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Theatre and the First World War


How does the First World War appear on the stage?

This month Angus, Chris and Jessica speak to the theatre historian Helen Brooks about her work on the Great War Theatre project. Along the way, we discuss the importance of sex to the rules of censorship, consider the role of theatre in bridging the past and the present and find out which play threatens to give Chris nightmares.


Helen Brooks, “Remembering the War on the British Stage: From Resistance to Reconstruction“, in Revival After the Great War: Rebuild, Remember, Repair, Reform (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2020) 165-178
Helen Brooks, “‘Are there any more recruits?’ – British theatre and the recruitment drive, 1914–1915,” First World War Studies 10, no 2-3 (2020): 207-224
Gott Straf England
Dorothy Mullard, In the Hands of the Hun
In Time of War
The Era
The Stage
Bruce Bairnsfather and Arthur Elliot, A Better ‘Ole (1917)
R.C. Sherriff, Journey’s End (1928)
Grand Guignol
A Gas Attack
J.M. Barrie
Arthur Wing Pinero
The Battle of the Somme (1916)
Oh! What a Lovely War (1963)
Nick Whitby, To the Green Fields Beyond (2000)
Nick Stafford, War Horse (2007)
Michael Morpurgo, War Horse (1982)
The Greatest Showman (2017)
Michael Morpurgo, Private Peaceful (2003)

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