Bird In Hand

The Stage, 16 August 1928
At the Royal, on Monday, Bird in Hand started a tour. Sir Barry Jackson presents this charming play. The name of the author, John Drinkwater, has been so long associated with serious drama that it is difficult to connect it with a comedy, but there is brightness in the dialogue and charm in the plot of this piece. The play is finely constructed, written with dramatic instinct and literary grace. A story that grows out of its clearly- drawn characters, is faithfully interpreted by an excellent cast a happy blending of experience and youth that augurs a successful tour. As Thomas Greenleaf, a part he created with success, Percy Rhodes, has a character that gives him many opportunities, and he avails himself of them fully as the irate inn-keeper. Olga Murgatroyd’s interpretation of the romantic Joan Greenleaf, displays a clever artist. As the aristocratic lover, Gerald Arnwood, a realistic and convincing study is forthcoming from Edgar McEwen. A knight whose son desires to wed out of his class furnishes material that enables Ernest Bodkin, as Sir Robert Arnwood, to impress by his skilful handling of a difficult character. In her portrayal of the charming Alice Greenleaf. Marguerite Cellier is excellent. A capital performance is given by Cecil Brooking as the K.C. Ambrose Godolphin, and Percy Goodyear (sic) brings to the role of Mr. Blanquet, a delightful sense of nonsense. As Cyril Beverley, Richard Littledale excels. The scene is laid throughout at the “Bird in Hand” inn, Gloucestershire, and the fine reproduction of the old timbered Tudor house, by Hugh Tudor, is alone worth a visit. The production work of W. G. Fay is excellent. Alec Barr is business manager, and Alfred W. Beale stage manager.

** There may also have been a week at the Brixton Theatre comm 12 November but unable to find evidence **

Cast & Crew


Alice Greenleaf
Ambrose Godolphin KC
Cyril Beverley
Gerald Arnwood
Joan Greenleaf
Mr Blanquet
Sir Robert Arnwood
Thomas Greenleaf


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Play description

Began in September 1927, Birmingham Repertory Theatre with a cast including Peggy Ashcroft and Laurence Olivier.

Royalty Theatre London run started on 18 April 1928 and continued until March 1929. The first provincial run started in August 1928.

Photo credits

  • Olga Murgatroyd and Edgar McEwen, Other public domain


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