World War I Theatre

World War I Theatre

World War I Theatre investigates entertainment during the First World War, particularly theatre.

Led by Andrew Maunder of the English Literature Group at the University of Hertfordshire, the project also examines variety and music hall.

Popular wartime entertainment

World War I Theatre is intended as a corrective to the dominant literary view of the war, which tends to come from poetry from authors like Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sasson.

More people during the war went to the theatre than read poems, with powerful messages sent out via the theatre and music halls.

Theatre helped shape people’s understanding of the conflict, but most of this work has long been forgotten about.

Two of these lost plays were recently performed by Twisted Events Theatre Company:

  • Edmund Goulding’s God Save King (1914)
  • Berte Thomas’s For My Country (1917)

God Save The King - Part 1

God Save The King (1914)

God Save The King - Part 2

God Save The King (1914)

God Save The King - Part 3

God Save The King (1914)

For My Country - Part 1

For My Country (1917)

For My Country - Part 2

For My Country (1917)

Future productions

World War I Theatre is currently working on two more performances: John Brandon’s The Pacifist (1918) and Herbert Tremaine's The Handmaidens of Death (1919), which follows female munitions workers.

In real life 'Herbert Tremaine' was Letchworth author, Maude Deuchar.

Get involved with the Staging World War 1 project

Contact us if you have a research idea, would like to get involved in a project, or want to find out more about the University of Hertfordshire’s Heritage Hub.