World War 1 brought a demand for escapist entertainment.
The big hits on the London stage were Chu-Chin-Chow,
The Maid of the Mountains and The Bing Boys are
Here starring George Robey and Violet Loraine who sang
the smash hit ‘If you were the Only Girl in the World’.
The spectacular musical Chu Chin Chow became the
longest running show with 2,235 performances at His Majesty’s Theatre in London opening on 31 August 1916.
Chu Chin Chow was based on the Arabian Nights tale
of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves. It was a big budget
spectacular costing £5,300 with over a dozen scene
changes, fantastic sets, big dance routines and exotic costumes.
design for the show had been inspired by the fashion for all
things Eastern which had originated with Diaghilev’s
production of the ballet Scheherazade.
This had starred Nijinsky
and the costumes had been designed by Leon
The big hits of Chu Chin Chow included ‘Any
Time’s Kissing Time’ and ‘The Cobbler’s