Emily Levettez

May 22, 2013

a carte de visite photograph of Emily Levettez (fl. 1866-1911), actress and dancer, as Prince Can-Can in the pantomime Beauty and the Beast, Royal Theatre, Greenwich, Christmas 1871
(photo: James Clark, Dover, Kent, England, probably 1871)

Emily Levettez, who had a long and varied career, has been noted as appearing in a number of plays, including Streets of London; or, The Real Poor of the World on a tour of the United Kingdom in 1882. She also appeared as the Duchesse de Vervier in J.T. Tanner and Herbert Keen’s The Broken Melody for a single matinee performance at the Opera Comique, London, on 25 October 1894; this production, with Auguste van Biene in the leading role, was toured by him for several thousand performances. In 1902-1903 Miss Levettez was with Nellie Stewart, Harcourt Beatty, Albert Grau and others in Musgrove’s English Comedy Co in a tour of Australasia. Miss Levettez later played the part of Lady Skettles in the stage adaptation of Dickens’s Dombey and Son produced at the Savoy Theatre, London, on 14 June 1911.

* * * * *

The Cabinet Theatre, King’s Cross, London, Thursday, 16 August 1866
‘Mr. A. Lauraine, a well-known Harlequin, an expressive pantomimist, and a graceful dancer, in conjunction with his pupils, Les Petits Levettez, took a benefit here on Thursday night. The entertainments were miscellaneous, and the audience anything but polite… . the real point of interest was a new comic ballet, ”invented by the Costermonger,” and called The Miser. It introduced Master L. Levettez and Miss E. Levettez, who, considering they were on the stage for the first time (we believe), may be said to promise well for the future. The lady, especially, is still very young. The action of the ballet is clear and understandable. Mr. Lauraine plays the Miser, and the Levettez children personate two beggars who come to the miser’s cottage for relief. Finding themselves repulsed they concert a plan of proceeding, and persecute their unfortunate opponents [sic] with great pertinacy. Greengriff bewitches a table so that it opens and lets the bags of money on to the floor. He substitutes blacking for brandy, and thus furnishes Mr. Lauraine with a pretext to introduce a dance expressive of violent internal pains. When east expected Greengriff appears and chastises the parsimonious individual that a bladder and stick as usual. Greengriff is invulnerable, and is vainly shot at by the Miser. A cat is substituted for a shank bone, which the victim intends for his dinner, and he is at length worried into repentance. He meets with forgiveness, and before the curtain falls, Master Levettez dances a hornpipe, Miss Levettez follows with a skipping-rope dance, and Mr. A. Lauraine goes through some of those evolutions peculiar to male professors of the Terpsichorean art. The adult and the juveniles were all enthusiastically called for… .’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 19 August 1866, p. 11d)

According to the 1872 edition of The Era Almanack (p. 32), Emily Levettez’s first official London appearance was as the Duke of York in Richard III, at Sadler’s Wells on 12 November 1867.


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