Mab Paul, English actress

February 8, 2014

Mab Paul (1873/83?-?; active 1900-1916), English actress
(photo: Albert Sachs, Bradford, circa 1905)

Mab Paul appears to have begun her career as a dancer in musical comedy and pantomime, appearing during 1900 in a tour of My Girl headed by John Le Hay, and at the Opera House, Crouch End, north London, during the Christmas season of 1900 in the pantomime Babes in the Wood. She subsequently played the part of Melantho in Stephen Phillips’s poetic drama, Ulysses, with Herbert Beerbohm Tree in the title role, at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London, produced on 1 February 1902. In April 1903 Miss Paul appeared in the small part of Marozia in Sir Henry Irving’s English production at Drury Lane of Dante after Sardou and Moreau’s original play. She accompanied Irving’s company in the same piece, opening for a three week season at the Broadway Theatre, New York City, on 26 October that year. Following a short tour the company returned to England in March 1904. After that Miss Paul spend some years on to tour the United Kingdom and then, at the beginning of 1910, she went to Australia where she continued her career until about 1916.

* * * * *

Mab Paul in Sydney, Australia, October 1910, during a tour of Australia with George Willoughby’s English Farcical Comedy Company
‘Miss Mab Paul Attacked.
‘Her Assailant Worsted.
‘An attack upon Miss Mab Paul, leading lady of the George Willoughby Night of the Party Company, was made by an unknown man at the North Shore on Thursday night. Fortunately she was able to defend herself, and her assailant was the chief sufferer.
‘Miss Paul travelled by the 11.30 p.m. boat from town, and on arrival at the northern shore decided to walk to her quarters at Beulah flats. Within a few hundred yards of her destination she was set upon by a footpad, who caught her by both arms and endeavoured to snatch her handbag. Miss Paul, who is just over six feet, and something of an athlete, finding herself in the grip of the man, made a determined effort and kicked him hard upon the shin. He let go his hold, whereupon the actress hit him across the face with her handbag. Her assailant staggered back. Miss Paul then dropped the gag, and, clenching her fists, struck the man twice. The first blow glanced off, and her left hand grazed along a wall, causing a painful wound. The second blow was more effective, catching the footpad full upon the point of the jaw, and causing his downfall. As he fell Miss Paul recovered her bag and hurried home.
‘A sympathetic public gave her a rousing reception in The Night of the Party last night, when she appeared [at the Criterion Theatre, Sydney] with her hand in bandages.’
(The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Saturday, 22 October 1910, p. 14b)

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