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June 16, 2013

Freddie Hackin (1895-after 1938), English actor and variety artist
(photo: Campbell-Gray, London, circa 1910)

Little Freddie Hackin had already appeared in various United Kingdom music halls, including the London Hippodrome, when in 1912 he was selected by Harry Lauder to form part of his company for a tour of the United States. Although 17 years old he was reported in the American Press as being ‘A Real Live ‘Peter Pan.” Following his return from America he was cast as Bertie, a little boy, ‘(Absolutely his First Appearance in England, after a most Successful Tour in America)’ in the pantomime Sleeping Beauty; or, The Prince with the Golden Key, which was produced at the Queen’s Theatre, Leeds, 20th January 1913. Among other engagements he subsequently appeared in Thumbs Up, a revue by H.B. Levy, with music by Fred Brown, at the Hippodrome, Putney, on 29 May 1916. He was also in False Alarms, a revue written and produced by Archie Pitt, at the Tower, New Brighton, Lancashire, on 26 June 1926.

* * * * *

‘Little Freddie Hackin.
”’A Night in pantomime” (Impersonations).
‘12 Mins.; Four [changes of costume] (Special Set: Interior).
‘Lauder Show [i.e. a touring company headed by Harry Lauder].
‘Little Freddie Hackin was handicapped badly Monday night with the loss of his voice, also a vehicle that includes something as foreign to Americans as young Mr. Hackin is himself. He’s an English boy, reported as seventeen years of age. He has a cherubic face, made more so by a liberal dose of grease paint. ”A Night in Pantomime” [a quick change scena] is Hackin taking the several principal characters of the English panto, dressing them straight and travestying each through lyrics. It sums up as once man over here might do a ”mellerdrammer” [i.e. melodrama] by himself (which has been done). Freddie looks like a good performer, but he’s going to have trouble making people accept stuff they don’t understand, and consequently will have to depend more upon himself and less upon his material. The set for the act is a bedroom. It may be Hackin’s own, but it recalled a scene in ”Sumurun,” or the scenery did. Hackin is in a cradle when the curtain goes up. The finish of the turn is somewhat abruptly made.’
(Variety, New York, Friday, 27 December 1912, p. 17c)

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