined in’ (Daily Mirror, 28 April 1915). ‘The fact that Mr. Louis N. Parker had written a patriotic masque specially for the occasion largely added to the list of prominent artists on the programme, since its cast must have been something of a record one; but there were also numerous other single artists and items in the rest of the programme of scarcely less appeal and attraction … Louis N. Parker’s patriotic and symbolical masque, called The Masque of War and Peace, occupied a full half of the programme, and was given a cordial reception on account of its heart-stirring appropriateness, and fine spectacular effects. With the last-named result the impressive scenery (from Covent Garden and the Empire), and the picturesque costumes designed by Messrs. Purcell Jones, Byam Shaw, and C. Wilhelm had, of course, not a little to do, while the spectacle also gained greatly by a sympathetic and illustrative musical setting written and arranged by Mr. James M. Glover, and the well-known “Britannia” overture by Sir Alexander Mackenzie, who conducted it in person. As for the action itself, set forth in incisive and pithy rhymed couplets by the author, it may best be described as the lamentation of Nature (Lady Tree), and her sister elements of Earth, Water, Air, and Fire (Miss Kate Rorke, Mrs. Langtry, Mlle. Adeline Genée, and Miss Elsie Janis), over the great catastrophe that has overtaken mankind, and the final triumph of Peace (Miss Constance Collier), Hope (Miss Edna May), Pity (Miss Fay Davis), Courage (Miss Lily Elsie), and the Golden Age (Miss Renée Mayer) over Frightfulness (Mr. Norman McKinnell), and Hate (Miss Ethel Levey). The Spirit of War (also impersonated by Miss Constance Collier), is brought into sharp and effective contrast with Frightfulness, emphasising the fact that warfare is something quite different from the barbarous methods practised by Germany; while another successful illustration is that War, with all its horror and sadness, inspires and cements feelings of friendship, patriotism, and loyalty between the nations. These Nations, each with its respective standard-bearer, were represented by France (Madame Réjane), Russia (Madame Lyuba Liskoff), Japan (Madame Hanako), Belgium (Miss Dorothy Parker), Serbia (Miss Jessie Winter), Montenegro (Miss Vivien-Vivien) and Great Britain (Miss Lilian Braithwaite), all of whom had appropriate lines to deliver; while a clever touch of what may be called more homely sentiment was given by the appearances of a soldier (Mr. Owen Nares), a sailor (Mr. Langhorne Burton), an aviator (Mr. Basil Hallam) and a peasant, and his wife and child (Mr. E. W. Royce, and Misses J. Bloomfield and Walker). Miss Viola Tree as The Voice of the Winds; and others in the cast, including Madame Edvina as Canada, represented various British Colonies, Continental towns and rivers, standard-bearers, and the several arts of industry and peace. It is obviously impossible to give more than a mere outline of Mr. Parker’s masque, nor can any criticism be applied to its individual performances, all of which amply served their purpose; but it is certainly too to be altogether shelved, full, as it is, of inspiring moments, and virile and sane patriotism. Possibly further patriotic matinées may bring it again before the footlights. It brought the curtain down at Drury Lane on Tuesday afternoon mid scenes of great enthusiasm, the whole of the company and audience singing the National Anthem, led by Madame Edvina’ (The Stage, 29 April 1915). Also noticed in the Liverpool Echo, Daily Record and Western Morning News, all 28 April 1915; and the Sketch, 16 June 1915.
27 Apr 1915 HappinessUnknown
14 Apr 1916 The New WordProfessional
Read Narrative
‘The Munitions Matinée. An exceptional matinée is to take place at Drury Lane Theatre this (Friday) afternoon in aid of the appeal which is being made by the Young Women’s Christian Association for £25,000 … The programme includes … Sir J. M. Barrie’s “The New Word.”’ The Graphic, Saturday 15 April 1916. The Era, 19 April 1916, reported on the event which took place on the afternoon of Friday 14 April in aid of the national appeal by the Y.W.C.A. for the Munition and other Women War Workers’ Fund. ‘After a fine overture the programme started with Sir J. M. Barrie’s fireside scene, “The New Word,” “just the father and son business” which takes place at “any home nowadays,” beautifully played by Mr. O. B. Clarence and Miss Helen Haye in their original parts, Miss Gertrude Lang as the daughter, and Mr. Owen Nares as the nineteen-year-old son’. The Era, Wednesday 19 April 1916.
9 May 1916 ExtemporeUnknown
9 May 1916 Dr BuddUnknown
16 Jun 1916 Razzle DazzleUnknown
14 Jul 1916 A trip in a Tri-CarUnknown
14 Jul 1916 On and off the stageUnknown
21 Sep 1916 Best Of LuckUnknown
26 Dec 1916 Puss in New BootsUnknown
26 Dec 1917 AladdinUnknown
28 Aug 1918 ShanghaiUnknown
27 Sep 1918 The Pageant Of Drury Lane TheatreUnknown
14 Apr 2016 Shakespeare's LegacyUnknown