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Erskine 1916: Pantomime Somewhere in France

By Bethany Lane, University of Glasgow MSc Museum Studies postgraduate student

Entertainment was very common on the frontline as it gave the men a healthy distraction from fighting or their injuries. At the beginning of the war, most concerts were carried out by fighting men. These men were often musicians, singers or comedians. However, by 1918, a theatre company was assembled to specifically entertain the troops. Sometimes their sketches would act as an outlet for grievances about conditions or food, while on other occasions works of Shakespeare were performed. The events were often sell-out hours before the curtain went up.

Blog - Panto

In line with British tradition, this particular pantomime was performed at Christmas in 1915 and organised by a Glasgow Highlander. The language the leaflet uses is very informal, with a humorous tone that’s fits the period. This programme was treasured and brought back by a soldier from Paisley.

Read Bethany’s previous posts on silk embroidered postcards, and battlefield pillowcases in the collections of the Erskine Hospital.


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