Great War Theatre

Performances at this Theatre

10 May 1915 For England, Home and Beauty or Comrades in ArmsUnknown
22 May 1915 For England, Home and Beauty or Comrades in ArmsProfessional
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An advertisement in The Globe, 17 May 1915 stated that ‘A new Dramatic production, entitled “For England, Home and Beauty”’ would be performed at the Prince’s Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue on Saturday 22 May at 7.30pm, and every evening at 7.30pm and at matinées on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm. The same performance times are given in advertisements in The Globe, 24 May 1915 and in The People, 1 August 1915, a week before the play’s closure. ‘Actor-manager is not enough for Mr. Andrew Melville, thinly disguised as Andrew “Emm” at the Princes Theatre. He is an author, too, and combines all his capacities in respect of “For England, Home, and Beauty,” which he will produce on Saturday. There are no fewer than twelve scenes, tremendously topical. One is “near the German firing line”, another is in a field hospital. The Hymn of Hate is sung; the London Scottish perform deeds of valour, and the naturalisation question is freely discussed’. The Globe, 19 May 1915. 'It was, of course, inevitable that the war should bring to the theatre the melodrama in which the spirit of patriotism rises superior to all other sentiments, and one of the first of this “genre” was produced last night at the Princes. Its title provides the keynote of patriotism, a note which is struck insistently throughout the latter part of the play. Mr. Andrew Emm, the author, however, does not depend entirely on war episodes for his action, and judicially mixes many of the old ingredients of melodrama with the new … the audience last night cheered to the echo the scenes of fighting and military endeavour, and those of happy reconciliation, and gave the villainous German spy more than the usual share of hisses … The drama is excellently staged, and the production must be pronounced an undoubted success’. The People, 23 May 1915. ‘A melodrama entitled “For England, Home, and Beauty; or, Comrades in Arms,” from the pen of Mr. Andrew Emm, was produced at the Princes Theatre, on Saturday night. It proved to be a mixture of racing and the war, with longish interpolations of comic material of a rather elementary kind, in which the author, who played the chief comic part, conspicuously figured. It all seemed exceedingly superficial, but the audience gave it a brave reception’. Pall Mall Gazette, 24 May 1915. 'There will be noted a very decided similarity in the ingredients of the latest war plays. How could it be otherwise when heroes and spies, villains and wireless telegraphy, are the inevitable material for thrilling situations and dramatic moments? But Mr. Andrew Emm, whose new melodrama at the Princes Theatre has been duly acclaimed by a first-night audience as a capital effort at entertainment which excites and agitates, has done his best to give us a variant of the war theme by beginning in time of peace, before racing was declared “off” everywhere but at Newmarket, and ending in the firing-line'. The Globe, 24 May 1915. '“For England, Home, and Beauty; or Comrades in Arms” is the title of a stirring melodrama produced at the Prince’s Theatre on Saturday night. For people with strong nerves it is full of attractiveness. Indeed, we have not had such a lively melodrama for some time … all ends as the seasonal patron of melodrama would desire. The author, Mr. Andrew Emm, is to be congratulated on his thoroughness. He knows the whole trick of the business, including the introduction of broad humorous patches, and as he himself took a prominent part in the production himself, he had full personal assurance of its success, in the laughter and applause of a big audience. “For England, Home, and Beauty” is finely staged, and a good run may be predicted for it'. Yorkshire Post, 24 May 1915. 'Mr. Andrew Emm’s latest melodrama had a rousing reception from a big audience at the Prince’s on Saturday evening and it is easy to see that it is in for a spell of popularity both in London and the provinces. Nor is the reason far to seek, for its twelve scenes and four acts contain all the essential virtues and attractive features of popular melodrama combined with an extra-plentiful leaven of broadly effective humour; and what more could any discriminating member of a popular audience reasonably desire? … Certain it is that the author of For England, Home, and Beauty knows his own audiences from the front row of the stalls to the back row of the gallery, and plays upon their feelings with all the effect of a practised musician in front of a keyboard … For England, Home, and Beauty is described as a drama dealing with incidents of the present day, but the one and only incident of the present day is not reached until towards the end of the third act, when most of the leading characters leave England for somewhere in France. Before the scent of powder and the booming of guns there is such material as often comes to Drury Lane when the autumn leaves begin to fall, so that the spectator has much in the way of contrast. Much of it, perhaps, has little absolute freshness to commend it, and such a simple device as the totally unexpected nature of a will is used to set hero and villain at variance dire and unrelenting' [extracted from a lengthy, discursive review]. The Stage, 27 May 1915. ‘There is something wholesome about the antipathy of the gallery to the German-spy-villains in “For England, Home and Beauty” at the Princes Theatre. Without doubt this popular melodrama has been responsible for a number of recruits’. The Graphic, 17 July 1915. The play was advertised at the Princes Theatre in The People, 1 August 1915: ‘Last nights, positively ending August 7’.
23 Nov 1918 Jolly Jack TarUnknown