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Burr & Hope, English music hall entertainers visit America, 1912/13

January 22, 2014

Burr and Hope (active circa 1910-1930), English music hall entertainers
(photo: Apeda, New York, circa 1913)

‘William Burr and Daphne Hope. ”A Lady, a Lover and a Lamp” (Talk and Songs).
‘13 Mins.; Four (Closed in with a black cloth).
‘Fifth Ave. [i.e. Fifth Avenue Theatre, New York City] (Week Dec. 16 [1912])
‘From England, Burr and Hope have been over the Orpheum circuit. They came into New York last week at the Fifth Avenue and put over a delightfully though simply set talking ”double” singing and talking act. It is so far removed from the usual as to be termed unique. Backed in by a black cloth nothing is one the stage but themselves, a white enamel table and two chairs of the same. Directly above them is a red fringed lamp. It answers the same purpose as a spot from the balcony, but vastly improves the effect, which is also greatly heightened by the class of these English artists. Miss Hope is a comely blonde, of the robust type, with a very pleasant voice. Mr. Burr is a clean cut fellow, suggesting before he hit the varieties, musical comedy owned him. As the turn opens Miss Hope sings from behind the drapery; Mr. Burr lounging about the table smoking a cigarette. In the centre of the turn they banter each other, he sings and they sing. The closing is injured by the lamp going out. It is replaced by the spot light. If this is necessary at all, the cheap looking tin arrangement or shade above the dingy looking piece of red cloth than had been so prettily disguised by the light effect, should be replaced or covered up. But they don’t need this trick of the finish, any more than Mr. Burr should have give the class of the turn a bump by uttering ”I’ve got yer, Steve.” He will pick up considerable American slang, no doubt, but may save it for home, for it isn’t required in the act. Comedy at the finale is furnished through Burr going outside to commit suicide via the revolver route. Miss Hope shrieks, ”Do come back. I’ll marry you,” when a pistol shot is heard. Immediately Mr. Burr reappears, taking her in his arms as he naively says, ”I missed.” Burr and Hope are all right. They are a sunbeam from the other side in the midst of all the shadows vaudeville has imported, and they can play even the big New York houses more than once.’
(Variety, New York, Friday, 27 December 1912, p. 16d)

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