Posts Tagged ‘Comedy Theatre (London)’


Ethel Matthews, English actress

January 3, 2015

Ethel Matthews (1869-1957), English actress
(photo: W. & D. Downey, London, circa 1895; postcard published by A.P.P.S. Ltd, Rickmansworth, circa 1900)

Ethel Garland Matthews, who was born at Le Harvre, France, on 12 October 1869, was the eldest child of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Garland Matthews (1838-1908) of the 44th and Manchester Regiments and his wife, Emily Thérèse (née Johnson, 1845-1905). Her parents were subsequently divorced (1883-1885).

On 24 November 1892, Miss Matthews was married at Holy Trinity Church, Marylebone, London, to Philip Edward Ellissen (1864-1915), a stockbroker, the eldest son of Adolf Philipp Ellissen (1830-1900) and his wife Pauline Elizabeth (née Leveson [Levyssohn], 1835-1908). The name Ellissen was eventually changed to Ellison, the name in which Ethel Matthews died in the Bayswater area of London on 5 January 1957.

Marriages, November 1892
‘ELLISSEN – GARLAND-MATTHEWS. – On the 24th inst., at Holy Trinity Church, Marylebone-road, by the Rev. H.C. Strickland, Philip Ellissen, eldest son of Adolf Ellissen, Esq., of Maida-hill West, to Ethel, only daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Garland-Matthews, Manchester Regiment.’
(The Morning Post, London, Monday, 28 November 1892, p. 1a)

One of Philip Ellissen’s sisters was the actress Isabelle Pauline Ellissen (1862-1923) who, as the wife of the actor and playwright Cecil Raleigh (Abraham Cecil Francis Fothergill Rowlands, 1856-1914) became well known as Mrs Cecil Raleigh or Saba Raleigh.

* * * * *

””YOU!” This was the remark that jumped (fell would be too weak a term, and leapt perhaps a better one) from my lips and those of pretty Miss Ethel Matthews the other afternoon (writes a Sketch representative), when I met her on the Boulevard Montmartre.
”’What are you doing in Paris – Ah, Howdy, B.?” as I noticed her [elder] brother [Basil Garland Matthews, 1874-1945], who accompanied her. Lucky brother!
”’What do most women do in Paris? I’m buying frocks, of course, and being photographed.”
”’Who are going to clothe your charms, and who to portray them, Miss Matthews?” I asked.
‘Now you are at your interviewing tricks again, and I won’t be interviewed. It’s too hot, and I haven’t anything to tell you that The Sketch would care to print. You may come up to Reutlinger’s with me, if you like, though, and we’ll see whether the photos are ready.”
‘As we went up in the lift, I profited by the slow progress of the vehicle to extract the information from Miss Matthews that she was soon to appear at the Comedy in London in a lever de rideau which Charles Brookfield is writing for her, and which is to go on at once before ”Lord and Lady Algy.” I also learned, to my great delight, that she has some idea of appearing in Paris before very long in an entirely new kind of play without many words; but with regard to what it was, and where it is to be, even as to whether there was any certainty of the escapade taking place at all, I could learn nothing.
”’You may sent my photo to The Sketch, if you like,” she said, ”and you may tell them that Reutlinger has flattered me a little.”
‘This I do under protest, for I think myself that the well-known artist has never turned out a more masterly likeness. He certainly never had a prettier model.’
(The Sketch, London, Wednesday, 17 August 1898, p. 161b, with photograph of Ethel Matthews by Reutlinger, Paris)


Sybil Hook

June 6, 2013

Sybil Hook (fl. 1912-1922), English actress and dancer, as the Second Twin in a United Kingdom touring production of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, about 1913
(photo: Corn, Cardiff, circa 1913)

Sybil Hook appeared as the Second Twin in Peter Pan at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London, for the Christmas season of 1912/13, with Pauline Chase in the title role. She is next recorded as an extra in Seymour Hicks’s production of George Egerton’s comedy, Wild Thyme at the Comedy, London (19 April 1915), which subsequently toured England and Scotland. She reappeared in Peter Pan at the New Theatre, London (23 December 1916), when she played Tootles, with Unity More in the title role. Miss Hook played Tootles again in Peter Pan at the New at Christmas 1918/19, with Faith Celli in the title role, and again at the New at Christmas 1919/20, with Georgette Cohan as Peter. Sybil Hook’s next London engagement was as Ivy Routledge in the topical farce, Her Dancing Man (Garrick, 3 September 1920), with Jack Buchanan, Ronald Squire, Viola Tree, Auriol Lee and Empsie Bowman. Miss Hook is last mentioned as Fair Lady, Manon of Venice in Arlequin, a comedy fantasy by Maurice Magre (translated by Louis N. Parker), with music by Andre Gailhard, produced at the Empire, Leicester Square on 21 December 1922; other members of the cast included Dennis Neilson-Terry, Godfrey Tearle, Dorothy Green, Netta Westcott, Edith Kelly Gould, Rosina Philippi and Viola Tree. The piece was choreographed by Leonide Massine.

* * * * *

‘LONDON, Eng., Mar. 27 [1920]. – London has taken to its heart a new favorite in the person of Sybil Hook, who up to a month ago, was playing small parts in road shows. When Georgette Cohan, daughter of George M. Cohan, and Ethel Levey, now residing here, sailed for America to join her father, she [Sybil Hook] stepped into her part at the Garrick, where ”Mr. Pim Passes By” is playing and has been the pet of London ever since.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, Wednesday, 31 March 1920, p. 12c)


Irene Greville

May 21, 2013

Irene Greville (fl. 1916-1918), English actress
(photo: unknown, probably London, circa 1917)

Irene Greville’s apparently short career included appearances in the successful revues and musical shows, This and That (15 September 1916), See-Saw (14 December 1916), Bubbly (5 May 1917), and Tails Up! (1 June 1918), all produced at the Comedy Theatre, London


Teddie Gerard sings ‘Hawaiian Butterfly’

February 26, 2013

song sheet cover for the song ‘Hawaiian Butterfly,’
lyrics by George A. Little and music by Billy Baskette and Joseph Santly,
sung by Teddie Gerard in Andre Charlot’s successful ‘musical entertainment,’ Bubbly,
produced at the Comedy Theatre, London, on 5 May 1917
(photos: left, Malcolm Arbuthnot; right, Wrather & Buys, London, 1917)

Miss Gerard, accompanied by a chorus and the Comedy Theatre Orchestra conducted by Philip Braham, recorded ‘Hawaiian Butterfly’ for the Columbia label (L-1188) in London during May 1917.


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)