Great War Theatre

Address: Burnley, UK

Performances at this Theatre

6 May 1918 A German ShellProfessional
1 Jul 1918 Khaki and BlueProfessional
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‘The popular military and naval revue, “Khaki, and Blue,” is at the Empire next week. It is a new and original comedy dramatic production, with a punch, and will be presented by a strong company, including Nat Lewis, Paul Daly, Rosalie Jacobi, and a full London chorus. Written by Mr. Charles Baldwin, in conjunction with Mr. Alfred Parker, with lyrics by the latter, and specially composed music, the revue is presented in nine scenes, the dressing and staging being on an elaborate scale’. Burnley News, 29 June 1918. ‘Patrons of the Empire Music Hall, Burnley, this week have an opportunity of seeing the bright and amusing new military revue, entitled “Khaki and Blue.” It furnished many side-splitting episodes, much amusing patter, and some charming dances … Of course, the “plot” is of the slenderest kind, and merely serves as a peg on which to hang some excellent comedy. Chief among the fun-makers is Nat Lewis, who, in the part of “Jim Roberts” is absolutely irresistible. “Jim Roberts” in this revue “plays many parts,” from that of an admiral of the Nary to an ordinary private in the trenches. Each part seems funnier than the last, and the fun is fast and furious. Amongst the scenes represented are the dockyard at Dover, the Palace of Peace, a munitions factory, and a German trench. Many up-to-date topics, including food control, and tribunal matters, are drawn upon for some excellent joking. The plot, such it is, deals with the prolific topic of German spying and intrigue. One of the scenes in which there is an attack on the German trenches by the British is quite exciting. Military and naval incidents form the basis of the whole structure of the piece, which is a thoroughly topical and up-to-date production'. Burnley Express, 3 July 1918. ‘The presentation of the topical comedy dramatic revue “Khaki and Blue” at the New Empire this week is affording large audiences a delightful treat. The revue certainly takes the front rank among the numerous productions of this kind which have become popular of late. It is brimful of sparkling, effervescent humour, original burlesque, winsome melody, and spectacular effect, combined with vivid touches of dramatic realism which make the revue all the more remarkable from the view point of its versatility. Its entertaining merit is beyond doubt … “Khaki and Blue” is a rollicking commentary on the times in which we live, and, carried into the sphere of burlesque, the changes for which the war has been responsible, touching many phases of our life, appear ridiculously funny before the footlights, especially when we have a comedian like Nat Lewis to entertain us. He is a master of topical allusion, and his patter is mirth-provoking all the time he is on … The revue strikes the patriotic note, of course, and the responsive chord of the audience is immediately forthcoming. There is rather more in the plot and development than many productions of a similar design. A story of German espionage, with which is interwoven the love episode of a young British naval officer, affording the audience not a few thrilling moments. Dramatic realism is achieved with lightning speed and contrast to the lighter side of the story, and two three of the war scenes are exceedingly effective … The chorus adds a charming finesse to the efforts of the principals, the dresses and staging generally giving a high tone and all-round effectiveness to the production’. Burnley News, 3 July 1918.
20 Apr 1925 The Rhondda Miner’s OctetteProfessional
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Other acts on the same bill were: Tina Paynola (lady mimic),The Zanfrellas (balancing act) Ted Marcel (skater), Beryl Harmer (singer), Bobbie and Beattie (Comedy duo), Norman Osborne (ventriloquist)