School of Arts


Helen Brooks features in Mentioned in Dispatches

29 October 2019

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Dr Helen Brooks, Reader in Theatre and Cultural History, features on the latest edition of the podcast Mentioned in Dispatches, the podcast of the Western Front Association, alongside Dr Philippa Gregory, Assistant Lecturer in the School of History.

The Western Front Association was formed in 1980 to maintain interest in the period 1914-1918, to perpetuate the memory, courage and comradeship of those on all sides who served their countries in France and Flanders and their own countries during the Great War. It does not seek to glorify war and is non-political.

The episode explores the work of Bruce Bairnsfather (1887-1959), the British humourist and cartoonist, and who created the character 'Old Bill' for The Bystander magazine throughout the war. In particular, Helen and Philippa discuss Bairnsfather's famous 'Better 'Ole' cartoon and its impact and resonance during the Great War and after.

Helen's current research focuses on theatre and culture during and immediately after the First World War. As part of this she has been involved in a number of Arts and Humanities Council funded-centenary projects. These include Gateways to the First World War, the Great War Theatre project and Performing Centenaries. Explaining her interest in wartime theatre in the podcast, Helen says: 'I thought: there's something really interesting here, why is nobody looking at this?'

The episode is available online and free download here:

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Last Updated: 11/10/2018