Great War Theatre

Address: Leicester, UK

Performances at this Theatre

N/A Tim's PalUnknown
13 Sep 1915 The New WordProfessional
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‘Leicester Palace. What a wizard of the drama is Sir J. M. Barrie! How well he knows the ventages of human emotion, and how artfully he call manipulate them! In “The New Word,” the star item in next week’s Palace Bill, he blends the tear and the laugh so cunningly, that one is unable to name with precision from one moment to another the feeling which is moving one. This playlet is a homily on one of our national weaknesses - our dislike of displaying in the slightest degree, even in our homes before our own folk, our affections. In “The New Word” we are introduced into a home where the son has donned khaki to the demonstrative pride and joy of the women folk, paterfamilias concealing his satisfaction as becomes a true, stolid Briton. But in heart-to-heart talk with his boy the old gentleman unbends, and the son’s British buckram is not proof against the father’s newfound cordiality. The new word is “Second-Lieutenant.” Helen Haye, O. B. Clarence, Geoffrey Wilmer, and Ethel Wellesley are the actors concerned’. Melton Mowbray Mercury and Oakham and Uppingham News, Thursday 16 September 1915. ‘Miss Helen Haye, Miss [sic!] O. B. Clarence, and company appear here [the Palace, Leicester] in “The New Word”, and are received with approval’. The Stage, 23 September 1915.
27 May 1918 Flying ColoursProfessional
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‘Once again the programme presented at the Leicester Palace Theatre is of the best, and patrons are assured of a splendid evening’s entertainment, with laughter the dominating note. The star turn is a very funny trench episode, “The Johnson ‘ole,” by Capt. Bruce Bairnsfather and B. Macdonald Hastings, in which Mr. Harry Thurston appears in his original character of “Old Bill.” Whatever else may be said about this sketch it is a mirth provoker of the first water, and the audience is almost helpless with laughter during the reading of a letter from “Old Bill’s” wife, while Bill’s comments on things in general, and his “advice” to his pals are highly amusing although perhaps more expressive than polite’. Leicester Journal, Friday 31 May 1918.
28 Jul 1919 Jolly TimesProfessional
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‘This week a revue, “Jolly Times,” is being staged at the Palace, and those present at the performances last night agreed that it was quite as refreshing as the title suggests. Presented by Harry Goodson, the revue deals with the more humorous incidents of the war, and much good fun has been got out of the hardships of the life near and on the battlefield. Fighting and non-combatant forces are all represented, either in leading roles or in the chorus, and practically no fault could be found with the staging. The revue has five scenes; one depicting an outpost on a battlefield, and another showing a dancing saloon and cafe in Paris are very effective. The chief part, that of Corporal Squibbs, was taken by Jos. Alexandre, and his humorous, happy-go-lucky style was greatly appreciated. Madge Merle, as Sadie Gerrard, an American, was also good, particularly in the songs, “Everything is peaches down in Georgia,” and “Have a smile.” Florence Williams, as a W.A.A.C., was very charming, and Peter McSweeney was accorded much applause for his singing of “Brave old Contemptibles.” Charles Lind Vivian, as a crusty old Colonel, and Joseph Victor, as Lance-Corporal Moppitup, the bosom friend of Squibbs, were also commendable. The dancing was well above the ordinary, and the dresses really fascinating. Harry Moore, the famous newsboy paper manipulator, and the “Pathe Gazette,” were also highly appreciated. The pianos and organs used in the performances are supplied by Wm. H. Russell and Son, 7, London-road’ (Leicester Daily Post, 29 July 1919). ‘An extremely hearty welcome was accorded the first appearance in Leicester on Monday evening of the “Jolly Times,” which occupied practically the whole of the bill at the Leicester Palace Theatre, and the production should certainly draw large houses during the remainder of the week. The piece is full of most laughable incidents, pretty music, catchy songs and graceful dancing, besides which it as very well staged. There are five scenes, the first being the village of Winsea, the others being laid in France, the best probably being the last, a dancing saloon and cafe in Paris. All the parts are particularly well enacted. As Squibby Brown, afterwards Corporal Squibbs, Joe Alexandre keeps the audience in roars of laughter practically the whole time he is on the stage, and he has an excellent foil in Joseph Victor as Lance-Corporal Moppitup, his pal. Peter McSweeney, an aristocratic private, has a very fine voice, and sang “Annie Laurie” and “Now you’ve come back” with great expression. The ladies, too, were extremely good. Dorothy Vernon as Muriel was very winsome. Florence Williams, a W.A.A.C., sang nicely, whilst Madge Merle as Sadie Gerrard, an American. was very good in American song and dance. There is a strong and pretty chorus, and the dresses are very attractive. The only other turn on the bill is given by Harry Moore, the famous newsboy paper manipulator, always a favourite here’ (Leicester Journal, 1 August 1919).