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Pattie Wells, Madge Melbourne and Ruby Kennedy, in Our Miss Gibbs, Gaiety Theatre, London, 1909

August 22, 2013

left to right: Pattie Wells, Madge Melbourne and Ruby Kennedy, three of the ‘Girls at the Stores’ in Our Miss Gibbs, the musical play produced at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 23 January 1909. The cast was headed by George Grossmith junior, Edmund Payne, Denise Orme and Gertie Millar.
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1909; hats by Maison Lewis, Hanover Square and Paris)

Pattie Wells began her career as one of the ‘Ladies of Havana’ in Havana, another musical play at the Gaiety (25 April 1908); and she was last seen in Potash and Perlmutter in Society, a comedy by Montague Glass and Roi Cooper Megrue, produced at the Queen’s Theatre, London, on 12 September 1916.

Madge Melbourne was an American, born about 1885. She appeared on Broadway and on tour in the United States between about 1903 and 1906. She arrived in England in December 1908 and lived in London until about 1918. Apart from her appearances in Our Miss Gibbs, during which she made A Gaiety Dueta short film with George Grossmith junior and Edmund Payne, Miss Melbourne was also in the cast of Hullo Ragtime!, London Hippodrome, 23 December 1912, with Ethel Levey, Lew Hearn, Willie Solar, Dorothy Minto and Shirley Kellogg. She was also in Are You There?, a new musical piece by Ruggiero Leoncavallo, produced at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, 28 October 1913, with Lawrence Grossmith, Alec Fraser, Shirley Kellogg and others. Her last appearance seems to have been in the one act comedy, Squibbs by Clifford Seyler, at the London Coliseum, in June 1915, with Mabel Russell and Charles Quartermaine.

Ruby Kennedy, whose real name was Ruby Trelawny, was born in 1889. She first appeared with Seymour Hicks and Ellaline Terriss as one of the ‘Guests’ in The Gay Gordons, a musical play which ran at the Aldwych Theatre, London, from 11 September 1907 for a run of 229 performances. She was last seen in another musical play, The Dancing Mistress, produced at the Adelphi Theatre, London, on 19 October 1912, with Joseph Coyne and Gertie Millar heading the cast. She was married to Group Captain (later Brigadier-General) Henry Brewster Percy Lion Kennedy (1878-1953) at St Luke, Chelsea, London, on 26 November 1913. She died in 1972.

One of Ruby Kennedy’s sisters was May Kennedy (née May Trelawny, 1885-1978) who also appeared in various musical productions, including The Gay Gordons and the revue, Everybody’s Doing It (Apollo Theatre, London, 9 December 1912), with J. Farren Soutar, Robert Hale, Ida Crispi and Unity More.

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