Posts Tagged ‘Alfred Ellis & Walery (photographers)’

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Mollie Cusins and her Gaiety Quartette

June 4, 2015

Mollie Cusins (b. about 1880), English-born American actress/entertainer, as she appeared with her ‘Gaiety Quartette’ in London, 1901
(photo: Alfred Ellis & Walery, London, 1901, published in Up to Date, London, Saturday, 1 June 1901, p. 20)

‘Miss Mollie Cusins, a London actress, was accused by a distiller at Maida-Vale of stealing a dog she was leading through the streets. She had him arrested for slander and recovered a verdict of one farthing (half a cent) .’
(The Bourbon News, Paris, Kentucky, Friday, 27 March 1903, p. 3)

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Phyllis Neilson-Terry as Rosalind, New Theatre, London, May 1911

November 2, 2014

Phyllis Neilson-Terry (1892-1977), as she appeared for 9 matinee performances as Rosalind in a revival of Shakespeare’s comedy, As You Like It, New Theatre, London, 11 May 1911. Other members of the cast included Philip Merivale, Maurice Elvey, Vernon Steel, Malcolm Cherry, Miriam Lewis and, as Touchstone, Arthur Williams.
(photo: Alfred Ellis & Walery, 51 Baker Street, London, W, negative no. 52936-4)

‘Youth, beauty, stature, presence – Miss Neilson-Terry has all the externals of a first-rate Rosalind. Never was a prettier fellow than her Ganymede. Her past performances, too – and especially that beautiful performance of Viola [His Majesty’s Theatre, London, 7 April 1910] – promised a Rosalind who might catch for us most, if not all, of the flickering play of lights and shades in this April day of a character; particularly when the name of her father [Fred Terry] was announced as that of the ”producer” of the play. And our hopes were only very slightly disappointed. Such young as Miss Neilson-Terry’s is an invaluable asset; but even youth has its own drawbacks, especially when it is let loose on part in which there is plenty of high spirits and laughter and a swashing and a martial outside. To our thinking, Miss Neilson-Terry made just a thought too much of that outside. Like many a Rosalind, or rather Ganymede, she was inclined to be too consistently hearty, even at moments when Rosalind, being really interested in what was toward, would forget to be hearty. Would Rosalind, for instance, have thumped Silvius on the back when she told him to ”ply Phœbe hard”? Again, she is a little too ready to ”make” fun, where there is humour in plenty already. Her reading of Phœbe’s letter to Ganymede we might instance as a case where a much simpler manner would have gained a much stronger effect. And lastly (O spirits and vigour of youth!) she jumps and dances and sways about and clps her hands more than she should. And sometimes she forces her voice.
‘Against this apparently formidable list of complaints we have to set merits that are much more important. Some of them – the natural merits – we have mentioned. Miss Neilson-Terry is a Rosalind who does not allow us to forget that Ganymede, pretending to be Rosalind, is actually Rosalind, and that under the mock love-making with Orlando lies what is to her dead earnest. This most essential idea is constantly peeping out in all sorts of nicely calculated and touching little ways. The swift changes of mood and cross-currents of thought and emotion are nearly all expressed by the tone, the gesture, or the face; and the grave gentleness or simple earnestness, of which we see rather too little, are, when they come, delightful. And we must add that in the interpolated cuckoo-song Miss Neilson-Terry showed a very highly-trained and very pretty singing-voice.
‘The whole production is charming. There is always something one wants to quarrel with in any ”cutting” for the modern stage of a Shakespeare play; but into that we need not go now. The acting is good through, especially that of Miss Miriam Lewes as Celia and Mr. Horace Hodges as Adam; Mr. Arthur Williams made an agreeable Touchstone, and Mr. Vernon Steel was handsome and gallant enough in the not very exacting part of Orlando.’
(The Times, London, 12 May 1911, p. 11c)

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Joseph Coyne and Gertie Millar in the duet, ‘A Dancing Lesson’ in The Quaker Girl, Adlephi Theatre, London, 1910

August 16, 2014

Joseph Coyne (1867-1941), American actor and singer, and Gertie Millar (1879-1952), English actress and singer, both stars of English musical comedies, as they appeared as Tony and Prudence in the duet, ‘A Dancing Lesson‘ in Act II of The Quaker Girl, first produced at the Adelphi Theatre, London, on 5 November 1910.
(cabinet photo: Alfred Ellis & Walery, London, 1910)

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Henry Ainley in The Great Conspiracy, Duke of York’s Theatre, London, 1907

August 15, 2014

Henry Ainley as he appeared as Captain Roger Crisenoy opposite Irene Vanbrugh‘s Jeanne de Briantes in Madeleine Lucette Ryley‘s drama, The Great Conspiracy, which was produced at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London, on 4 March 1907. The piece ran for 60 performances.
(photo: Alfred Ellis & Walery, London, 1907)

‘A play with an idea no fresher than that of a young girl’s outwitting of Napoleon – a play, in fact, with the plot and the sort of Bonaparte that have already served in musical comedy, yet a neat, well-planned if artificial piece that is as full of excitement as it is of improbabilities, and, for all its lack of true emotion, gives its three principal interpreters at the Duke of York’s fine opportunities for acting – as is The Great Conspiracy. Mrs. Ryley’s adaptation of M. Pierre Berton‘s Belle Marseillaise. The conspiracy in question, planned by the young heroine’s elderly husband, is one that fails, but the chief conspirator escapes, and Napoleon tries vainly to wrest from the wife the secret of her husband’s safety. Finally he hits on the device of marrying her afresh to a favourite young Captain of his who is infatuated with her, and with whom she, in turn, is in love. Her long colloquy with Napoleon, and the bridal scene, in which she explains to her lover the obstacle that stands in the way of their felicity, make the play. Yet it is the three chief players that make the success of the piece – Miss Irene Vanbrugh, who is alternately arch and tender, and has, in the bridal scene already mention, a moment of exquisite pathos; Mr. John Hare, a very slim and frigid Napoleon, yet authoritative, masterful, and grim; and Mr. Henry Ainley, surely the most attractive stage-lover we have on the London boards, because he is not afraid of emotion, and because to charming intonations of voice he adds perfect tact. With its thrilling story and its splendid representation, there should be a long run in store for The Great Conspiracy.’
(The Illustrated London News, London, Saturday, 9 March 1907, p. 362c)

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Ruth St. Denis at the London Coliseum in her ‘Hindoo Temple Dance,’ ‘Radha,’ April/May 1909

August 7, 2014

Ruth St. Denis (1879-1968), American pioneer of modern dance and teacher, as she appeared for a short season at the London Coliseum in 1909, beginning Monday, 19 April, in her ‘Hindoo Temple Dance’ entitled ‘Radha.’ The accompanying music was adapted from the ballet music of Delibes’ opera Lakmé
(photo: Alfred Ellis & Walery, London, circa 1909)

‘Miss Ruth St. Denis was seen at the London Coliseum last week in the most picturesque and imaginative of the Indian temple dances that she has made her peculiar domain. This is the one in which as the reincarnated Rhada, wife of Khrishna, she symbolises for the watching worshippers the mortifying of the flesh by the renunciation of the five senses, and the consequent attainment of final peace. Always graceful and always significant, her dancing has in this instance an almost austere restraint that accords perfectly with its ritual intent and its temple frame. The audience showed a thorough appreciation of the artistic character of the dance, and Miss St. Denis was warmly called at the close.’
(The Sunday Times, London, Sunday, 25 April 1909, p. 5f)

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Henry A. Lytton and the Cosy Corner Girls from The Earl and the Girl, London, 1904/05

May 20, 2014

Henry A. Lytton (1865-1936), English actor and singer, with the ‘Cozy Corner Girls’ (left to right, Gertrude Thornton, Clare Rickards and Hilda Hammerton) in the musical comedy, The Earl and the Girl which was first produced at the Adelphi Theatre, London, on 10 December 1903 before being transferred to the Lyric Theatre, London, on 12 September 1904.
(photo: unknown, probably Bassano or Ellis & Walery, London, 1904; postcard published by the Rapid Photo Co, London, 1904)

‘My Cosy Corner Girl,’ composed by John W. Bratton, with lyrics by Charles Noel Douglas, was imported from the United States for inclusion in The Earl and the Girl, when it was sung by Henry A. Lytton and Agnes Fraser. They also sang it at the Charles Morton Testimonial Matinee at the Palace Theatre, London, on 8 November 1904.

The Earl and the Girl, the most successful of all the musical comedies in which I appeared and the one which gave me my biggest real comedy part, ran for one year at the Adelphi, and then for a further year at the Lyric. When it was withdrawn I secured the permission of the management to use “My Cosy Corner,” the most tuneful of all its musical numbers, as a scena on the music-halls, and with my corps of Cosy Corner Girls it was a decided success.’
(Henry A. Lytton, The Secrets of a Savoyard, London, 1921, p. 86; Lytton’s ‘My Cosy Corner’ scena ran at the Palace Theatre, London, from April to June 1905)

‘My Cosey Corner Girl’ sung by Harry Macdonough, recorded by Edison, USA, 1903, cylinder 8522
(courtesy of Tim Gracyk via YouTube)

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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.