Posts Tagged ‘Arthur Shirley’

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Aimée Roberts, English variety theatre actress and singer, appears in The Flood, a spectacular melodrama, London Hippodrome, 1906

April 24, 2014

Aimée Roberts (active 1906-1921), English variety theatre actress and singer and dialect comedienne
(photo: unknown, UK, probably 1906)

Aimée Roberts’s first appearance seems to have been as Lucie Gray in The Flood, a spectacular melodrama set in Ripplemere, a picturesque Cumberland village, which was produced at the London Hippodrome on 19 March 1906. The piece, which included an inundation of 300,000 gallons of water, was written by Arthur Shirley, with music by Clarence C. Corri. Other cast members were Hal Forde as Harry Darvill, Bert Gilbert as Wilkins, Cecil Morton York as Zambarro, J. Windham Gulse as Peter Peel and Simeta Marsden as Rosie Tynge, supported by a chorus of huntsmen, show folk, village yokels and a bridal party.

The Flood. NOVEL SPECTACLE AT THE LONDON HIPPODROME.
‘Stage realism has gone far in these modern days, but never further than in The Flood, a melodrama now occupying the boards at the London Hippodrome. It secured a signal and well deserved success.
‘The Hippodrome water-shows in the past have been many, but none has equalled in completeness, picturesqueness, and effect Mr. Frank Parker’s latest spectacle. To being with, the setting provided is delightfully pretty and realistic, a lake district village furnishing the scene of Mr. Arthur Shirley’s cleverly-devised little melodrama. A rustic wedding, a crown of bucolic revellers, the village inn, a happy bride and bridegroom, acclaimed by cheering yokels, a breezy ”mine host,” and a scowling villain – these and other familiar elements conjure up pleasant memories. In such company the old playgoer feels young again – or, at any rate, younger.
‘Moreover, the marriage festivities, the hilarious villagers, the rustic dances interrupted by the coming of scarlet-clad huntsmen, and the other well-contrived incidents make a bright and spirited show, while threats and portents of storm serve to create the right melodramatic atmosphere and whet the appetite for the Hippodrome’ newest ”sensation.”
‘After the revels, the deluge. Warnings go forth, rumblings of distant thunder are heard, the purple lights that play upon the rocky heights in the background change to darker hues, the lightning flashes – and then down come the rain. It is no ordinary, everyday rain. It is a torrential, tropical downpour, which sweeps everything – and everybody – before it, and the terrified villagers, whose shrieks are realistically disconcerting, fly for their lives. For the mountain dam has burst, the gentle cascade has become a surging, roaring cataract, and the dreaded flood is spreading destruction in all directions.
‘Down crashes the roof of a pretty cottage, in a twinkling the little bridge over the tarn collapses, trees and dovecotes are submerged, sunflowers and hollyhocks are swept away and, in a scene of admirably-simulated excitement horses and cattle plunge into the swollen waters of the lake, while rescues of drowning women and children add further actuality to the spectacle.
‘Nothing so spirited, vivid, and thrilling as this has been seen before at the Hippodrome, which, indeed, has not only eclipsed its own excellent record, but has evolved a bit of impressive realism which any establishment would find it hard to surpass.’
(The World’s News, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Saturday, 28 April 1906, p. 5c)

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April 24, 2014

Aimée Roberts (active 1906-1921), English variety theatre actress and singer and dialect comedienne
(photo: unknown, UK, probably 1906)

Aimée Roberts’s first appearance seems to have been as Lucie Gray in The Flood, a spectacular melodrama set in Ripplemere, a picturesque Cumberland village, which was produced at the London Hippodrome on 19 March 1906. The piece, which included an inundation of 300,000 gallons of water, was written by Arthur Shirley, with music by Clarence C. Corri. Other cast members were Hal Forde as Harry Darvill, Bert Gilbert as Wilkins, Cecil Morton York as Zambarro, J. Windham Gulse as Peter Peel and Simeta Marsden as Rosie Tynge, supported by a chorus of huntsmen, show folk, village yokels and a bridal party.

The Flood. NOVEL SPECTACLE AT THE LONDON HIPPODROME.
‘Stage realism has gone far in these modern days, but never further than in The Flood, a melodrama now occupying the boards at the London Hippodrome. It secured a signal and well deserved success.
‘The Hippodrome water-shows in the past have been many, but none has equalled in completeness, picturesqueness, and effect Mr. Frank Parker’s latest spectacle. To being with, the setting provided is delightfully pretty and realistic, a lake district village furnishing the scene of Mr. Arthur Shirley’s cleverly-devised little melodrama. A rustic wedding, a crown of bucolic revellers, the village inn, a happy bride and bridegroom, acclaimed by cheering yokels, a breezy “mine host,” and a scowling villain – these and other familiar elements conjure up pleasant memories. In such company the old playgoer feels young again – or, at any rate, younger.
‘Moreover, the marriage festivities, the hilarious villagers, the rustic dances interrupted by the coming of scarlet-clad huntsmen, and the other well-contrived incidents make a bright and spirited show, while threats and portents of storm serve to create the right melodramatic atmosphere and whet the appetite for the Hippodrome’ newest “sensation.”
‘After the revels, the deluge. Warnings go forth, rumblings of distant thunder are heard, the purple lights that play upon the rocky heights in the background change to darker hues, the lightning flashes – and then down come the rain. It is no ordinary, everyday rain. It is a torrential, tropical downpour, which sweeps everything – and everybody – before it, and the terrified villagers, whose shrieks are realistically disconcerting, fly for their lives. For the mountain dam has burst, the gentle cascade has become a surging, roaring cataract, and the dreaded flood is spreading destruction in all directions.
‘Down crashes the roof of a pretty cottage, in a twinkling the little bridge over the tarn collapses, trees and dovecotes are submerged, sunflowers and hollyhocks are swept away and, in a scene of admirably-simulated excitement horses and cattle plunge into the swollen waters of the lake, while rescues of drowning women and children add further actuality to the spectacle.
‘Nothing so spirited, vivid, and thrilling as this has been seen before at the Hippodrome, which, indeed, has not only eclipsed its own excellent record, but has evolved a bit of impressive realism which any establishment would find it hard to surpass.’
(The World’s News, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Saturday, 28 April 1906, p. 5c)

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December 28, 2012

Madge Rockingham (fl. late 19th Century), English actress manageress, singer and pantomime principal boy and principal girl(photo: unknown, UK, probably 1890s)

This real photograph cigarette card of Madge Rockingham was issued about 1900 in England in one of Ogden’s Guinea Gold series. It shows her in the title role of Robinson Crusoe, a pantomime in which she took the lead at the Theatre Royal, Halifax (Christmas, 1894) and at the New Theatre, Kilburn (Christmas, 1895)

New Theatre, Kilburn.

‘But the bright particular star and success of the production is Miss M.R. as Crusoe, one of the best principal boys on the stage. Why this lady is not heard more of in London we cannot understand. Now, Mr. George Edwardes, keep your eye on this. A lady with a fine presence, pretty face and figure, grand mezzo=soprano voice, and can use it, and, what is more, an actress. Bravo! Dick Mansell [manager of the New Theatre, Kilburn], for being the first in the field in London with such a valuable article.’ (from The Encore, London, 3 January 1896, reprinted in The Era, London, Saturday, 11 January 1896, p. 12a)

‘Miss Madge Rockingham is a native of Sheffield, where Mr Edgar Ward, the theatrical manager and musical director, heard her sing at a concert in the Albert Hall. He engaged her for Fairy Queen in the pantomime at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, 1883, and so she made her first appearance on the stage. Subsequently, Miss Rockingham played Germaine throughout five tours of Les Cloches de Corneville, the last with Mr Shiel Barry. She appeared on tour in La Fille du Tambour Major, Les Manteaux Noirs, and The Princess of Trebizonde. Miss Rockingham played principal girl in Randolph the Reckless (with Mr Victor Stevens, Miss Alice Brookes, and Miss Alice Cooke); in Miss Esmeralda, with Maggie Duggan and Little Tich; and in Cartouche and Company, with Miss Vesta Tilley. Miss Rockingham also toured as Thames Darrell, in Little Jack Sheppard, with Miss Fanny Robina and Mr J.J. Dallas. For three years she was in management on her own account, the ”Madge Rockingham company” appearing in the Gaiety version of Miss Esmeralda, also in a musical comedy, specially written by Mr Arthur Shirley and Mr Benjamin Landeck, entitled A Fight for Freedom. Miss Rockingham’s pantomime engagements include the following: – Principal girl – Alexandra Theatre, Liverpool; Theatre Royal, Sheffield; Theatre Royal, Bath; Avenue Theatre, Sunderland; and two Easter pantomimes at York; principal boy – Opera Comique, London; Theatre Royal, Brighton; Alexandra Theatre, Liverpool; Theatre Royal, Reading; and Theatre Royal, Kilburn. Next Christmas Miss Rockingham plays Aladdin at the West London Theatre. Meanwhile she is appearing as Madame Montesquieu with Miss Cissy Grahame’s All Abroad company.’ (The Era, London, Saturday, 17 October 1896, p. 13d)