Milly Palmer

February 14, 2013

Milly Palmer (Mrs Bandmann-Palmer, 1845?-1926),
English actress
(photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, circa 1865)

Milly Palmer’s London debut, 1864
‘As mentioned elsewhere, Miss Milly Palmer, of the Theatre Royal and Royal Amphitheatre, Liverpool, made her debut at the Royal Strand Theatre on Monday evening, in Delicate Ground.
The Times says:- ”Miss Milly Palmer, a young actress who for some time past has enjoyed a high reputation at Liverpool, made her first appearance in London last night as Pauline in Delicate Ground. For a powerful display of emotion the pleasant little drama affords small scope, but the young wife must be ladylike, intelligent, sensitive, and somewhat hasty of temper, or the intentions of the author will not be fulfilled. Miss Palmer, whose appearance is remarkably prepossessing, complies with all these requisites, and evinces a degree of earnestness which augurs well for her success when intrusted with a part of greater responsibility. All that she was wanted to do she did well; but at present we may consider that she has been simply introduced to the pubic, and that the real experiment to her powers has yet to be made. She was greeted with loud applause.”
The Morning Post says:- ”A new and very promising candidate for the honours of the London stage appeared last evening at this Theatre in the exceedingly attractive person of Miss Milly Palmer, of the Theatre Royal, Liverpool, who made a brilliant debut as Pauline, in Mr Planché’s pleasant comedietta of Delicate Ground. Miss Palmer’s beauty, which is of a rare order (she is what the French call a blonde doree), and her deportment, which is singularly graceful and ingenuous, created at the first glance a favourable impression, which further acquaintance heightened into enthusiasm. But youth and beauty, precious as are both gifts, are the least important of her qualifications. Her face is expressive as pretty; her voice is clear, flexible, and melodious; and she has a fascinating vivacity of manner which is admirably suited for that description of performance which, though the word has of late fallen into disesteem, was once known with honour as ”genteel” comedy. She acts not only with spirit and intelligence, but with grace and sensibility, and she is perfectly familiar with stage business. It is scarcely necessary to add that she well deserved the applause with which she was abundantly greeted, and that she cannot fail to become a very valuable acquisition to the popular company of comedians at the Strand Theatre.”
‘The following are extracts from a lengthy and eulogistic article in the Morning Herald and The Standard:- ”Miss Milly Palmer, a young actress who for the last few years has been an immense favourite at the Theatre Royal, Liverpool, made her first appearance in London in the comedietta of Delicate Ground, on Monday night at this Theatre, and achieved a very remarkable success * * * * * When the performance is over we see at once that Miss Milly Palmer is playing within means, and that she has abundance of power in reserve. We must not, however, under-rate the character of Pauline in Delicate Ground, which demands unusual versatility of talent and the nicest possible discrimination to make it strike home to the spectators. Miss Palmer’s acting was perfectly truthful and admirable throughout. The romance and simplicity of Pauline were exquisitely represented by Miss Palmer, who, without an effort, and in a style very different to what the visitors to the Strand Theatre have been accustomed to scan, made a deep impression, and appealed to all hearts. The tenderness of the character, too, was exquisitely realised; nor were energy and elegance in Miss Palmer’s motions and attitude which stamp her in a moment as a veritable queen of comedy; added to which her appearance is prepossessing in the highest degree. Need we say that Miss Milly Palmer is an invaluable acquisition to the Strand Theatre? We may go even beyond this, and assert that Miss Palmer is one of the most accomplished actresses whom the London stage has witnessed for many years. The young lady has certainly not belied her Lancashire reputation. The curtain fell on hearty and genuine applause, and arose again to show the three artists in their places. This custom being one through, a general call was raised for Miss Palmer, who appeared, led on by Mr Parselle, the whole house cheering lustily while she was crossing the stage.”’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 13 November 1864, p. 14c)


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