Posts Tagged ‘Constance Collier’


‘Living Pictures’ at the Empire Theatre, Leicester Square, London, 1894: Marie Studholme, Constance Collier and Hetty Hamer as the Three Graces

April 19, 2014

Marie Studholme (1872-1930), Constance Collier (1878-1955) and Hetty Hamer (active 1890-1910), English actresses, as ‘The Three Graces’ among the ‘Living Pictures,’ first presented at the Empire Theatre, Leicester Square, London, on Monday evening, 5 February 1894.
(photo: W. & D. Downey, London, 1894; published as a postcard by The Rotary Photographic Co Ltd., Rotary Photographic Series, no. 351 B, London, about 1902)

‘An addition to the Empire programme was made last night, when a series of ”Living Pictures” was presented. The back of the stage was focussed down to a large gilt frame, in which the pictures were set, the figures of the various subjects being embodied by several ladies. The first, ”Courtship,” showed a pretty couple (Misses Sheppard and Deroy), dressed in the Directoire style, leading over a rustic bride, amid the freshness of the Springtime. The next with ”Night,” in which Miss Hetty Hamer and Miss [Constance] Collier, two white-draped figures crowned with electric stars, were reclining amid Doré-like surroundings of jagged, tapering peaks against a mystic blue background. ”Duet” was a piece of marble statuary delicately tinted with changing lights that swept over the motionless figures (Madame Fionde and Miss Blowey). ”A Funny Song” was as glowing in colour as if fresh from the brush of the painter, and the expression of the three figures (Senorita Candida and Messrs [William] Lewington and [C.] Perkins) was admirable. One of the prettiest dealt with the old subject, ”Loves me! Loves me not,” in the familiar way, but in a bright Italian atmosphere, and with the blue sea as a background, the perfect taste of the accessories increasing the personal charm of the performers, Miss Marie Studholme and Miss Barker. Miss Deroy made a fascinating picture as a girl ascending an old staircase (the warm colours of her dress blending in complete harmony with the oaken wainscotting), and bidding a sweet ”Good-night.” Miss Hetty Hamer was another bright figure in ”Pets,” a Greek girl feeding pigeons in a corner of some secret grove. ”The Billet-doux” was placed in the powder and patches days, a young beau indulging in a moment’s flirtation with the maid, who is about to take his missive to her mistress (the Misses Belton and Hill). ”Springtime” was a poetic conception of the ”Sweetness of the year.” So charming was the grace of the young girl (Miss Hinde), dreamily resting among the branches of a pink-blossomed almond tree, that the audience vainly tried to interrupt the progress of the series in order to gaze again at the dainty sight. ”Charity,” in which Senorita Candida and Miss Deroy appear, is a somewhat conventional subject, representing a benevolent patrician offering her fur cloak to a homeless wanderer as shelter against the falling snow. ”The Three Graces” needs no further explanation, when it is said that the Misses Hetty Hamer, Collier, and Marie Studholme formed the trio. The series was concluded by a study in bronze, ”The Defence of the Flag,” portraying a vigorous patriotic group; but several of the favourites had to be repeated before the audience was satisfied. Excellent alike in conception, mouthing, and representation, the ”Living Pictures” at the Empire will prove a strong attraction.”
(The Standard, London, Tuesday, 6 February 1894, p. 3c)

Tableaux Vivants at the EMPIRE. A noticeable addition has been made to the programme at the EMPIRE Theatre, which promises to crown the house for some time. Never behindhand when anything savouring of novelty is I the air, the management have now introduced a series of ”Living Pictures,” produced in the style which has long been familiar to pleasure-seekers in France, Germany, and Russia. Similar representations have, of course, been given in London, but of the EMPIRE tableaux there is only this to be said: they are as well done, as richly and effectively mounted as is possible, with no suggestion of tinsel or tawdriness. The dramatis personæ are the Misses Hetty Hamer, Marie Studholme, Sheppard, Deroy, Collier, Blowey, Madame Fionde, Señorita Candida, and Messrs. Lewington and Perkins. The ”Living Pictures” meet with a good reception nightly, and it will be a pity of they do not remain in the programme for a long time to come.’
(The Graphic, London, Saturday, 10 February 1894, p. 151b//c)

Whereas Mesdames Studhome, Collier and Hamer were then actresses or members of the chorus at the Gaiety and Prince of Wales’s Theatres in London, all the others mentioned in connection with the ‘Living Pictures’ were ballet dancers or pantomimists employed at the Empire Theatre, Leicester Square. All were then under contract to the impresario George Edwardes.


Constance Collier and Herbert Beerbohm Tree in Oliver Twist, His Majesty’s Theatre, London, 1905

October 1, 2013

Constance Collier (1878-1955), English actress, and Herbert Beerbohm Tree (1852-1917), English actor manager, as they appeared as Nancy and Fagin in Tree’s production of Oliver Twist, adapted from Charles Dickens’s novel by Comyns Carr and first presented at His Majesty’s Theatre, London, on 10 July 1905.
(photo: F.W. Burford, London, 1905; postcard no. 354.G published by J. Beagles & Co, London, 1905)

‘Mr. Tree has been as good as his word. Saying good-bye for the summer on July 10 [1905], he expressed his satisfaction with the launch of Oliver Twist, and promised a prolonged revival for September 4. On that evening the favourable verdict of the former first-night tribunal was not only confirmed, but it is said that the reception beats all records of His Majesty’s Theatre. In our issue of July 16 the artistic merits of the case have been fully discussed, and while due praise was given to the adapter for his skill, a note of protest was sounded against the very painful and over-emphasised scene of Nancy’s murder and the prominence given to the character of Fagin. I see that in other papers some critics and some voices from the public have joined chorus in the objection to the murder episode, and it is to be hoped that something will be done to tone down the gruesome effect. Whether Oliver Twist be a good play or not, it is bound to attract all who have read and still love their Dickens, and for this reason in particular it would be desirable not to dwell upon the gruesome side of the story. Under all circumstances there is enough of the sensational in the play, and some consideration should be shown to the nerves of the weaker sex. With Mr. Tree in his versatile performance of Fagin, and the remarkable impersonations of Miss Constance Collier as Nancy and Mr. Lyn Harding as Bill Sykes, the acting alone is well worth a visit to the theatre… .
(J.T. Grein, Sunday Times, London, Sunday, 10 September 1905, p. 2c)


Ivor Novello and Jean Webster Brough in The Rat

March 18, 2013

a photograph prepared for newspaper use of Ivor Novello as Pierre Boucheron and Jean Webster Brough as Rose in The Rat: The Story of an Apache, a play by David L’Estrange (Constance Collier and Ivor Novello), which was first produced at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, on 9 June 1924
(photo: Yevonde Ltd, Manchester, 1924)


Constance Collier and Forrest Stanley in the film, The Code of Marcia Gray, USA, 1916

December 27, 2012

Constance Collier (1878-1955), English stage and film actress, and Forrest Stanley (1889-1969), American film actor, respectively as Marcia Gray and Orlando Castle in the film drama The Code of Marcia Gray, USA, 1916, produced by the Oliver Morosco Photoplay Company and directed by Frank Lloyd (photo: Oliver Morosco Photoplay Company, USA, 1916)

‘Constance Collier, the favourite of countless playgoers, and whose film portrait appears [above], has proved herself a wonderful screen actress. In The Code of Marcia Gray you will see that she has not failed to grasp the fine scope afforded her; and in The Tongues of Men, her first film appearance, as also in Macbeth (the Triangle production), she scored instantaneous success.’ (Pictures and the Picturegoer, London, Saturday, 14 October 1916, pp. 41 and 42b)