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Edmund Payne and Katie Seymour as they appeared for the ‘Mummy Dance’ in The Messenger Boy, Gaiety Theatre, London, 1900

May 6, 2014

Edmund Payne (1863-1914), English musical comedy actor, and Katie Seymour (1870-1903), English actress, dancer and singer, as they appeared in the musical play, The Messenger Boy (Gaiety Theatre, London, 3 February 1900) for the ‘Mummy Dance.’
(photo: Alfred Ellis & Walery, London, 1900)

The ‘Mummy Dance,’ twice encored on the opening night of The Messenger Boy, proved to be one of that popular show’s most popular items.

‘Of the performers, Mr. Edmund Payne was in every way admirable as the messenger boy, in his dervish disguise, indeed, he was inimitably funny; and he danced as he only can dance. Miss Katie Seymour danced once more with wonderful skill and facility. Her method possibly lacks emotion; she has been well compared to a gnat in her absolutely versatile effects; she has a foot scare on the ground before it is off.’
(The Pall Mall Gazette, London, Monday, 5 February 1900, p. 3b)

The ‘Mummy Dance’ proved such a success that it was included by Mr Payne and Miss Seymour in two charity matinees at Drury Lane Theatre: the first on 15 May 1900 in aid of Princess Christian’s Homes of Rest for Disabled Soldiers, the second on 18 June 1900 in aid of the Ottawa Fire Fund and the Canadian Patriotic Fund Association.

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