Posts Tagged ‘As You Like It (comedy)’

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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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Adelaide Neilson

August 7, 2013

Adelaide Neilson (née Elizabeth Ann Brown, 1847-1880), English actress
(photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, late 1860s)

‘The Career of a Noted Actress.
‘From the Balto. Sun.
‘Miss Lilian Adaline [sic] Neilson [i.e Adelaide Neilson], the actress, whose sudden death in Paris, France, Sunday last, has been announced, was born at Saragossa, Spain, March 4, 1850. Her father was a Spaniard and her mother the daughter of an English clergyman. She was educated in England, had some knowledge of the Latin classics, of English literature, French, and was a fair performer on the piano. [But see Wikipedia Her first appearance on the stage was at Margate, England, while yet a child. She was brought out in London at the New Royalty Theatre in July, 1865, in the character of Juliet, which she afterword repeated about 1,200 times. She appeared at the Princess Thatre, London, in July, 1868, in the character of Gabrielle de Savigney, in The Huguenot Capatin, by Watts Phillips. In March, 1867, she played Nellie Armroyd, in Lost in London. In 1868, she appeared in Edinburgh in such parts as Rosalind in As You Like It, Pauline, in The Lady of Lyons, Julia, in The Hunchback, &c. She worked with incessant vigor, and one after another, it great rapidity, assumed leading feminine characters in as many new plays. Dr. Westland Marston wrote for her a piece called Life for Life [Lyceum, London, 6 March 1869], in which she impersonated the character of Lilian in a manner that won her great praise. She made a great hit in London as Amy Robsart in Kenilworth. After a tour of Great Britain she appeared in London at Drury lane, and made a brilliant local hit as Rosalind. Her career in America, from the time of her first appearance here in 1872 at Booth’s Theatre as Juliet, was a triumphal march wherever she chose to play. She paid a second visit to this country in 1874-75. She was again warmly welcomed. She made a third and a fourth visit to this country, entering upon her last engagement at New York in October of last year, and playing in all the principal cities of the country. Her eyes were dark brown, her complexion pale olive, her hairy ruddy brown, her voice rich, soft and melodious, and her physique graceful and healthful. She was once married to a Mr. Joseph Lee, of England. Recently her wardrobe was sold, it is said, in anticipation of her second marriage. Miss Neilson, however, was, according to the New York Times, privately married in London, last August, just before she sailed for America, to Mr. Edward Compton, the actor who supported her in her leading parts last season. The Times thinks this makes the disposition of her estate, supposed to be at least $200,000, irrespective of wardrobe and jewelry, a complicated and delicate one. It has been stated that the American divorce which she obtained from Mr. Lee in New York, in 1877, would not probably stand law in England. Should this turn out to be so, should no heirs of blood present themselves, and should it be ascertained that Mr. Lee has not since married, the question may lead to a long litigation between Mr. Lee and Mr. Compton, who will, of course, assert his claims, and Miss Neilson’s hard-earned fortune will probably be half consumed by the lawyers.’
(The Keystone Courier, Connellsville, Pennsylvania, Friday, 27 August 1880, p. 1f)

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Adelaide Neilson (née Elizabeth Ann Brown, 1847-1880), English actress

August 7, 2013

Adelaide Neilson (née Elizabeth Ann Brown, 1847-1880), English actress
(photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, late 1860s)

‘The Career of a Noted Actress.
‘From the Balto. Sun.
‘Miss Lilian Adaline [sic] Neilson [i.e Adelaide Neilson], the actress, whose sudden death in Paris, France, Sunday last, has been announced, was born at Saragossa, Spain, March 4, 1850. Her father was a Spaniard and her mother the daughter of an English clergyman. She was educated in England, had some knowledge of the Latin classics, of English literature, French, and was a fair performer on the piano. [But see Wikipedia Her first appearance on the stage was at Margate, England, while yet a child. She was brought out in London at the New Royalty Theatre in July, 1865, in the character of Juliet, which she afterword repeated about 1,200 times. She appeared at the Princess Thatre, London, in July, 1868, in the character of Gabrielle de Savigney, in The Huguenot Capatin, by Watts Phillips. In March, 1867, she played Nellie Armroyd, in Lost in London. In 1868, she appeared in Edinburgh in such parts as Rosalind in As You Like It, Pauline, in The Lady of Lyons, Julia, in The Hunchback, &c. She worked with incessant vigor, and one after another, it great rapidity, assumed leading feminine characters in as many new plays. Dr. Westland Marston wrote for her a piece called Life for Life [Lyceum, London, 6 March 1869], in which she impersonated the character of Lilian in a manner that won her great praise. She made a great hit in London as Amy Robsart in Kenilworth. After a tour of Great Britain she appeared in London at Drury lane, and made a brilliant local hit as Rosalind. Her career in America, from the time of her first appearance here in 1872 at Booth’s Theatre as Juliet, was a triumphal march wherever she chose to play. She paid a second visit to this country in 1874-75. She was again warmly welcomed. She made a third and a fourth visit to this country, entering upon her last engagement at New York in October of last year, and playing in all the principal cities of the country. Her eyes were dark brown, her complexion pale olive, her hairy ruddy brown, her voice rich, soft and melodious, and her physique graceful and healthful. She was once married to a Mr. Joseph Lee, of England. Recently her wardrobe was sold, it is said, in anticipation of her second marriage. Miss Neilson, however, was, according to the New York Times, privately married in London, last August, just before she sailed for America, to Mr. Edward Compton, the actor who supported her in her leading parts last season. The Times thinks this makes the disposition of her estate, supposed to be at least $200,000, irrespective of wardrobe and jewelry, a complicated and delicate one. It has been stated that the American divorce which she obtained from Mr. Lee in New York, in 1877, would not probably stand law in England. Should this turn out to be so, should no heirs of blood present themselves, and should it be ascertained that Mr. Lee has not since married, the question may lead to a long litigation between Mr. Lee and Mr. Compton, who will, of course, assert his claims, and Miss Neilson’s hard-earned fortune will probably be half consumed by the lawyers.’
(The Keystone Courier, Connellsville, Pennsylvania, Friday, 27 August 1880, p. 1f)

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August 7, 2013

Adelaide Neilson (née Elizabeth Ann Brown, 1847-1880), English actress
(photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, late 1860s)

‘The Career of a Noted Actress.
‘From the Balto. Sun.
‘Miss Lilian Adaline [sic] Neilson [i.e Adelaide Neilson], the actress, whose sudden death in Paris, France, Sunday last, has been announced, was born at Saragossa, Spain, March 4, 1850. Her father was a Spaniard and her mother the daughter of an English clergyman. She was educated in England, had some knowledge of the Latin classics, of English literature, French, and was a fair performer on the piano. [But see Wikipedia Her first appearance on the stage was at Margate, England, while yet a child. She was brought out in London at the New Royalty Theatre in July, 1865, in the character of Juliet, which she afterword repeated about 1,200 times. She appeared at the Princess Thatre, London, in July, 1868, in the character of Gabrielle de Savigney, in The Huguenot Capatin, by Watts Phillips. In March, 1867, she played Nellie Armroyd, in Lost in London. In 1868, she appeared in Edinburgh in such parts as Rosalind in As You Like It, Pauline, in The Lady of Lyons, Julia, in The Hunchback, &c. She worked with incessant vigor, and one after another, it great rapidity, assumed leading feminine characters in as many new plays. Dr. Westland Marston wrote for her a piece called Life for Life [Lyceum, London, 6 March 1869], in which she impersonated the character of Lilian in a manner that won her great praise. She made a great hit in London as Amy Robsart in Kenilworth. After a tour of Great Britain she appeared in London at Drury lane, and made a brilliant local hit as Rosalind. Her career in America, from the time of her first appearance here in 1872 at Booth’s Theatre as Juliet, was a triumphal march wherever she chose to play. She paid a second visit to this country in 1874-75. She was again warmly welcomed. She made a third and a fourth visit to this country, entering upon her last engagement at New York in October of last year, and playing in all the principal cities of the country. Her eyes were dark brown, her complexion pale olive, her hairy ruddy brown, her voice rich, soft and melodious, and her physique graceful and healthful. She was once married to a Mr. Joseph Lee, of England. Recently her wardrobe was sold, it is said, in anticipation of her second marriage. Miss Neilson, however, was, according to the New York Times, privately married in London, last August, just before she sailed for America, to Mr. Edward Compton, the actor who supported her in her leading parts last season. The Times thinks this makes the disposition of her estate, supposed to be at least $200,000, irrespective of wardrobe and jewelry, a complicated and delicate one. It has been stated that the American divorce which she obtained from Mr. Lee in New York, in 1877, would not probably stand law in England. Should this turn out to be so, should no heirs of blood present themselves, and should it be ascertained that Mr. Lee has not since married, the question may lead to a long litigation between Mr. Lee and Mr. Compton, who will, of course, assert his claims, and Miss Neilson’s hard-earned fortune will probably be half consumed by the lawyers.’
(The Keystone Courier, Connellsville, Pennsylvania, Friday, 27 August 1880, p. 1f)

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Julie Opp

April 16, 2013

Julie Opp (1871-1921), American actress
(photo: unknown, circa 1900)

OPP, Miss Julie (Mrs. William Faversham):
‘Actress, was born in New York in 1873, and was educated in a convent there. When she was twenty years old she began writing. As a reporter she went to Paris and interviewed [Emma] Calvé and Sarah Bernhardt. Both urged her to adopt the stage as a profession, offering their advice, influence and support. Returning to this country, Miss Opp made her first public appearance in the spring of 1896 at a recital given by Madame D’Hardelot at the Waldorf, New York. She recited “The Birth of the Opal,” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. The same year, returning to Paris, she made her first appearance on the legitimate stage, with Madame Bernhardt, in the ballroom scene in Camille. She then [in 1896/97] obtained a year’s engagement in the company of George Alexander at the St. James’s Theatre, London, during which she was understudy to Julia Neilson in The Prisoner of Zenda, and played Hymen in As You Like It. During the illness of Miss Neilson she played Rosalind and made her first big success. She was next seen in The Princess and the Butterfly in London, and in 1898 she appeared in this country in the same play, afterward being seen as Belle in The Tree of Knowledge. She then went back to London and played several leading parts at St. James’s Theatre there, where she created the rôle of Katherine de Vancelle in If I Were King. Returning to this country under engagement with Charles Frohman, Miss Opp played leading parts in the company supporting William Faversham, whose wife she became in 1902. She continued to play leads with her husband until 1905, on October 31 of which year a son was born to them. The Favershams have a farm in England. Their home in this country is at 214 East Seventeenth street, New York.’
(Walter Browne and E. De Roy Koch, editors, Who’s Who on the Stage, B.W. Dodge & Co, New York, 1908, pp.334 and 335)

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‘Curtain Falls for Julie Opp.
‘New York, Apr. 8 [1921]. – Mrs. William Faversham, who, while she was on the stage, was known as Julie Opp, died here today at the Post Graduate hospital after an operation.
‘Mrs. Faversham, who was born in New York City, January 25, 1871, was originally a journalist here and contributed articles to a number of magazines. She made her first appearance on the stage in London in 1896 as Hymen in As You Like It. In November, 1897, she came to America and made her debut in this city at the Lyceum theatre as Princess Pannonla in The Princess and the Butterfly.
‘She appeared with her husband in The Squaw Man in 1906. Later she played Portia in The Merchant of Venice and other leading roles.’
(Reno Evening Gazette, Reno, Nevada, Friday, 8 April 1921, p.1b)

‘Julie Opp.
‘The death of this actress is taken account of here, as all news concerning those eminent on the stage is sure to be. All of the greater performers sooner or later appear here, as it is the ultimate western goal of thespians. Julie Opp was recognized as a sterling actress, appearing with her husband, William Faversham, and with him, commanding unusual consideration. Though her great talents and remarkable beauty made an artistic impression in themselves, she may not have been taken to San Francisco’s heart in that intimate way in which some stage favorites have been. It may be that Sanfrancisco’s penchant this way has waned. Very long ago it ceased throwing coins on the stage, as in the case of Lotta. And later it ceased worshipping intensely at individual shrines, as in the case of Mrs. Judah. Perhaps in general it is now inclined to continue its approval of stage folk to unemotional judgment of their histrionic abilities. Mrs. Faversham’s death discloses two facts that may not have been generally known. She had been married before her union with Mr. Faversham. Early in her career she married Robert Loraine, but the union was not prosperous and did not last long. She is the mother of two sons. It is also of interest that she was once a newspaper reporter, and by her general aptitude attracted the attention of such a noted stage celebrity as [Sarah] Bernhardt, in whose company she served her novitiate.’
(The Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, 17 April 1921, Magazine Section, ‘The Knave’)

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‘Mother-in-Law Sues Faversham for Real Estate
‘Claims Actor Obtained Property from Her Through Misrepresentation.
‘New York, June 1 [1922]. – Court proceedings were begun today in an effort to force William Faversham, the actor, to return to Mrs. Julie Opp, mother of his late wife, Julie Opp Faversham rights to property which Mrs. Opp claims Mr. and Mrs. Faversham obtained through misrepresentation.
‘The petition alleges that besides obtaining the property by misrepresentation, Faversham obtained from her large sums of money which he never repaid.
‘The real estate in question, Mr. Opp alleged, was left her by her husband, John Opp, who died in 1898. Later, she charges, Faversham told her his wife was in need of funds with with which to meet obligations, and asked that Mrs. Opp sign papers for a loan to be secured on this property.
‘These papers, Mrs. Opp claims, were afterward discovered to be quit claim deeds, turning the property over to “Peter S. O’Hara” whom she characterizes as a “dummy.” The consideration was $24,000, but neither she nor any one representing the estate of her husband has received any of this sum, she says.
‘Mrs. Opp now declares herself to be without means of support by reason of her “scant business experience” and Mr. Faversham’s “knowledge of worldly affairs.”’
(The Bridgeport Telegram, Bridgeport, Connecticut, 2 June 1922, p.10c)