Posts Tagged ‘Arthur Williams’

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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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Billie Burke and J. Farren Soutar as they appeared as Columbine and Harlequin in the harlequinade introduced on 22 December 1906 into the musical comedy, The Belle of Mayfair at the Vaudeville Theatre, London.

March 9, 2014

Billie Burke (1884-1970) and J. Farren Soutar (1870-1962), English actor and singer, as they appeared as Columbine and Harlequin in the harlequinade introduced into the musical comedy, The Belle of Mayfair (Vaudeville Theatre, London, 11 April 1906) on Saturday afternoon, 22 December 1906. Other members of the harlequinade were Arthur Williams (Clown), Sam Walsh (Pantaloon), Courtice Pounds (Policeman), Charles Angelo (Swell), Louie Pounds (Fairy Princess), Ruby Ray (Mdlle. Amorette), and Camille Clifford (La Pompadour).
(photo: Bassano, London, 1906)

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Harriett Vernon as Sir Thomas Wyatt in the burlesque, Herne the Hunted, produced at Toole’s Theatre, London, on 3 July 1886.

January 24, 2014

Harriett Vernon (1852-1923), English music hall singer and burlesque actress, as Sir Thomas Wyatt in the burlesque, Herne the Hunted, produced at Toole’s Theatre, London, on 3 July 1886.
(photo: unknown, probably London, 1886)

Toole’s Theatre, London, Saturday evening, 3 July 1886
‘This house opened for the Summer season on Saturday evening, under the management of Messrs. [William] Yardley and H.P. Stephens… . Herne the Hunted [the third item on the bill] is principally noticeable for the clever manner in which the principal characters sing and danced. What story it possesses is certainly not worth relating; but the antics and quaint manner of Mr. Arthur Williams as the ”Demon Hunter,” who admits that he is a fraud; the animation of Miss Emily Spiller as Mabel Lyndwood, and of Miss Harriett Vernon as Sir Thomas Wyatt; the clowning of Mr. Allnutt as Henry VIII.; and the humour of Miss Harriet Coveney as Katherine of Arragon are all worth recording. Mr. Frank Wood has no opportunity as Will Somers; but Mr. [Herman] De Lange makes a capital French Ambassador, and renders great assistance to the vocal music. Perhaps the funniest incident of the burlesque is the fox hunt, which occurs in the last scene (the burlesque is divided into five). Pantomime hounds cross the stage, followed by all the Royal party and retainers, and, last of all – the fox! The French Duc shoots the quarry with a Lowther-arcadian gun [i.e. toy guy: Lowther Arcade in London’s Strand was once famous for its toyshops], and returns in triumph, shouting ”Vive la France!” The music, selected and composed by Mr. Hamilton Clarke, is bright and inspiriting; and Mr. Arthur Williams has a topical song, ”Just in the old sweet way,” which is certain to achieve popularity. Messrs. Yardley and Stephens were called at the fall of the curtain.’
(The Standard, London, Monday, 5 July 1886, p. 2b)