Posts Tagged ‘Dobson Studios (photographers)’


Cressie and Billy Leonard in the touring revue, A la Carte, United Kingdom, 1916/17

April 28, 2014

Cressie Leonard (b. about 1887, active 1902-1926), Irish-born English music hall comedienne and pantomime principal boy, with her younger brother, Billy Leonard (1891-1974), Irish-born English variety theatre entertainer and musical comedy actor and singer, about the time they appeared together in 1916 and 1917 in the touring revue, A la Carte.
(photo: Dobson Studios, Liverpool, probably 1916/17)

A la Carte, by Richard Merriman and Fred Leigh, with lyrics by Fred Leigh, and music by Alf. Leondard and Henry Pether, was described as ‘a merry dish of musical dainties’ in one scene. First produced on 13 November 1916 at the Palace Theatre, Bath, its principal artists were Reg. Wilson, Daisy West, Cressie Leonard, Billy Leonard (as ‘The Immaculate Dude’), Dorothy Vaughan, Dave O’Toole, Doris and Dot Pickford, Afred Lucella, and Stephen Hall.

Alf. Leonard, a well-known variety theatre violinist, was Cressie and Billy Leonard’s brother.

Billy Leonard in 1929, probably filmed in the British Pathé Studio, London.

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Sinbad the Sailor, New Theatre, Cardiff, Wales, 26 December 1913
‘Miss Cressie Leonard as Sinbad has added fresh laurels to her fame. Her gallant bearing and dashing style are magnetic and in rousing audiences to a high pitch of enthusiasm, and the success of her songs is accentuated by the manner in which they join in the choruses. Her principal numbers are ”Hey ho! Don’t you hear the steamer?” ”You made me love you.” and a duet with [Rose Wylie] the principal girl, ”Take me in your arms.” Miss Leonard also excels in her tango dances with Mr. Dan Leno, Jun. [as Hinbad], this proving a novel feature.’


Nan Stuart

February 23, 2013

a photograph of Nan Stuart (fl. early 20th Century),
British actress and singer
(photo: Dobson Studios, Liverpool, circa 1920)

Among Nan Stuart’s London appearances are the following: as Lisbeth in The Love Mills, a comic opera with music by Arthur Van Oost, Globe Theatre, 3 October 1911 (24 performances); as Alice in the pantomine, Dick Whittington and His Cat, Lyceum Theatre, 26 December 1911; Simone in the musical comedy, Oh! Oh!! Delphine!!!, Shaftesbury Theatre, 18 February 1913; and Maid Marion in the pantomime, Babes in the Wood, Lyceum Theatre, 27 December 1920.

The Love Mills, a comic opera with music by Arthur Van Oost (1870-1942) and additional numbers by Louis Hillier. This English version, with lyrics by Leslie Stiles, was produced at the Globe Theatre, London, on 3 October 1911. The original operetta, De zingende molens, had been produced at the Théâtre des Galeries in Brussels earlier in 1911.
‘AN unpretentious comic opera that died in its infancy. Why? Because there was no “note” in it, because it was too long, because so many of the incidents were obviously pushed in to keep the ball rolling. Had it not been for Mr. George Barrett, who was really funny as the Constable, and Miss Nan Stuart, who captivated all hearts as Lisbeth, the play would have been too boring for words. However, it can’t be helped now. I’m always sorry when a play is not a success.’
(Ded Hed, ‘Drama of the Month,’ The Playgoer and Society Illustrated, London, [15 November] 1911, p. 65)