Posts Tagged ‘Avenue Theatre (London)’

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Dido Drake, English actress and singer

February 2, 2014

Dido Drake (1879-1970; theatrical career 1898-1909), English actress and singer
(photo: unknown, probably UK, circa 1898; Ogden’s Guinea Gold cigarette card issued about 1900)

‘One of Mr C. Trevelyan’s dramatic pupils – Miss Dido Drake – has obtained a West-end engagement, Mr Thomas Thorne having selected her as understudy for the part of Margery, in Meadow Sweet, and Belinda, in Our Boys.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 6 August 1898, p. 12c)

Miss Drake appeared as Sparkle in the pantomime Cinderella at the Coronet Theatre, Notting Hill Gate, London, produced on 24 December 1898 – Frances Earle appeared as Prince Paragon, Julie Bing as Cinderella and Horace Lingard as Baron Stoney.

‘Miss Dido Drake, who is at present touring with Mr. Edward Terry and playing the part of Lavender, lately appeared at the Avenue Theatre with Mr. Weedon Grossmith in The Night of the Party. Previous to this she played in The Little Minister on tour.’
(The Tatler, London, Wednesday, 19 March 1902, p. 505c)

Dido Drake was born in Wavertree, Liverpool, on 11 November 1879 and baptised Harriette Jane Mercedes Drake at the chapel of St. Nicholas, Liverpool, on 3 December 1879; her parents were James Adolphus Drake (1846-1890), a broker and commission agent, and his wife, Alison (née Lycett), who was born in Edinburgh in 1855. In 1909 Miss Drake was married to the former actor, Arthur Steffens Hardy (1873-1939), a prolific writer of short stories for boys, whose real name was Arthur Joseph Steffens. Following his death she married in 1939 Leslie Binmore Burlace (1891-1962) and died on 12 October 1970.

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programme cover for Indiana, Avenue Theatre, London, 1886

April 11, 2013

programme cover of H.B. Farnie’s English version of Edmond Audran’s comic opera, Indiana, produced at the Comedy Theatre, Manchester, 4 October 1886, prior to its London first night at the Avenue Theatre, London, 11 October 1886

The cast of the English version of Audran’s Indiana was headed by Arthur Roberts as Matt o’the Mill, Joseph Tapley as Philip Jervaulx, Miss Wadman as Indiana Greyfaunt and Phyllis Broughton as Lady Prue.

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April 11, 2013

programme cover of H.B. Farnie’s English version of Edmond Audran’s comic opera, Indiana, produced at the Comedy Theatre, Manchester, 4 October 1886, prior to its London first night at the Avenue Theatre, London, 11 October 1886

The cast of the English version of Audran’s Indiana was headed by Arthur Roberts as Matt o’the Mill, Joseph Tapley as Philip Jervaulx, Miss Wadman as Indiana Greyfaunt and Phyllis Broughton as Lady Prue.

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January 13, 2013

Vida Whitmore (b. 1882), American chorus girl and actress,
in London at the time of her appearance in a small part in the comic opera,
Dolly Varden, which ran for 39 performances from 1 October 1903 at the Avenue Theatre.
Mabelle Gilman was in the title role.
(photo: Biograph Studio, London, 1903; from The Sketch, London, Wednesday, 16 September 1903, p. 321)

‘VIDA WHITMORE WANTS HER MARRIAGE ANNULLED.
‘Husband of Actress is Now Serving Two Years’ Sentence for Forgery.
‘Vida Whitmore, the actress, has just filed suit to annul her marriage to Mandeville de Marigny Hall [b. 1883/84], who is serving two years in the Rhode Island penitentiary for passing worthless checks at Watch Hill, R.I., and who will be released on Aug. 11. The actress got permission to serve the complaint on Hall in the prison by publication.
‘The complaint says that when Hall married Miss Whitmore in Jersey City on May 21, 1908, he was already the husband of Florence Teal of Rochester, whom he had married in Jersey City in 1906. The first Mrs. Hall got a divorce in 1909.
‘Shortly after Hall married Miss Whitmore they went to London on their wedding trip, and Hall was arrested there for giving a worthless check for an automobile. Soon afterward Miss Whitmore came back here alone and said that Hall had taken all her jewels. She was in the dressmaking business for a time, but afterward reappeared on the stage.’
(The Evening World, New York, New York, Thursday, 29 June 1911, p. 4d)

‘… And there’s Vida Whitmore. Poor dear, didn’t hear about the bad deal she got. She married Mandeville de Marigny Hall, son of a fabulously wealthy New Yorker and cousin of Duke Villanbrosa [sic]. What did she get? All her lovely diamonds and rubies in pawn. A suit for bigamy because Hall was in such a hurry to marry her he completely forgot he was still married to somebody else. Oh, dear! …’
”’I had known Mr. Hall two years when we were married. That shows you never find them out until you marry then. He made a will leaving me everything he possessed. That was funny for he didn’t have anything – but debts. He got me to pawn all the jewels I had, saying he didn’t want to see them about as reminders. He promised me a twenty-five thousand dollar pearl necklace in their place. That necklace was a dream. So are millionaires’ sons, now.” Mrs. Mandeville de Marigny Hall, formerly Vida Whitmore.’
‘Why No Chorus Girl Can Afford to Wed a Millionaire’s Son,’ El Paso Herald, El Paso, Texas, 26 March 1912, p. 7

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Mons. Marius as he appeared in H.B. Farnie’s English version of Offenbach’s Madame Favart, Strand Theatre, London, 12 April 1879

January 9, 2013

Claude Marius (1850-1896),
French actor, singer and stage manager,
affectionately known by English audiences as Mons. Marius as he appeared in H.B. Farnie’s English version of
Offenbach’s Madame Favart, Strand Theatre, London, 12 April 1879
(photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1879)

MARIUS, CLAUDE (a nom de théâtre; CLAUDE MARIUS DUPLANY), born February 18, 1850, Paris. He entered the dramatic profession in 1865 as an auxiliary at the Folies Dramatiques, playing parts in most of the popular pieces presented there for a brief period. In 1869 he came to London, and appeared at the Lyceum Theatre in the characters of Landry in Chilperic, and of Siebel in Little Faust. M. Duplany joined the French Army during the Franco-Prussian war; but in 1872 returned to London, and, at the Philharmonic Theatre, appeared as Charles Martel and Drogan in Généviève de Brabant. Subsequently “M. Marius” joined the company of the Strand Theatre, where he has played and “created” many parts, among them the following: viz. Major Roland de Roncevaux in Nemesis, Rimbobo in Loo, Baron Victor de Karadec in Family Ties, Orloff in Dora and Diplunacy, and Dubisson in Our Club. On Saturday, April 12, 1879, first performance at the Strand of an English version of Offenbach’s Madame Favart, he sustained the rôle of M. Favart.’
(Charles E. Pascoe, editor, The Dramatic List, David Bogue, London, 1880, p.256)

‘Marius, Claude. (C.M. Duplany.) – The clever actor and stage manager whose nom-de-théâtre heads this paragraph is by nationality a Frenchman, and was born at Paris in 1850. He was intended for a commercial life, and entered a silk and velvet warehouse in that city, but his natural proclivities soon led him to mingle in stage circles, and he used to gratify his passion for the drama by working as a super at the Folies Dramatiques, where he presently obtained an appointment in the chorus, and from that rose to small parts. In 1868 he forsook the warehouse, and became a regular member of the dramatic profession. Mr. [Richard] Mansell, while on a visit to Paris in 1869, saw him act, and at once offered him a London engagement, which he accepted, and appeared in Chilperic and Little Doctor Faust. His career was cut short by the breaking out of the Franco-Prussian war, and he was recalled to France and drafted into the 7th Chasseurs-à-Pièd. He fought in three engagements, of which the most important was Champigney. His regiment was then ordered to Marseilles, and subsequently to Corsica, to quell the Communal riots. In the autumn of 1872 Mons. Marius returned to London, and appeared at the Philharmonic in Généviève de Brabant, and afterwards in Nemesis at the Strand. Sine then he has played in almost every theatre in the metropolis, creating many clever and original parts, amongst them being that of M. Favart in Offenbach’s opera of Madame Favart when first played in English at the Strand Theatre in 1879, and later as General Bombalo in Mynheer Jan at the Comedy, and Paul Dromiroff in As in a Looking Glass. But he probably achieved his greatest success as Jacques Legros in The Skeleton at the Vaudeville in 1887. In the autumn of 1890 he appeared in The Sixth Commandment at the Shaftesbury, and in the following year in both editions of Joan of Arc. Mons. Marius excels as a stage manager, and under his able direction Nadgy was produced at the Avenue, and The Panel Picture at the Opera Comique in 1888. He was also responsible for the staging of The Brigands, chiefly memorable by reason of the Gilbert and Boosey quarrel. But his most brilliant success in this line was the triple production of The Field of the Cloth of Gold, preceded in the programme by In the Express and La Rose d’Auvergne, at the Avenue in 1889, and more recently was responsible for the mounting of Miss Decima at the Criterion (1891). Mons. Marius is the husband of Miss Florence St. John, the bewitching prima donna of the Gaiety Company.’
(Erskine Reid and Herbert Compton, The Dramatic Peerage, Raithby, Lawrence & Co Ltd, London, 1892, pp.145 and 146)

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Ethel Irving as Lady Frederick Berolles in the Dressing Room scene from W. Somerset Maugham’s comedy Lady Frederick, Lonodon, 1907

January 7, 2013

Ethel Irving (1869-1963), English actress and singer,
as Lady Frederick Berolles in the Dressing Room scene
from W. Somerset Maugham’s comedy
Lady Frederick, Court Theatre, London, 26 October 1907,
with Graham Browne as Paradine Fouldes and Ina Pelly as Angelique
(photo: Dover Street Studios, London, 1907)

‘On the whole, one must confess to rather a disappointment over Lady Frederick, the new comedy by Mr. W.S. Maugham, author of A Man of Honour, in which Miss Muriel Mydford played the married barmaid with such remarkable force a little while ago [in a revival, Avenue Theatre, London, 18 February 1904]. the reason is easy to tell. A Man of Honour was a play of genuine life. It had something to say. Its faults were honest. Lady Frederick is just a conventional, tricky comedy, not quite clever enough at its own game.
‘Its theme, in truth, is almost identically that of Sweet Kitty Bellairs [comedy by David Belasco, first produced in London at the Haymarket, 5 October 1907] without the costumes and the excitements. Lady Frederick is supposed to be an extravagant young Irish widow of the present day, staying at Monte Carlo. She had at one time allowed herself to be innocently compromised in order to shield a weaker woman. A certain lady Mereston, however – a very acid English person – denounces lady Frederick publicly as an adventuress. Lady Frederick tells the real story. Lady Mereston refused to believe it. Not so Lady Mereston’s brother, an old admirer of Lady Frederick. He not only pays off certain debts with which Lady Frederick is entangles, but at the end makes the last of the many proposals of marriage that occur in the course of the evening, and brings down the curtain upon a desired embrace.
‘SOME OLD DEVICES.
‘As a matter of fact, quite a large proportion of the play’s time is taken up by these proposals of marriage to Lady Frederick. Nearly all the men come up one after another. One of them – the orthodox stage villain, here represented as being of Jewish descent – tries to force her to marry him by lending her brother £900 at an exorbitant rate of interest, and threatening to ruin her in two ways if she does not consent. A wearisome old dodge! Then there is the usual nice boy, whom Lady Frederick considerately disillusions by inviting him into her dressing-room, and letting him see her put on her hair and rouge her cheeks and pencil her eyebrows. Another aspirant, an elderly admiral, is choked off even more promptly.
‘When not deprecating the attentions of these men, by the way, Lady Frederick seems to spend most of her time in evading those of creditors. One of the principal scenes of the play represents her wheedling round a visitant dressmaker, to whom she owed £700, with promises of invitations to an archduchess’s party.
‘SECONDHAND INCIDENTS.
‘As may be seen, so far as incident is concerned, practically everything in the piece is secondhand. It is put together with fair cleverness, but not marvellously well. One fancies that Mr. Maugham’s real hope was that Lady Frederick, as a buoyant, brilliant, large-hearted, impulsive Irishwoman, would, by sheer force of personality, carry everything before her and dazzle the audience into delight.
‘It is to be feared, unfortunately, that this is not quite what Miss Ethel Irving’s interpretation is likely to do. Extremely intelligent and alert as she always is, but fearfully nervous, Miss Ethel Irving under-played nearly every scene, and seemed afraid of just the moments that she should have attacked. Her exhibitions of temper were as different from the genuine Irish ”paddy” as a drizzle is from a thunderstorm. She adopted a certain brogue, but it was an accent rather than an inspiration.
‘Of the others, Mr. C.M. Lowne as Lady Mereston’s brother was wholly delightful, Miss Beryl Faber doing all that was necessary with Lady Mereston herself. Mr. Graham Browne as the nice boy viewed Lady Frederick’s toilet with admired astonishment.’
(The Daily Chronicle, London, Monday, 28 October 1907, p. 3e)

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Henrietta Polak

December 24, 2012

a Woodburytype carte de visite of Henrietta (otherwise Henriette) Polak (fl. 1880s/1890s), actress and singer, as she appeared as Patatout in The Old Guard a comic opera by H.B. Farnie, after the French, with music by Robert Planquette, which was produced at the Avenue Theatre, London, on 26 October 1887 (photo: Walery, London, 1887)

The Old Guard, Avenue Theatre, London, 26 October 1887 – ‘… Miss Henrietta Polak as Patatout, bugler of the Imperial Guard, sings very agreeably, and acts with a gaiety and animation which do much to render cheerful the scenes in which she appears…’ (The Standard, London, Thursday, 27 October 1887, p. 3e)