Great War Theatre

Performances at this Theatre

Date Script Type
22 Feb 1915 The Man Who Stayed At Home Professional
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‘Bombs and submarines, plans and German spies, secret “wireless” outfits and carrier pigeons, these are a few of the many ingredients that go to make up the thrilling play of the moment, “The Man Who Stayed at Home,” as presented this week at the County Theatre. As a bright exhilarating play there has been none to equal it in the town for many months, and its refreshing humour and exciting episodes have deservedly won for it the appreciation of crowded houses throughout the week … Well conceived and admirably produced, “The Man Who Stayed at Home” is a play that everyone should see. Of course, as is easily understood, he is not really the man who stays at home, but the real man must have been somewhere about, for at the end the orchestra played “We don’t want to lose you, but we think you ought to go …”‘. The cast was Charles Esdale (Brent), Edith Cuthbert (Daphne Kidlington), Christine Jensen (Molly Preston), Frances Davie (Miriam Leigh), Hilda Gregory (Mrs Sanderson), Goodwin Nock (Carl), Russell Bendle (Fritz), Dorothy Hall (Fräulein Schroeder), J. Farries Moss (Pennicuck) [sic – Pennicuik], Christine Jensen (Miss Myrtle), Harold Greaves (Corporal Atkins), Grahame Herington (John Preston). Reading Observer, 27 February 1915. The actors were members of the E. Taylor Platt company.
18 Oct 1915 The Little Grey Home In The West Professional
6 Dec 1915 Remember Belgium [licensed as 'George Grant'] Professional
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‘A topical play, “Remember Belgium,” is being presented at the County Theatre this week, and should prove a great attraction to Reading audiences. The piece, as its name implies, deals with the war, seven of the eight scenes being laid in France or Belgium. It is a story of how, amidst all the troublous happenings and vicissitudes of war, George Grant and Marie, the adopted daughter of Grant’s. C. O., win happiness and contentment. The story will doubtless have a peculiar fascination for a great many people at the present time, and a visit to the County Theatre by those so disposed will be well repaid' (Reading Observer, 11 December 1915).
27 Mar 1916 When Love Creeps In Your Heart Professional
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The 'Reading Observer' noted that 'it would not be easy to find an all round better entertainment' (1 April 1916)
7 Aug 1916 The Soldier Priest Professional
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Performers: Matthew H Glenville and Co.
18 Sep 1916 The Man Who Stayed At Home Professional
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The Era, 13 and 20 September 1916, listed The Man Who Stayed at Home (Blue) as On The Road from 18 September at the County T., Reading. Previewed in the Reading Observer, 16 September 1916, which listed the actors. ‘Quite apart from its patriotic purpose there must be some reason why “The Man who Stayed at Home,” which is being played this week at the Royal County Theatre, Reading, has had such a successful career. It reached its third year at the Royalty Theatre, London, and has been performed over 1,500 times. Perhaps the reason of its extended popularity is that the authors have not attempted anything fantastic or highly improbable, but have been content to portray a story which, while it has its thrilling situations, is well within the bounds of possibility. Another strong point is its humour, which is constantly bubbling up ... The cast is a capable one all round, and the play is one which is fulfilling a distinctly national object in focussing attention on a subject which has in the past been treated as of scant importance’ (Reading Mercury, 23 September 1916).
15 Jan 1917 The Bing Boys Are Here Professional
2 Apr 1917 Somewhere A Heart Is Breaking [The Coward Who Made Good] Professional
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The Reading Observer, Saturday 24 March 1917, advertised Somewhere A Heart Is Breaking at the County Theatre, Reading, for five nights from Monday 2 April (closed Good Friday).
17 Apr 1917 It Unknown
29 Oct 1917 For Sweethearts and Wives Professional
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‘A War Drama Of Today. It would appear from the evidence furnished by the finished product, as represented in the play itself, that the author of “For Sweethearts and Wives” has not only drawn upon the widely diffused activities created and accelerated by the war, but has also sought to typify in the numerous scenes and features of the story something of the teeming diversity of interest created by the world-wide appeal to the patriotism of the nations. Prospective visitors to the Royal County Theatre, Reading ... may gather some idea of the play’s manifold attractions from the fact that in the course of three acts we are introduced to the various manifestations of life as seen in connection with the shipbuilding industry side by side with the work of the individual craftsman and originator, in the demonstrated aspirations and ideals of a true democracy, in the supreme adventure of war and its hazards - in submarine and battleship, in decoy ships - and in the sinister associations of the spy system and its interaction with the influences of the debased and treacherous elements of industrialism. But Mars and Mammon are by means the only gods directing the destinies of the individuals concerned; a varied expression of the gentler impulses is incorporated in the movement of the drama, and satisfactorily dominates the ultimate issues' (Reading Mercury, 3 November 1917).
6 May 1918 Peace Time Prophecies or Stories Gone Wrong Professional
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‘“Bubbly!” is the last word in revue production. It is merry and bright all the way through... [It] will be presented in its entirety at the County Theatre next week, with all the original dresses, scenery and effects. There is a big super-beauty chorus, and a list of principals high in Metropolitan favour’ (Reading Observer, 4 May 1918). ‘“Bubbly’s” success [at the Royal County Theatre] is likely to be repeated next week by another well-known and successful revue entitled “Touch and Go”’. Reading Mercury, 11 May 1918.
24 Feb 1919 Nurse Benson Professional
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‘“Nurse Benson,” the successful comedy from the Globe Theatre, London, will be played next week at the Royal County Theatre, Reading, by the Taylor Platt Company ... “Nurse Benson” is written by R. C. Carton and Justin Huntly McCarthy, and playgoers will not be disappointed at the result of these two famous playwrights collaborating. The play is described by the London Press as “Quite the brightest and best comedy for many a day,” and the authors have given exceptionally smart dialogue and one of the most riotously funny comedy scents of misunderstanding that can be imagined. Complete production as used at the Globe Theatre is carried. The strong cast includes: Miss Doris Kendal, Miss Mary Griffith, Mr. Harry Robinson, Mr. P. Fuller, Mr. Blake Probert, Mr. Besley Bertram, Mr. George Polson and Mr. J. Edward Pearce’ (Reading Observer, 22 February 1919). ‘The delightful and charming comedy “ Nurse Benson,” which is appearing at the Royal County Theatre this week, has been aptly described as one of a most refreshing character. Miss Mary Polson [sic - Doris Kendal?] in her role of “ Lady Gillian Dunsmore” and when she also impersonates “Nurse Benson” makes most of the complex situations which ensue in the course of the piece and in a most creditable manner, the “houses” nightly showing very heartily their appreciation of the capable performance. She is well supported by the other members of the company’ (Reading Observer, 1 March 1919).
12 Apr 1920 Nurse Benson Professional
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‘Next week at the Royal County Theatre, Reading, “Nurse Benson,” the well known successful comedy, will be produced by a specially selected Company under the Taylor Platt regime. The love interest is also full of humour, and the mistaken identity of the Nurse Benson leads to some of the most amusing scenes and comic situations. From the beginning to the end it increases in comedy and has the merit that it begins well, every act is better than the preceding and the last one is a tornado of mirth . The cast includes:- Miss Maud Linden, Miss Mary Griffiths, Miss Lilian Stanley, Miss Mary Polson, Miss Norah J. Hood, Mr. P. Fuller, Mr. Eric Fane, Mr. John Raymond, Mr. James Hornby and Mr. George Polson’. Reading Observer, 10 April 1920.
24 Apr 1922 Seven Days Leave Professional
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Performed for the week.