Jacob Thomas Grien

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Jacob Thomas Grien

Death: 1935
London, UK
Managed by: Michael Lawrence Rhodes
Last Updated:

About Jacob Thomas Grien

<The Times, June 24, 1935>


Mr. J.T. Grein, Consul-General for Liberia in London since 1925, and a well-known dramatic critic, died at his London home on Saturday night, aged 72. He had been in failing health for some time, but his death came suddenly from a heart attack.

Born in Amsterdam on October 11, 1862, he became a naturalized British subject in 1895, and was the doyen of the London drama critics. In 1933, when he celebrated his professional jubilee, he had seen 12,000 plays in this country and abroad. He was dramatic critic of 'Life' at 10 shillings a week in 1891, and in the same year he produced Ibsen's 'Ghosts' for the first time in England. On the occasion of his jubilee, referring to his association with Bernard Shaw on the stage, he said: 'Two years later [1893] I staged George Bernard Shaw's first play "Widower's Houses." I had so much confidence in Shaw that I accepted the manuscript unread. The play was a great success, and made Shaw and James Welch famous in a night.' Shaw once said of Grein: 'He hurled two bombshells into the theatre. The first, which tore the hearts and souls of us with its explosion, was caleld Henrik Ibsen. The second, which made us stare and laugh by its audacity was called Bernard Shaw.'

Mr. Grein founded The People's Theatre in 1930, and in 1934 started the London Marionette Theatre Guild. For his services to international drama he was presented by Queen Wilhelmina in 1933 with the Order of Knight Officer of Orange Nassau. He was also a Knight of the Leopold II Order of Belgium, and a Knight-Commander of the Order of Redemption of Liberia.

Mr. Bernard Shaw, when told of his old friend's death said: 'The theatre has lost a good friend in him.I do not think anyone has any disagreeable memories of Jack Grein. He had not an enemy.'



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London, UK