Great War Theatre

Performances at this Theatre

N/A The ChequeUnknown
N/A Nuns of ArdboeUnknown
23 Nov 1914 La FlambeeProfessional
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Performers:Cecile Barclay, Rupert Lister
7 Dec 1914 To Arms!Professional
8 Mar 1915 La KommandaturUnknown
8 Mar 1915 La KommandaturProfessional
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‘the Shakespeare Theatre is to be the scene of a very important first-time-on-any-stage production. namely, an English version of the celebrated play by the distinguished Belgian dramatist, Jean Francois Fonson, “The Kommandatur.” The translation has been made by Miss Celia Storm and Miss Iné Cameron ... The action takes place in Brussels during the German occupation. M. Fonson’s play has been described “the first play on the present war which seems real and is able to touch the emotions It is the knowledge of Brussels - its loathing, its despair, its courage, and its gaiety - that M. Fonson has expressed in his own lavish spreading, full-blooded, unconcentrating way”’ (Liverpool Daily Post, Friday 5 March 1915). ‘At the Shakespeare Theatre this week appears “The Kommandatur,” a play in three acts by M. Jean Francois Fonson (translation by Celia Storm and Ine Cameron), compact, skilfully woven, finely written, and destitute of the ordinary melodramatic thrills but with, we think, a quite legitimately thrilling, tragic climax’ (Liverpool Echo, Tuesday 9 March 1915). ‘After its successful run at the Criterion, in French, Jean François Fonson’s play, The Kommandatur, made its first bow on Monday [at the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool] in English. One cannot help thinking that it has lost much in its translation. The translators, Celia Storm and Ine Cameron, must be held responsible for the piece as it now stands, and unhappily they have turned out a diffuse and ineffective play. Its one “shock” – the slaying of Siegfried Weiger [sic] by Catherine Jadot – comes so late and so suddenly that it is soon done and over, and the play along with it. Simple Continental domesticity is really its base ... neither the artistic depth nor the fine colouring which Mr. J. D. Beveridge, in the richness of his art, could apply to Antoine Jadot, nor the grace of expression and intellectuality of Miss Miriam Lewes’s admired and searching beauty of playing could more than fitfully galvanise interest in the ineffectual doings of this version' (The Stage, 11 March 1915).
22 Nov 1915 La Revue TricoloreProfessional
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‘In “Le Moulin Rouge” we have a revue entirely new to Liverpool. It is styled as a French revue in English, but it would be more correctly characterised as Anglo-French, with a distinct leaning towards the latter. As the production progressed last night the audience, despite a fairly general inability to master our Allies’ tongue, nevertheless appreciated the excellent vocal efforts of the various artistes. The setting and general staging of the revue is excellent. Jacques Lerner, Frank Attree, M. Cayto, and Nelli Corti fill their respective roles successfully’ (Liverpool Echo, 23 November 1915). ‘Full measures are invariably better than half measures. That is how “Le Moulin Rouge” is likely to impress at the Shakespeare Theatre this week. If it had been all French it would have been much more comprehensible than in its present state of half French and half English. To those content with a knowledge of their own tongue only, such a production necessarily lacks continuity. Especially is this so in revues, where at all times incidents and movement are strung together somewhat hotch-potch fashion. This want of cohesion is the chief reason why “Le Moulin Rouge” revue cannot be said to be a great production - in fact, why it is almost an uninteresting production. The mixture of French and English is certainly deftly welded in one humorous scene where a kilted soldier is struggling to overcome linguistic difficulties with a winsome French maid. But apart from this incident the revue is singularly devoid of wit, or even farce. The patriotic vein is allowed to run to a point when it becomes little else but insipid sentiment. What the revue lacks in construction, however, it makes up in attractive stage settings and general staging, and it is well cast, Jaques Lerner, Frank Attree, M. Cayto, Leo Daly, Mdlle. Dora Harvey, and Mdlle. Nelli Corti filling their respective roles successfully’ (Liverpool Daily Post, 24 November 1915). ‘Le Moulin Rouge is a little out of the present run of revues, if it were only for the number of its scenes, there being no fewer than ten taken to unfold its course, though one-half of these would be sufficient, in view of how little takes place in some of them. Doubtless curtailment has taken a great deal of body out of it, for it is rather attenuated as seen here' (The Stage, 25 November 1915). ‘The light humour of the French has not been altogether “gathered” at the Shakespeare Theatre this week. There has been an abundance of patriotism and not sufficient of that amusing comedian, Frank Attree’ (Liverpool Echo, 26 November 1915.
22 May 1916 The Man Who Stayed At HomeProfessional
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The Era, 17 May 1916, listed The Man Who Stayed at Home (Taylor Platt) as On The Road from 22 May at the Shakespeare, Liverpool. ‘This week Mr. Kelly is offering “The Man Who Stayed at Home” at the Shakespeare’ (The Era, 24 May 1916). Reviewed (‘That stirring study in plot and counterplot’) in the Liverpool Daily Post, 24 May 1916.
13 Jul 1916 Suburban GrooveUnknown
17 Jul 1916 The Story of the AngelusProfessional
30 Jul 1917 His Mother's RosaryProfessional
19 Nov 1917 The Fires of YouthUnknown
1 Jul 1918 The Chinese PuzzleUnknown
5 Aug 1918 Inside the LinesProfessional
26 Aug 1918 Peace Time Prophecies or Stories Gone WrongProfessional
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Previewed in the Liverpool Echo, 23 August 1918. ‘“Bubbly” (London term for champagne), at the Shakespeare, goes off with a “pop,” and, sad to relate, has little pieces of “cork” it. These should be extracted - we refer to the language in matters militaire. Clever burlesques, epigrams galore, baby-age, old-age, stone-age, war-age, and Old Bill in retirement are but a few of the rich things which set the audience bubbling over with laughter. Musically the show is weak, but for a good laugh over original ideas, well acted, by Edmund Russell, E. Seebold, Barrett-Leonard, Billy Raine, and the ladies (including Ivy Tresmand) “Bubbly” will be hard to beat. For our part the pick of the night was the after-war scene, wherein a major needs cannon and fireworks in his garden to guarantee him sleep’ (Liverpool Echo, 27 August 1918).
21 Apr 1919 By Pigeon PostProfessional
28 Apr 1919 The TitleProfessional
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‘“You Staggering Woman,” says Mr. Culver to his wife towards the close of the last act of “The Title,” and to this end; to the end of proving that woman is still as staggering as on that day when she inveigled Adam, Mr. Arnold Bennett has devoted three acts of amusing and witty dialogue, framed in a general atmosphere of pointed satire. Or perhaps it was merely to prove that the English father and mother and the English family are very conventional after all, apart from their profession, even when the father is a pillar of the government and the daughter an iconoclastic journalist. Or perhaps it is to prove nothing at all, but simply to indulge Mr. Bennett’s whimsy of tilting at the traffic in the titles and at newspaper proprietors, and at public and political life in general, the while he entertains his audience hugely with his comedy situations and his brilliant and shafted wit' (Birkenhead News, 30 April 1919). ‘The sugar-coated satire and good-natured raillery of “The Title” provide an intellectual refreshment all the more enjoyable by the exclusion of acidity or cynicism. Arnold Bennett’s brilliant play bristles with incisive thrusts and sallies' (The Stage, 1 May 1919).
26 May 1919 Peace Time Prophecies or Stories Gone WrongProfessional
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The Stage, 22 and 29 May 1919, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 26 May at the Shakespeare, Liverpool.
2 Jun 1919 General PostProfessional
26 Apr 1920 Peace Time Prophecies or Stories Gone WrongProfessional
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‘“Bubbly” at the Shakespeare is a production that bubbles over with good things, and although there is little connection between the various incidents the comedy makes a very bright show. The music is tuneful and catchy and the scenes possess artistic merit’ (Liverpool Echo, 27 April 1920). At the Shakespeare, Liverpool ‘The liveliness and sprightliness of ‘“Bubbly” continue to please abundantly. Phyllis Whitney combines a beautiful voice and vivacious style with graceful dancing; and into the potted play business, in three new songs, Vivian Pedlar, Edith Payne, Edward Steadman, R. Barrett-Lennard, Lauri Aster, and Elsie Stevens infuse plenty of fun and humour’ (The Stage, 29 April 1920).
8 Nov 1920 Seven Days LeaveProfessional