Great War Theatre

Great War Theatre is a collaborative research project in which academics and members of the public are working together to uncover the forgotten history of theatre and performance during the First World War. By doing this we aim to open up and generate new insights into the Great War and British theatre history.

The Great War Theatre project began in 2016 and is still ongoing, with new findings being submitted to the database every week. Since 2016 over 230 volunteers from across the UK have been trained as volunteer researchers on the project. Together the team has identified just under 3000 plays licensed during the Great War and we now we are now focussing on the war-themed plays to see where they were performed and how they represent the conflict. To do this we are researching these plays, and the men and women who wrote them, using online newspapers, genealogy websites, local archives, and scripts at the British Library.

Our findings are regularly uploaded into our database, and new evidence of performances and information on playwrights is added weekly. We are also currently busy redesigning the search function and adding new data fields. In future this means you will be able to find out more about performances of plays  and the playwrights who wrote them.

None of this research would have been possible without the generous support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Gateways to the First World War, the University of Kent and The National Archives.

To find out more about the project, and the team behind it, click on one of the images below.

Academic and Support Team
Volunteer Research Team
Getting Involved
The Story of the Project