Annette Fengler in England, 1900/01

June 21, 2015

Annette Fengler (?1879-?), American vaudeville and music hall singer
(cabinet photo: Hana, London, probably 1900)

‘William E. Hines and Miss Earle Remington, well-known and highly-appreciated artistes from the “other side,” will make their first appearance in England at the Tivoli on Monday. The particular business they affect is the original Bowery boy and girl, Yankee editions of the “Bloke” and “Donah” of Cockaigne. Miss Hines is also responsible for a humorous representation of the new woman “tramp” – a caricature of the unfettered female, and Mr Hines represents a type of the New York politician. On the same evening Miss Annette Fengler, another American lady, will commence an engagement at the same house, where she recently deputised for Countess Russell.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 28 April 1900, p. 18b. Countess Russell, formerly Mary (Mabel) Edith Scott, married as his first wife in 1890 Frank Russell, 2nd Earl Russell (1865-1931). She made her living for a while on the variety stage as a singer during their protracted divorce proceedings.)

The Tivoli music hall, Strand, London, week beginning Monday, 30 April 1900
‘Two new turns from America were last night introduced into the programme. They met with widely different receptions. It may be that [husband and wife duo] Mr. Hines and Miss Remington’s impersonations are true reproduction of some class that exists in America. One must remember that in some part of England Mr. [Albert] Chavalier’s costers were mistaken for Germans. But to the audience of last night the creatures before them were not any known or even conceivable class of human beings, their doing and their dialect wee alike utterly unintelligible. And the audience condemned the turn as one does not recollect any inoffensive music hall turn ever having been condemned before. Fortunately, the Tivoli programme can stand a weak turn or two, and the reception accorded to Miss Annette Fengler showed that the audience was free from all insular prejudice. Miss Fengler is an extremely pretty and elegant young lady, Slender and of more than common height, and most becomingly clad in an elaborate “confection” of pink silk, she had half conquered the audience before she opened her mouth. She sang two songs. Of the first once grasped little but the refrain, which ran “You know I left my little home for you” [i.e. ’I’d Leave ma Happy Home for You’]. The other was a sort of coon song about a little chocolate coloured boy, whose head appeared towards the end through a hole in the white sheet that served for background. These songs Miss Fengler sang very sweetly and daintily, passing the intervals, as American ladies are wont to, in ambling about the stage in rather forced attitudes. But she brought an unusual amount of grace to the business. The peculiar feature of her performance is, however, her singing some passages in an extremely high voice. These she rendered not only with a power for which the rest of her singing had not prepared one, but with exquisite purity and great beauty of execution. They were hailed with delight: the singer was encored, and it was quite evident that the audience would willingly have listened to her for another half hour. Miss Fengler has every reason to be satisfied with her first appearance in England… .’
((The Morning Post, London, Tuesday, 1 May 1900, p. 5g)

‘Miss Annette Fengler, an American variety artiste, is making a very favourable impression at the Tivoli. Her voice is, in quality, above the average heard on the music-hall stage, and the introduction of the little woolly-headed negro, whose head only is visible on the white canvas background when he joins in the song, is a novel feature.’
(The Pall Mall Gazette, London, Saturday, 5 May 1900. p. 7c)


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