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Cressie and Billy Leonard in the touring revue, A la Carte, United Kingdom, 1916/17

April 28, 2014

Cressie Leonard (b. about 1887, active 1902-1926), Irish-born English music hall comedienne and pantomime principal boy, with her younger brother, Billy Leonard (1891-1974), Irish-born English variety theatre entertainer and musical comedy actor and singer, about the time they appeared together in 1916 and 1917 in the touring revue, A la Carte.
(photo: Dobson Studios, Liverpool, probably 1916/17)

A la Carte, by Richard Merriman and Fred Leigh, with lyrics by Fred Leigh, and music by Alf. Leondard and Henry Pether, was described as ‘a merry dish of musical dainties’ in one scene. First produced on 13 November 1916 at the Palace Theatre, Bath, its principal artists were Reg. Wilson, Daisy West, Cressie Leonard, Billy Leonard (as ‘The Immaculate Dude’), Dorothy Vaughan, Dave O’Toole, Doris and Dot Pickford, Afred Lucella, and Stephen Hall.

Alf. Leonard, a well-known variety theatre violinist, was Cressie and Billy Leonard’s brother.


Billy Leonard in 1929, probably filmed in the British Pathé Studio, London.

* * * * *

Sinbad the Sailor, New Theatre, Cardiff, Wales, 26 December 1913
‘Miss Cressie Leonard as Sinbad has added fresh laurels to her fame. Her gallant bearing and dashing style are magnetic and in rousing audiences to a high pitch of enthusiasm, and the success of her songs is accentuated by the manner in which they join in the choruses. Her principal numbers are ”Hey ho! Don’t you hear the steamer?” ”You made me love you.” and a duet with [Rose Wylie] the principal girl, ”Take me in your arms.” Miss Leonard also excels in her tango dances with Mr. Dan Leno, Jun. [as Hinbad], this proving a novel feature.’

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