Popular Entertainment, mid 19th-early 20th century.
All photographs and other images posted on this blog are sourced from the Footlight Notes Collection.


  1. Have you ever come across a picture of a “toe dancer” and comic writer by the name of Mlle. Amelia Bartoletti ? She was married to Richard (Dick) Brown .They were my husbands great-great grand parents.We have found a lot of paper clippings about their acts and performance critiques but no pictures ? Their son Richard Jr and his wife Mable Knight .

    • I don’t think I have ever come across a photograph of Amelia Bartoletti. There was a Malvina Bartoletti, premiere danseuse at the Alhambra, Leicester Square, in the early 1870s; was she any relation?

  2. am researching blaiberg family – i knew gladys blaiberg ( sculptor ) her sister gwenda blaiberg ( gwenda villiers ) was an actress the uncle harold e blaiberg owned croydon grand theatre and friend of edwardes the impressario. if anyone knows anything about the family please contact me . kenneth topp

    • Hi. I have seen your request. Olga Blaiberg (Olga Sydney) and subsequently Olga Woolf was my maternal grandmother

      • Hello Raphael , I just picked up your message regarding the Blaibergs .. Would you please contact me by email. kenneth@kennethtopp.com. Am very keen to find out if anyone can remember Gladys , who was very dear to us . Kenneth

  3. I like your blog very much! I have one question: I’m looking for the photograph of Lulu (El Nino Farini by Sarony) in better quality, where have you found it? I can’t find it anywhere. It would be great if you could tell me!

    • Thanks for your message and kind thoughts about my blog. The Sarony photograph, like the majority of images on this blog, are from the Footlight Notes Collection, a private collection of photographs and other material relating to celebrities of the theatre and other forms of popular entertainment from the late 1850s to the mid 1920s.

  4. Hi, my great grandparents were Frazer and Mac, “The King and Queen of Comedy” during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. I know they performed at the Empire, Wolverhampton in 1904, the Palace, Blackpool and the Hippodrome on St. Thomas Street. His name is Charles Frazer and my great grandmother was Ada Crozier Frazer. Their daughter Gladys May (Mae) was a dancer in 1911 – 1924. Do you have any information or photographs of them? Great Blog!

    • Thanks for your kind message. No, I’m afraid that I do not have any information on or photographs of Frazer and Mac or their daughter Gladys. I shall try to post anything that I might find in the future. J

  5. Have you any photos from the Tivoli Theatre Barrow-in-Furness? I am volunteering on a day in 1914 with the Tullie House Museum and Dock Museum. We are looking into Pepi and the Countess. Thank you x

    • Hello and thanks for your enquiry. My collection is much stronger on celebrities rather than theatre buildings.I do not have any phtographs of the Tivoli in Barrow. You might try asking Matthew Lloyd (http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/BritainsProvincialTheatres.htm). Best wishes, John

      • Hi, thank you for the reply and for the contact details. That is great I will give him a try. Thanks again appreciate your help.

  6. The name ,Malvina Bartoletti, is not familiar to me but that is where Amelia studied .I am wondering if that may be her mother ?

    • Thank you for your comment. I would be grateful if you could explain what you mean by your first sentence. The only mention I have found to Amelia Bartoletti is as a dancer active between about 1900 and 1916 in the USA, but either way, I am puzzling as to how she could have studied (or not, as the case may be) at Malvina Bartoletti when the latter was clearly a person, not a location. As it happens Malvina Bartoletti did appear in New York during the 1876/77 season, so it is perfectly possible that she and Amelia Bartoletti were related. Unfortunately, I have no further information on this point.

  7. I am currently working on a book on the facts and fictions of the mythical Wigan Pier – from its ‘creation’ by George Formby Snr to the present day. Does anyone know of the existence of any of the scripts of GF’s ‘Wigan Pier’ routines and jokes? And does anyone have a copy of the sheet music of Weston & Lee’s 1922 song ‘Wigan Pier’? Any help much appreciated. Thanks. John Hannavy

  8. Hi, I’m trying to find a picture (and/or info) about a would-be actress in London in the 1890s, called Bellina (or Violet) Prior. Anybody ever heard of her? Thanks. Karl

  9. Hi.. I am searching for photos, theatrical post cards, playbills, for John Wilmer (Martine) actor & my Grand Uncle. He played Cash Hawkins in “A White Man” about 1909. Website below is a link to his arrest file in NY from 1912, which has some photos shot by C. Corn LTD. Cardiff England “4337 Martine series”. Any assistance or guidance in searching appreciated

  10. Trying to find anything about James Widdows, Music Hall artist age 28 at 1911 census. Born Manchester, probably Hulme. Married to Emmie ( Emily A Livings) from Essex. First child born in London 1908, so maybe performed there? Second child born Manchester 1910.

  11. Researching Marie Longmore who was with several theatrical companies in New York from May 1869. She joined Lydia Thompson’s Blondes in 1870. Do you have any photos of her. I have one, a carte de visite, taken when she was with the troupe.

  12. I wonder if you know of my great grandparents – my great grandfather was born James Arthur Hadfield but was known by his stage name Louis Vincent, he was a female impersonator, but could also have been an actor and singer. He married Eva Morfitt who described herself as a ‘professional singer’. They were from Sheffield and were active in around 1905 – 1915. Thanks

    • Thanks for your message. I am sorry to say that none of the names you mention are familiar to me. You might try looking at the archive section of The Stage web site – http://www.thestage.co.uk. Best wishes, John

      • Many thanks for your reply and your advice to try the archives of The Stage. This is a great site – I’m enjoying looking at the photos and reading all the fascinating information you’ve put together! Regards

  13. I wonder if you have heard of my great grandmother Ray Maskell. She was an American performer around 1890 and beyond. I know she worked in South Wales, Newport, Cardiff & Swansea Empires. She was also on a Guinea Gold cigarette card. Any assistance would be appreciated.

    • Hello. Yes, I have indeed heard of May Maskell.

  14. I’m just putting together a youtube on 6BBC, associated with the BBC’s early engineer Peter Ecklesby, an early (c1923 – 1924) relay station based in Hendon, that boosted American broadcasts into the UK. I was wondering if I might use your image of Fred Duprez as an example of their content. The image will appear with an appropriate thank you and link to your site in the film and at the end. Thank you.

    • Sorry for the delay. Yes, Please do use that image as you suggest. Best wishes, John Culme

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