Great War Theatre

Performances at this Theatre

20 Apr 1915 Have a PlungeUnknown
13 Sep 1915 Passing EventsProfessional
27 Sep 1915 La Revue TricoloreProfessional
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‘Next week the revue, “Moulin Rouge,” will be at the Theatre, coming direct from a great success at the London Pavilion. It is a brilliant show, presented by M. Jean Fabert, proprietor and manager of the Moulin Rouge, Paris, and though the artistes are French (with only one or two exceptions), the piece is given mainly in English, and can easily be followed all through by play-goers with no knowledge of the French language ...' (Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser, 25 September 1915). ‘If we cannot go to the Moulin Rouge, the Moulin Rouge must come to us, and M. Jean Fabert, proprietor and manager of the Red Mill in La Ville Lumiere is the man to perform the feat. It comes as a revue, and the enormous success which the production achieved at the London Pavilion, followed by provincial triumphs, is easy of comprehension. The essential point about the revue is its refreshing novelty. It is not quite comparable with anything; it stands alone. It seems to bring to us the old-time joyous atmosphere of the Moulin Rouge, with its carefree abandon and utter surrender to the Spirit of Mirth, and the fact that it is done in English robs it not one atom of its charm. Indeed, this is, in more ways than one, an added attraction. Practically all those taking part are Moulin Rouge artistes, and it is not without interest to record the fact that the Frenchmen appearing have done their share in les tranchees [i.e. les tranchées, the trenches] or at the base ... It is difficult to indicate in a small space all the “resources” of the revue, but we see *Arsene Lupin (M. Albert Brouette) at grips with the police; an amusing representation of the Entente Cordiale (L’Ecossais et la Midinette); some beautiful dancing in the Land of Oranges, in which Mdlle. L. de Sehgue shows the very “poetry of motion”; the great rivals of another war, Napoleon (M. A. Brouett) and Wellington (M. Frank Attree, the only English comedian in the company) (“We fought hard, but we fought like gentlemen”); and a glimpse of the trenches. It is here that M. Jaque Lerner does such excellent work; that M. Armandy so finely sings the thrilling song, “En avant! les petits gars”; that M. Miroy renders with polished care the “Berceuse” by Godard, and where M. F. Attree, as the Scotch soldier, quaintly tells of his French love, the little Midinette, bewitchingly played by Mdlle. Leo Darly, and, as through the smoke, sees a vision of her daintiness. Then there is a fascinating little episode “Kisses and Cigars,” by M. A. Brouett and Mdlle. Ethel Bert. which is sheerest joy. But enough. The Revue terminates with the Night of the Four Arts Ball in the Moulin Rouge, arranged by M. J. Lerner, and featuring the champagne dance by Mdlle. M. de Sehgue and M. F. Demery. In addition to the Revue there are three capital vaudeville “turns”...’ (Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser, 2 October 1915). [* Arsène Lupin was the gentleman thief-cum-detective created by the French writer Maurice Leblanc.] ‘There were large houses at the Pleasure Gardens Theatre on Monday, when M. Jean Fabert presented “Le Moulin Rouge” revue, which has been very successfully played at the London Pavilion. M. Fabert, who is the proprietor and manager of Le Moulin Rouge, Paris, has served at the front during the War, being wounded at the Battle of the Marne. Several of the male members of the company now appearing at the Theatre have also taken part in the War, and been wounded. The revue is succession of gay and lively scenes, with the exception of one or two which have a sterner aspect, although even into these the element of comedy is introduced by way of relief ... There is an Anglo-French atmosphere about the whole production which is bound to catch the popular fancy just now, and the various episodes are enthusiastically received' (Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, 2 October 1915).
21 Feb 1916 Ladies FirstProfessional
10 Apr 1916 The Man Who Stayed At HomeProfessional
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‘There have been big houses at the Pleasure Gardens Theatre this week to see “The Man Who Stayed at Home,” presented by the Taylor Platt Company. [The play] had been heralded in superlative terms and expectation had run high. Sometimes the realisation falls short of anticipation. Not so, however, in this case. It is indeed the contrary, so strong and absorbingly interesting is the play … that the theme is topical one is a contributing factor towards the huge success achieved. But that mere fact by itself would not be sufficient to ensure success. It is a finely constructed drama, dealing with a serious subject, yet abounding with excellent humour, which prevents it from being heavy and oppressive. It is pre-eminently the play of the moment’ (Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, 15 April 1916). ‘There can be very few who object to entertainments because it is war-time, but in case there are one or two unreasoning people who think that theatres and picture palaces should be shut up at such a period, I will mention an incident showing that they serve a good purpose. An officer and his wife - the former on leave from the front - staying at Folkestone last week went to the Pleasure Gardens Theatre to see “The Man who Stayed at Home,” not once, but twice. Probably similar instances could be enumerated. We should, course, take the War seriously - and that without grumbling at every little inconvenience that we experience - but it is unwise to be for ever harping on the same subject, and cultivating a morbidity of mind which is bad not only for oneself, but for those with whom we are brought into contact. There is no reason why we should not indulge in amusement to a rational extent, and entertainments are essential for soldiers who are on leave as well those who are in training to befit themselves to take their turn in the firing line’ (Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, 22 April 1916). The actors were listed in the Dover Express, 7 April 1916, and the Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, 8 April 1916.
10 Jul 1916 JoylandProfessional
23 Oct 1916 JoylandProfessional
4 Dec 1916 The Man Who Stayed At HomeProfessional
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The Era, 29 November and 6 December 1916, listed The Man Who Stayed at Home (Red) as On The Road from 4 December at the Pleasure Gardens, Folkestone. ‘When Lechmere Worrall and J. E. Harold Terry’s fine play was first performed at the Pleasure Gardens Theatre, it possessed the charm of novelty. Now, on its second visit, it has not that charm for many of us, but it attracts us all the same, for the simple reason that it is a production which one can see over and over again without being tired of it. The topical character of the theme, of course, goes a long way, but that is not all. Sometimes topical plays are crudely worked out with little regard to virility of dialogue and the canons of dramatic art. That, however, is not so in this instance. Far from it, for the situations are admirably and most effectively contrived, every “curtain” being a strong one, whilst in the last act we are wrought to a high tension with guns of the British destroyers booming out their deep notes. The characters are powerfully delineated, and plenty of comedy is worked in to relieve the more serious aspect of the subject' (Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate and Cheriton Herald, 9 December, 1916). 'It was a dastardly plot that Brent frustrated - nothing less, forsooth, than the landing of German troops in England. How he did it - how he met cunning with cunning, resource with resource - will be seen by visiting the Pleasure Gardens Theatre this week, where Mr. E. Taylor Platt is presenting “The Man Who Stayed at Home,” a spy-play in three acts. It is performed twice nightly, but there is no “cutting,” and the play goes with fine speed. It is thrilling and gripping, and it is humorous, giving a clever commingling of emotions' (Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser, 9 December 1916).
13 Aug 1917 London Pride: A Film Without A FlickerProfessional
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Ran for the first three days of the week. One writer has described the play as 'the best war play yet produced'. It is described as 'Admirably constructed, with plenty of humour to relieve the pathos, it holds the interest from start to finish'. Ellis Holland was Cuthbert Tunks and Daisy Dormer was Cherry Walters.
29 Oct 1917 Three CheersProfessional
15 Apr 1918 Airs And GracesProfessional
10 Jun 1918 Peace Time Prophecies or Stories Gone WrongProfessional
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‘The production which is drawing large houses at the Pleasure Gardens Theatre this week is appropriately named. There is a constant flow of mirth and melody bubbling up from copious source, the stream ever and again developing into torrential dimensions. There are cascades of merriment, sparkling with tuneful music. “Bubbly” is, in short, one of the most entertaining efforts of its class, the book being by J. Hastings Turner and the music by Philip Braham and others. The scenery is constructed in accordance with war-time economy restrictions, but there is no limitation to the fun of the show, a feature of which consists of a series of burlesques, which are amongst the best ever seen at the Pleasure Gardens. Particularly good is “The Worst ‘Ole of all,” in which we see Old Bill after the war by pestered various people, and screamingly funny is the failure of an officer to settle down to the quiet pleasures and comforts of home after his experiences at the front. These are only two numerous good things contained in “Bubbly,” to the success of which many accomplished artistes contribute’ (Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, 15 June 1918).
9 Sep 1918 By Pigeon PostProfessional
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William Home (actor), John McNally (actor), Helen Green (actress), Gladys Spencer (actress), A. Blundell Murray (actor), Garrett Hollick (actor), Herbert Vyvyan (actor), Fred Conyers (actor), Helen Graeme (actress)
4 Oct 1918 The Luck Of The NavyProfessional
4 Dec 1918 The Burgomaster Of StilemondProfessional
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Performed here on 4 and 5 December 1918.
10 Feb 1919 The Luck Of The NavyProfessional
10 Mar 1919 Nurse BensonProfessional
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‘Fresh and as new-mown hay is “Nurse Benson,” the comedy by R. C. Carton and Justin Huntly McCarthy, which is being presented at the Pleasure Gardens Theatre this week by Miss Marie Löhr’s principal company. Its wholesome tone is one which most commend it to all playgoers. Exception is sometimes taken to plays because they are too daring or risque, and the question why it is necessary to introduce certain elements is asked. But in this instance there is no ground for raising any question as to propriety. The spirit of pure comedy pervades the whole production, and there is nothing to which the most fastidious can take exception ... It is a simple plot, but the manner which it elaborated affords capital entertainment which is highly relished. Great care has been taken in the delineation of the various characters, which are limned by master craftsmen, and the result is strikingly effective' (Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, 15 March 1919). ‘The story of “Nurse Benson,” this week’s attraction at the Pleasure Gardens Theatre, is one which appeals to the heart and the mind - especially the heart. Further, it ripples with pleasant laughter from beginning to end, and compels with equal force admiration from young and old alike' (Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser, 15 March 1919).
2 Jun 1919 The TitleProfessional
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‘Apart from dominating plays which all critics keep at the back of their minds for purposes of comparison and, perhaps, standardisation, we do not easily recall a work which flashes more brightly with epigramatic [sic] wit than does Mr. Arnold Bennett’s “The Title,” produced this week at the Pleasure’ Gardens Theatre. The usual danger with super brilliancy is that it quickly burns itself out. But that cannot be said of “The Title.” The verbal fire is as dazzling in the last few lines as in the opening and the most pregnant parts of the play. Those who cannot quite follow the scintillation of thought as expressed in masterly language call it “wordy.” So it is, since words were given us to disguise our thoughts: but it is the wordiness which appeals to those who love a battle of wits and glory in the clash of intellects. “The Title” is a mordant satire on the granting of titles. What, in very fact, does a baronetcy or a knighthood imply? A nation’s honour to one who, by true merit, deserves that honour, or a potent weapon to arrest acute criticism, to placate enmity, or to do the expected thing? The point is debatable, and Mr. Arnold Bennett debates it with the skill of a keen observer and a deep reader of French literature. His knowledge of the profundities of femininity he(?) also betrays in planning her infinite scheme of attack' (Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser, 7 June 1919).
23 Jun 1919 Peace Time Prophecies or Stories Gone WrongProfessional
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‘Peace Signing Plans. In the event of the signing of the Peace next Monday or during the week, joyous peals will be rung on. the Church bells in Folkestone. At the Pleasure Gardens Theatre the news will be announced by Mr. Edmond Russell, who is appearing in “Bubbly”’. Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, 21 June 1919.
3 Nov 1919 By Pigeon PostProfessional
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'Austin Page's interesting play is one of the best of the secret service dramas which formed part of our theatrical sustenance during the war, and now that the conflict is over, and we are receiving German delegates in conference in London and sending sugar which is badly wanted at home to Germany it is still very good fare, although probably some would like the sugar as well...This excellent play is forcibly acted.' (Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate and Cheriton Herald, 8 November 1919) Baliol Holloway (actor), Florence Helm (actress), Gilbert Heron (actor), Reginald J. Turner (actor), C. Haviland Burke (actor), Herbert Vyvyan (actor), Goodie Willis (actress), Florence Burns (actress), Fred Conyers (actor)
17 Nov 1919 Seven Days LeaveProfessional
16 Jan 1920 The Luck Of The NavyProfessional
22 Mar 1920 Nurse BensonProfessional
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The Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, 20 March 1920, published a photograph captioned, ‘The above scene occurs in Act 2 of “Nurse Benson,” which is to be played at the Pleasure Gardens Theatre next week’. ‘That charming and delightful comedy “Nurse Benson,” written by Messrs. R. C. Carton and Justin Hutley [sic – Huntly] McCarthy, is again at the Pleasure Gardens Theatre this week, and as on its initial visit it has met with an exceedingly warm reception. Miss Marie Lohr’s No. 1 company is again responsible for its production, and most of the artistes then appearing now renew an acquaintance with the Folkestone public, who, in no uncertain manner, have shown their high appreciation of a splendid performance of the comedy. The story is a sparkling and a witty one, its humour being characterised by a richness which is rarely met. An interesting love story, strong in sentiment, adds greatly to the piquancy of the play, which right throughout. keeps everyone thoroughly interested and amused' (Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser, 27 March 1920). ‘The attraction at the Pleasure Gardens Theatre this week consists of “Nurse Benson,” which is again presented by Miss Marie Lohr’s principal company - a combination of rare individual and collective talent. The. comedy of R. C. Carton and Justin Huntley McCarthy takes high rank amongst plays of this kind, and many have been delighted to see it again, whilst to those who have not yet seen it at all it can be recommended as something which will afford them a rich treat. “Nurse Benson” is not a war play in the ordinary sense of the term, although the dramatis personae include a V.C. winner, and some of the dialogue is founded upon the scarcity of sugar and other articles' (Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, 27 March 1920).
4 Feb 1935 The Luck Of The NavyProfessional