Posts Tagged ‘Alexandre Bisson’

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Seymour Hicks and Ellis Jeffreys in The Dove Cot, Duke of York’s Theatre, London, 1898

September 14, 2013

Seymour Hicks (1871-1949), English actor manager, and Ellis Jeffreys (1872-1943), English actress, in a scene from The Dove Cot, a comedy by Charles H.E. Brookfield, produced at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London, on 12 February 1898.
(cabinet photo: Alfred Ellis & Walery, 51 Baker Street, London, W, negative no. 26415-4)

The Dove Cot was decidedly a better name for the new comedy at the Duke of York’s Theatre than Jalouse, if for no other reason, because in ceasing to be French in locality and language MM. [Alexandre] Bisson and [Adolphe] Leclercq’s gay and amusing comedy ought obviously to take to itself an English title… . the main theme of The Dove Cot is the vagaries of an habitually jealous woman, and this is a subject that can claim no particular nationality… .
‘The piece is very fortunate in its interpreters. The bickerings between that comely young couple, Mr. and Mrs. Allward, arising out of the incorrigible propensity of the lady to find cause for jealous explosions in trifles light as air, were portrayed by Mr. Seymour Hicks and Miss Ellis Jeffreys with a most amusing and at the same time a most convincing air of reality. Unstable as our English climate, the lady is constantly brining charges of infidelity, repenting of them, and when forgiven by her devoted husband, suddenly starting upon some new ground of jealous distrust. The climax is reached when the jealous wife detects in her husband’s clothing on his return home one night a scent which is only in use among ladies, and, horror of horrors, discovers on his shoulder two long golden hairs. In vain Allward observes that his wife happens to have at that moment a black spot upon her nose, but that he does not on that account suspect her of ”kissing a chimney sweep.” The suspicion has, however, passed beyond mere badinage, and a separation is impending… .’
(The Daily News, London, Monday, 14 February 1898, p. 3b)

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Harry Monkhouse

March 1, 2013

a cabinet photograph of Harry Monkhouse (1854-1901), English actor,
as Duvet in the comic opera Captain Thérèse,
by Alexandre Bisson and F.C. Burnand, with music by Robert Planquette,
which was produced at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, on 25 August 1890.
The cast also included Hayden Coffin, Joseph Tapley, Tom A. Shale,
Attalie Claire (in the title role), and Phyllis Broughton
(photo: Alfred Ellis, London, 1890)

‘Monkhouse, Harry. (John Adolph McKie.) – there is no more general favourite than Mr. Harry Monkhouse, who is a native of Newcastle-on-Tyne, where he was born in 1854. Of course he was never intended for the stage – actors and actresses never are – and his parents, who were Presbyterians, gave him a liberal education at Newcastle Grammar School, which they intended should fit him either for a clergyman or a doctor. From acting in amateur theatricals and assisting behind the scenes at the local theatre on benefit nights, he rose to the dignity of small parts, and at length secured his first regular engagement at the Theatre Royal, Blythe, where Mrs. Wybert Rousby seeing him act, offered him his next engagement to go to Jersey as one of her company. From the Grecian, where he first played in London, he migrated to the Alhambra, and thence to the Gaiety for three years. He met, whilst touring with the Nellie Farren Gaiety Company, Mr. Wilton Jones, who wrote for him a very funny burlesque entitled Larks, and with this and other plays, he made several long and very successful provincial tours. Just as every comedian fancies himself a tragedian, so Mr. Monkhouse, who made his name in burlesque, fancies himself for parts in melodramas where pathos is the prevailing characteristic, and squeezes into his characters a little touch of pathos whenever the chance occasion offers. As Bouillabaisse in Paul Jones (1889) he made himself wonderfully popular, and the way he eventually worked up the part during its run at the Princes of Wales’ Theatre was very marked. As Gosric in Marjorie and M. Duvet in Captain Thérèse he further added to his reputation for originality and humour. There he also played during the run of The Rose and the Ring and Maid Marian, but was drafted over to fill the ranks at the Lyric when the second edition of La Cigale was produced, and played with great drollness the part of Uncle Mat.’
(Erskine Reid and Herbert Compton, The Dramatic Peerage, Raithby, Lawrence & Co Ltd, London, 1892, pp. 154 and 155)