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Marie Lloyd sings ‘The Geisha’

April 21, 2013

Marie Lloyd (1870-1922), English music hall star, sometimes billed as ‘The Queen of Comedy,’ sings The Geisha, written by Charles Wilmott, with music by George Le Brunn, at the London Pavilion, Piccadilly Circus, London, September/October 1896
(colour lithograph song sheet cover published by Francis, Day & Hunter, London, 1896)

London Pavilion, Piccadilly Circus, London, September/October, 1896
‘There is that immensely popular comedienne Miss Marie Lloyd, who had just returned from a long and successful tour refreshed and invigorated. ”I don’t beat about the bush,” her latest song, is quite in her most humorous vein. Marie evidently has no patience with hesitation and want of frankness. She does not admire the girl who is ”gasping for a gargle,” and is afraid to mention the fact to her swain. Her remarks are, as she says, few and free, but they are very much to the point. To the diffident suitor dying to propose she would say, ”If you want to marry me say so.” The meaning of the song is much accentuated by many a sly wink, and its pith and point are admirably brought out. An excellent character song is here ”Geisha Girl,” a Japanesy impersonation, which give considerable scope to her powers as an actress. One of the most attractive features of her assumption of the costume and customs of a tea house attendant in the land of the chrysanthemum is the concluding dance, which is a delightful revelation of quaintness and grace. It is so rarely that Miss Lloyd dances now that audiences are scarcely acquainted with her Terpsichorean powers, and when she elects to give a taste of them, her gyrations are a novelty, and are appreciated as such.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 3 October 1896, p. 18a)

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