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Ina Claire and Sam Bernard in The Belle of Bond Street, Adelphi Theatre, London, 1914

September 30, 2013

Ina Claire (1893-1985), American actress and singer, and Sam Bernard (1863-1927), English-born American actor, as they appeared in the roles of Winnie Harborough and Max Hoggenheimer in The Belle of Bond Street, a musical play (adapted from The Girl from Kay’s), which opened at the Adelphi Theatre, London, on 8 June 1914. The production closed on 17 July 1914 after a run of 41 performances.
(photo: The Daily Mirror Studios, London, 1914)

‘Been Here Before.
‘How many London playgoers will remember Sam Bernard, who is producing and acting in The Belle of Bond Street, the American musical comedy advertised for production at the Adelphi on Saturday night? Mr. Bernard has made a big name in America, but he he was acting over here a quarter of a century ago, and appeared at the old Middlesex Music-hall.
‘The Coster Rage.
‘Those were the days when [Albert] Chevalier was making the coster song the rage of London, and Mr. Bernard was one of the earliest, if not the first, to take the coster song across the Atlantic. He bought a real costermonger’s suit to take back with him to New York, where he appeared on the stage and sang to wondering Americans of the joys and sorrow of our ”pearly” lads and lasses.’
(The Daily Mirror, London, Wednesday, 3 June 1914, p. 5c)

‘Miss Ina Claire and Mr. Sam Bernard triumphed last night at the Adelphi Theatre, and by her charm and cleverness and his broad humour overrode a foolish story, tinkling music, and a tawdry production… . Miss Claire and Mr. Bernard kept the show ”humming” from beginning to end … the night was made hilarious by the two chief performers, and an audience which included [Enrico] Caruso and Signor [Antonio] Scotti, Miss Gertie Millar, Miss Ethel Levey, Miss Gaby Deslys, Miss Vesta Tilley, and scores of Americans, shouted itself hoarse in approval.’
(Daily Express, London, Tuesday, 9 June 1914, p. 5f)

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