- Military Entertainment Troupes
Concert given by New Zealanders at the N.Z. Divisional Theatre. Flanders, Dec. 13, 1916.
features programmes for performances by various New Zealand military
entertainment troupes. During World Wars I and II, soldier concert parties
entertained the troops with fast-paced musical and comedy sketches drawn from
popular modern entertainment. Concert parties were regarded as a side-show to
the wider war effort, valuable in helping to maintain soldier morale.
Divisional Theatre: Programme. (‘The Kiwis’). Paris, Dec. 25-27, 1916.
Divisional Entertainers, popularly known as ‘The Kiwis’, were among five
different New Zealand concert parties operating in France during World War I.
Utilising a makeshift hall dubbed The Divisional Theatre, The Kiwis’
performance at Christmas 1916 was attended by hundreds of French children (who
received generous presents) as well as the soldiers. Some of the Kiwis did not
survive the War but others continued as entertainers in peacetime.
Divisional Theatre: Programme of special performance on the occasion of the visit of Sir Thomas Mackenzie K.C.M.G., High Commissioner of New Zealand. (‘The Kiwis’). [France?], Sept. 10, 1917.
Postcard. The New Zealand Division entertainers ‘The Kiwis’ in their musical medley ‘Y go crook’, France, Mar. 1918.
Kiwi revue no. 8. (The Kiwi Concert Party, New Zealand Entertainment Unit, 2nd N.Z.E.F.). New Zealand tour, 1943.
Concert Party was officially integrated into the army as an entertainment unit
in World War II. Formed in 1941, they followed the path of hostilities
throughout the Middle East and Italy for four years. The members were fully
infantry-trained and armed and sometimes found themselves under fire. They
toured New Zealand while on leave, performing at the Dunedin Town Hall on 1-2
October 1943. After the War they toured Australia and New Zealand continually
from 1946 to 1954, under the J.C. Williamson banner.
The Kiwis in their brand new non-stop comedy sensation ‘Maadi Gras’. (K.C.P. Entertainments Ltd.). New Zealand tour, Nov.-Dec. 1945.
The Kiwis Revue Company. (J.C. Williamson Theatres Ltd.). His Majesty’s Theatre, Dunedin, Nov. 7, 1953.