Once a Crook

Written by the husband and wife team of Evadne Price and Ken Attiwill. (Dick Richards, ‘Entertainment’, Sunday Mirror 18th August 1940, page 17.)

When Mervyn Johns joined the Royal Air Force on 9th July 1940, the director took over the role of Hallelujah Harry – and would continue playing the character for nearly a year. (‘London Theatres’, The Stage 11th July 1940, page 5.)

The West End run of this production was interrupted by the bombing raids of the London Blitz. It resumed in March 1941 for 32 matinee performances with four further cast replacements.

Between the two West End runs, the play toured again, including garrison theatres. A film version was also made, starring Gordon Harker and starting at Shepherd’s Bush on 23rd December 1940. (‘20th-Fox starts Once a Crook’, Kinematograph Weekly 19th December 1940, page 20.)

Cast & Crew


A Barrister
A Police Constable
A Police Sergeant
A Police Sergeant (replacement)
Bill Hopkins
Bill Hopkins (replacement)
Charlie Hopkins
Estelle Graham
Inspector Marsh
Old Sea Captain
Old Sea Captain (replacement)
The Duke
The Duke (replacement)
Hallelujah Harry
  (June – July 1940)
Hallelujah Harry
  (started July 1940)
Hallelujah Harry
  (started June 1941)


General Manager
Set Designer
Set Designer (tour)
Stage Director
Stage Manager


If you have a photograph or picture that illustrates this production, please sign in to upload it, or add it to Flickr and tag it with .

Photo credits


If you have an interesting observation or anecdote about this production that you think others may be interested in, please sign in in order to record it here.