Posts Tagged ‘Edmund Payne’

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Edmund Payne and Katie Seymour as they appeared for the ‘Mummy Dance’ in The Messenger Boy, Gaiety Theatre, London, 1900

May 6, 2014

Edmund Payne (1863-1914), English musical comedy actor, and Katie Seymour (1870-1903), English actress, dancer and singer, as they appeared in the musical play, The Messenger Boy (Gaiety Theatre, London, 3 February 1900) for the ‘Mummy Dance.’
(photo: Alfred Ellis & Walery, London, 1900)

The ‘Mummy Dance,’ twice encored on the opening night of The Messenger Boy, proved to be one of that popular show’s most popular items.

‘Of the performers, Mr. Edmund Payne was in every way admirable as the messenger boy, in his dervish disguise, indeed, he was inimitably funny; and he danced as he only can dance. Miss Katie Seymour danced once more with wonderful skill and facility. Her method possibly lacks emotion; she has been well compared to a gnat in her absolutely versatile effects; she has a foot scare on the ground before it is off.’
(The Pall Mall Gazette, London, Monday, 5 February 1900, p. 3b)

The ‘Mummy Dance’ proved such a success that it was included by Mr Payne and Miss Seymour in two charity matinees at Drury Lane Theatre: the first on 15 May 1900 in aid of Princess Christian’s Homes of Rest for Disabled Soldiers, the second on 18 June 1900 in aid of the Ottawa Fire Fund and the Canadian Patriotic Fund Association.

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Pattie Wells, Madge Melbourne and Ruby Kennedy, in Our Miss Gibbs, Gaiety Theatre, London, 1909

August 22, 2013

left to right: Pattie Wells, Madge Melbourne and Ruby Kennedy, three of the ‘Girls at the Stores’ in Our Miss Gibbs, the musical play produced at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 23 January 1909. The cast was headed by George Grossmith junior, Edmund Payne, Denise Orme and Gertie Millar.
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1909; hats by Maison Lewis, Hanover Square and Paris)

Pattie Wells began her career as one of the ‘Ladies of Havana’ in Havana, another musical play at the Gaiety (25 April 1908); and she was last seen in Potash and Perlmutter in Society, a comedy by Montague Glass and Roi Cooper Megrue, produced at the Queen’s Theatre, London, on 12 September 1916.

Madge Melbourne was an American, born about 1885. She appeared on Broadway and on tour in the United States between about 1903 and 1906. She arrived in England in December 1908 and lived in London until about 1918. Apart from her appearances in Our Miss Gibbs, during which she made A Gaiety Dueta short film with George Grossmith junior and Edmund Payne, Miss Melbourne was also in the cast of Hullo Ragtime!, London Hippodrome, 23 December 1912, with Ethel Levey, Lew Hearn, Willie Solar, Dorothy Minto and Shirley Kellogg. She was also in Are You There?, a new musical piece by Ruggiero Leoncavallo, produced at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, 28 October 1913, with Lawrence Grossmith, Alec Fraser, Shirley Kellogg and others. Her last appearance seems to have been in the one act comedy, Squibbs by Clifford Seyler, at the London Coliseum, in June 1915, with Mabel Russell and Charles Quartermaine.

Ruby Kennedy, whose real name was Ruby Trelawny, was born in 1889. She first appeared with Seymour Hicks and Ellaline Terriss as one of the ‘Guests’ in The Gay Gordons, a musical play which ran at the Aldwych Theatre, London, from 11 September 1907 for a run of 229 performances. She was last seen in another musical play, The Dancing Mistress, produced at the Adelphi Theatre, London, on 19 October 1912, with Joseph Coyne and Gertie Millar heading the cast. She was married to Group Captain (later Brigadier-General) Henry Brewster Percy Lion Kennedy (1878-1953) at St Luke, Chelsea, London, on 26 November 1913. She died in 1972.

One of Ruby Kennedy’s sisters was May Kennedy (née May Trelawny, 1885-1978) who also appeared in various musical productions, including The Gay Gordons and the revue, Everybody’s Doing It (Apollo Theatre, London, 9 December 1912), with J. Farren Soutar, Robert Hale, Ida Crispi and Unity More.

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Blanche Astley and James T. Powers in The Circus Girl

July 12, 2013

Blanche Astley and James T. Powers as they appeared in the Fancy Dress Ball scene in The Circus Girl, which opened at Daly’s Theatre, New York, on 23 April 1897
(photo: unknown, New York, 1897)

The Circus Girl, a musical comedy with music by Ivan Caryll, first opened at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 5 December 1896. The original cast included Edmund Payne as Biggs and Katie Seymour as Lucille (a slack wire walker); these parts were played respectively by James T. Powers and Blanche Astley when the American production opened at Daly’s, New York, on 23 April 1897.

Daly’s Theatre, New York
‘Rehearsals are held daily of ”The Circus Girl,” which is to be produced April 26 [sic]. Virginia Earle will appear as the Circus girl, and Blanche Astley, who was specially brought over from England by Mr. Daly, will act the role of the bareback rider and dancer. Miss Astley is said to be one of the most graceful dancers on the English stage. James T. Powers, the comedian, has been engaged as a member of Mr. Daly’s stock company, and will act wht role of the American bartender in the new piece.’
(Boston Evening Transcript, Boston, Saturday,17 April 1897, [p. 19a])

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Blanche Astley and James T. Powers in The Circus Girl

June 18, 2013

Blanche Astley and James T. Powers in The Circus Girl, which opened at Daly’s Theatre, New York, on 23 April 1897
(photo: unknown, New York, 1897)

The Circus Girl, a musical comedy with music by Ivan Caryll, first opened at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 5 December 1896. The original cast included Edmund Payne as Biggs and Katie Seymour as Lucille (a slack wire walker); these parts were played respectively by James T. Powers and Blanche Astley when the American production opened at Daly’s, New York, on 23 April 1897.

Daly’s Theatre, New York
‘Rehearsals are held daily of ”The Circus Girl,” which is to be produced April 26 [sic]. Virginia Earle will appear as the Circus girl, and Blanche Astley, who was specially brought over from England by Mr. Daly, will act the role of the bareback rider and dancer. Miss Astley is said to be one of the most graceful dancers on the English stage. James T. Powers, the comedian, has been engaged as a member of Mr. Daly’s stock company, and will act wht role of the American bartender in the new piece.’
(Boston Evening Transcript, Boston, Saturday,17 April 1897, [p. 19a])

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Louise Montague

March 2, 2013

a carte de visit photograph of Louise Montague (1859-1910),
American actress and singer
(photo: Sarony, New York, circa 1883)

‘Miss Louise Montague, a member of the variety-theatre profession born in New York, aged 21, has been selected by Mr. Forepaugh as the winner of his prize of $10,000 for the handsomest woman in the country. In complexion she is a semi-brunette. Her lips are cherry, teeth regular and pearly, and visible at every smile through a large but not disproportionate mouth; has large expressive brown eyes, a symmetrical nose and an intelligent cast of countenance. In conversation – and she is possessed of a fund of sparkling talk – every feature if animated, and her flashing eyes and health-tinted cheeks, coupled with a vivacious manner, lend an additional charm to her demeanor. She is of medium height and figure and has a little foot.’
(The Lancaster Daily Intelligencer, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Monday, 4 April 1881, p. 2b/c)

New York, 29 April 1887.
‘Capt. Alfred Thompson and Joseph Brooks, composing the Imperial Burlesque Company, have been sued for [$]8500 by Miss Louise Montague, whom they had engaged for four weeks, commencing May 29th, and whom they discharged because she would not sing for them, so that they might judge of her vocal powers.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 14 May 1887, p. 15e)

‘Louise Montague, the $10,000 beauty, is making the hit of The Gondoliers in the company that is touring through the West [United States], and she makes it by high kicking. It was reported a year ago that she was studying for opera and it is evident that the report was true.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Sunday, 20 April 1890, p, 18g)

Don Juan [to be produced on 28 October 1893] at the Gaiety [London], is to have the services of Mr. Arthur Roberts, Mr. Robert Pateman, Mr. Arthur Playfair, Mr. Edmund Payne, Miss Millie Hylton, Miss Sylvia Grey, Miss Katie Seymour, Miss Cissie Loftus, and Miss Louise Montague, a young singer from America.’
(The Birmingham Daily Post, Birmingham, England, Monday, 18 September 1893, p. 6h)

‘LOUISE MONTAGUE DEAD.
‘Was Famous ”Ten Thousand Dollar Beauty” of Forepaugh’s Circus.
‘Louise M. Montague, once heralded over the country as the ”Ten Thousand Dollar Beauty,” died on Tuesday at her home, 164 Manhattan Avenue. Louise Montague was an actress with Edward E. Rice’s company in The Corsair, and later became a star of David Henderson’s Sinbad the Sailor.
‘Adam Forepaugh, the circus proprietor, determined to make her beauty the feature of his circus, and in 1878 he engaged her to travel with his circus. She was advertise as the ”Ten Thousand Dollar Beauty,” and rode in the parades in a gorgeous chariot especially constructed for her.’
(The New York Times, Thursday, 17 March 1910)

‘DEATH DRAWS VEIL ON $10,000 BEAUTY
‘Louise Montague, Who Captured the Big Beauty Prize Money, Dies.
‘NEW YORK March 16 [1910]. – ”Montague, Louise M., died on Tuesday at her residence, 184 Manhattan avenue.”
‘This simple death notice appeared in the New York papers today. It was written in the main by Louise Montague herself a week before her death, the day on which death would come being left blank, to be filled in by the undertaker.
‘Few who read this notice know that the Louise Montague, whose death was so simply chronicled, was the woman who was once heralded far and wide over the country as the ”Ten Thousand Dollar Beauty.”
‘After the first rage over her had subsided she sought the quiet of private life, but a few years afterwards went on the stage because it was discovered that she had talents equal to her beauty.
‘Then Forepaugh with a showman’s acumen, offered a $10,000 prize for the most beautiful woman in America and had the judges select Louise Montague. Riding on a gorgeous chariot she was a feature of his circus parades.
‘But just before she died she asked that all the old pictures of herself in the days of her fleeting glory be brought to her, and tonight they stood on the mantel and on chairs in the room where Louise Montague lay in her coffin. Pinned on the wall was a glaring, many-colored poster – ”Forepaugh’s prize beauty” – and over the mantel was a faded photograph, life size of Louise Montague as ”Sindbad the Sailor.”’
(Evening Bulletin, Honolulu, Friday, 1 April 1910, p. 10c/d)

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Florence Warde and Minnie Baker

December 24, 2012

Florence Warde and Minnie Baker (fl. early 20th Century), English dancers, as they appeared during the run of The Spring Chicken, Gaiety Theatre, London, 1905-1906 (photo: Dover Street Studios, London, 1905/06)

This postcard, a mechanical print resembling a real photograph, was issued by the Aristophot Co of London, no. E 1066, during 1905 or 1906. Florence Warde and Minnie Baker, both dancers, appeared during the run of The Spring Chicken, a musical comedy starring George Grossmith jr, Edmund Payne, Connie Ediss and Gertie Millar, at the Gaiety Theatre, London, which ran for 374 performances from 30 May 1905 to 6 June 1906.