December 27, 2012

The Six Brothers Luck (fl. late 19th/early 20th Century), British music hall entertainers, burlesque and sketch artists

‘THE SIX BROTHERS LUCK Burlesque and Sketch Artistes, In their enormously successful, Up-to-date Farcical Stketch, ”THE DEMON OF THE CELLAR and many other eccentric Variety Acts. QUAINTNESS, HUMOUR, ORIGINALITY. ECCENTRICITY, NOVELTY, REFINEMENT. Sole Agents – GEORGE WARE & SON.’ (photo: unknown; advertisement from Charles Douglas Stuart and A.J. Park, The Variety Stage, T. Fisher Unwin, London, 1895)

‘Negotiations were completed yesterday for the appearance on the Klaw & Erlanger circuit of the six brothers Luck, English comedians. There are twenty-five persons in the company, and the six brothers Luck are the principal comedians; Ernest Luck, the star comedian of the organizations, is manager for Miss Hetty King [Mrs Ernie Lotinga, whose husband was a member of the Six Brothers Luck], who is now appearing at the New York Theatre.’ (The New York Times, New York, Tuesday, 8 October 1907, p. 5d)

‘Six Brothers Luck, ”The Demon in the Cellar” (Pantomime). 20 Mins.; Full Stage (Special Set). New York.

‘The Six Brothers Luck are the latest Klaw & Erlanger European importation. They opened Monday afternoon in ”A Night in an English Cafe,” but changed to ”The Demon in the Cellar” for the evening show, the first named offering having signally failed to please. ”The Demon in the Cellar” is a pretty crude collection of rough knockabout comedy material, made universally familiar on our shores by the Hanlon Brothers’ ”Fantasma” and countless other pieces of the same sort. The Lucks have nothing to add to this style of humor as we know it on this side of the water. The inflated bladder, seltzer syphon and slapstick have been relegated to obscurity and long since thrown out of burlesque over here, and only our visiting British cousins have the courage to bring them forth again. The sketch tells the story of a wicked uncle, who seeks to cheat his nephew of a fortune by means of a false will. The nephew dons a horned mask and red tights and haunts the old man into confession. The comedy comes from the clowning of a French waiter and an English soldier (Shaun Glenville Luck), who comes a-courting the uncle’s house-maid, and are terrified by the appearance of the horned apparition. Shaun Glenville Luck makes a capital grotesque comedian and might, under more kindly circumstances, be really funny, but the seltzer-bottle-bladder-slapstick mess that makes up ”The Demon in the Cellar” leaves him stranded. The audience hopes for a minute that the introduction of acrobatics of some sort might enliven the proceedings, but they hoped in vain. It was just childish horseplay and buffoonery, almost without a redeeming virtue. (Rush, ‘New Acts of the Week,’ Variety, New York, 2 November 1907, p. 10b)

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