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skipping rope dancers

February 23, 2013

a carte de visite of two unidentified skipping rope dancers
(photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, late 1870s)

MR. HUGH J. DIDCOTT
has great pleasure in announcing that, at the termination of the Engagement of Miss ROSE FOX, at the OXFORD MUSIC HALL, she will appear with her Troupe of Beautiful Blondes, in a New Fantastical Farrago, entitled
”SKIPPING IN THE SNOW,”
by FRANK W. GREEN, Esq.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 25 March 1877, p. 20a)

”Th’ adorning thee with so much art.” – COWLEY.
MISS ROSE ROX,
”Queen of the skipping-rope.” – The Era.
ROYAL FORESTERS’, every Evening, Ten o’clock,
in her New Fantastical Farrago,
entitled SKIPPING IN THE SNOW.
Libretto by Frank W. Green; Music by Edward Solomon.
New and Magnificent Dresses Designed and Executed
by H. Compton.
OXFORD, Eleven o’clock, every Evening.
217th Night at the centre of attraction.
Miss ROSE FOX begs publicly to tender her best thanks to the Oxford Management for the ”Souvenir” presented to her on the occasion of her 200th performance of ”Skiptomania.”
Address, Mr Hugh J. Didcott.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 5 August 1877, p. 16a)

The Foresters’ music hall, London
‘The programme during the past week has been strengthened by the production of what the bills describe as a ”new fantastical farrago,” bearing the title Skipping in the Snow, arranged, we believe, by Mr H.J. Didcott, to whom must be given the credit – or at least some of the credit – of a pretty idea, capitally carried out. Skipping in the Snow cannot be said to have a story, and if we say that it introduces us to a young, handsome, well-dressed foreign prince on the look-out for a wife among the ”beautiful blondes,” who share in his taste for skipping-rope pastime, it must be understood that we speak only of our own imaginings, and that it is just possible we may have placed the wrong interpretation upon the sketch after all. Music Hall sketches are not allowed to have stories, and we are sure that this is about the very last place where any attempt would be made to violate the regulations laid down by the ”powers that be.” Story or no story, however, there is no denying the fact that Skipping in the Snow is a very attractive production. A really charming rustic and wintry scene has been prepared, and this alone appears to be sufficient to call forth the warmest demonstrations of approval from the skipping-rope dancers. Miss Rose Fox comes tripping upon the stage with her beautiful companions; when they sing and skip and dance; when the snow begins to fall and its flakes are made brilliant by the aid of the lime-light, the enthusiasm of the onlookers hardly knows bounds, and cheers of the most hearty description testify to the pleasure afforded. Miss Fox towards the end comes skipping and dancing with a rope of fire, the effect being wonderfully picturesque. Skipping in the Snow will doubtless remain one of the chief attractions at the Foresters’ for a considerable time to come.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 12 August 1877, p. 4b)

‘Miss Rose Fox, the pretty and accomplished skipping-rope dancer, who some time ago created a sensation at the Gaiety Theatre, has been engaged by Mr E. Villiers to appear with her ”Belles Blondes” in the ”Fantastical Farrago” Skipping in the Snow, at the Canterbury, at Easter. Miss Fox may rely on a very cordial reception.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 24 March 1878, p. 4b)

‘Miss Rose Fox (Mrs H.J. Didcott), formerly immensely popular as a dancer – her skipping-rope dance secured her a host of admirers – and lately a teacher of dancing, died, we regret to hear, on Friday, the 28th ult., after a long illness. She was the mother of two children. The remains of deceased were buried at Brighton on Tuesday.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 6 July 1889, p. 15c)

Hugh Jay Didcott (1836-1909), a well-known London music hall agent, and Rose Fox (d. 1889, whose father was Harry Fox (1817-1976), music hall comedian and chairman of The Middlesex music hall, otherwise known as ‘The Old Mo’,’ Drury Lane), were the parents of the actress Maudi Darrell (1882-1910). The latter’s husband was Ian Bullough who following her death married Lily Elsie.

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