Posts Tagged ‘George Clarke’


Toots Pounds and chorus in The Flower Garden scene in Palladium Pleasures, London Palladium, 1926

August 11, 2014

Toots Pounds (1897-1976), Australian actress and singer, as she appeared with chorus in The Flower Garden scene singing ‘Mary Mary, Quite Contrary’ in Palladium Pleasures, a revue produced at the London Palladium on 24 February 1926. The cast also included Toots Pounds’s sister, Lorna, with whom she sang the popular song, ‘Valencia,’ Billy Merson and George Clarke. Also in the cast was Leslie Stuart, composer of a string of hits at the turn of the century, including ‘The Lily of Laguna,’ ‘Little Dolly Daydream,’ ‘The Soldiers of the Queen‘ and ‘Tell Me, Pretty Maiden.’
(photo: The Stage Photo Co, London, 1926)

Toots Pounds, whose real name was Dorice Sophie Mary Pounds, was born at Carlton, a suburb of Melbourne, NSW, Australia on 17 November 1897. She and her sister, Lorna first appeared in London at the Palace Theatre in the summer of 1912. Thereafter they made regular appearances in the United Kingdom in a number of revues and at variety theatres. At the height of their popularity in the late 1920s, Toots decided upon a professional change of name, to Maria Linda after which she appeared for a while as a concert singer, making her debut at the Aeolian Hall, Wigmore Street in 1935. She was married in 1945 as his second wife to William Buchanan-Taylor (d. 1958), an expert in advertising who for some 20 years had been head of publicity for J. Lyons & Co Ltd and was responsible for naming the firm’s waitresses ‘Nippies.’ During the 1950s Toots was seen in small parts in several films, and in 1953 was understudy to Cicely Courtneidge on a tour of the revue, Over the Moon. (The Barrier Miner, Broken Hill, NSW, Thursday, 3 December 1953, p. 8b)
Toots Pounds died in Brighton, Sussex, in January 1976.


Lola Lee

April 28, 2013

Lola Lee (fl. 1908-1912), English dancer
(photo: Bassano, London, circa 1910)

‘Miss Lola Lee, who has distinguished herself at the Tivoli in her Oriental dances, is probably going to give Paris a taste of her talent. She has been carefully trained under Mr. John D’Auban. Her repertoire is not confined to Eastern dances.’
(Daily Express, London, Wednesday, 16 December 1908, p. 7f)

‘MISS LOLA LEE, a cousin of Mrs. Langtry, who has been specially engaged to appear at the London Hippodrome from Monday next. She will make a very special appeal with a Kate Vaughan measure. The late Miss Vaughan always declared that there was no dance more difficult to execute with grace than a slow waltz that took the dancer off the floor at each turn, and required her to ”reach” it again without shaking the body. Miss Lola Lee is a pupil of Mr. John D’Auban and has caught the Kate Vaughan grace of movement. Miss Lee is only 14 years of age, but looks like a woman and dances like one. All Miss Lee’s dances are preformed in high-heeled shoes, a performance very seldom attempted by balled dancers.’
(P.I.P.: Penny Illustrated Paper and Illustrated Times, London, Saturday, 30 April 1910, p. 562)

‘The fantastic flittings of Miss Lola Lee and her companions lend a finishing touch of reality to Mr. Holford Bottomley’s musical spectacle, entitled ”The Desert,” of which the first performance takes place to-night on the occasion of Clarke’s College prize distribution at the Albert Hall.
‘The Dance of the Dancing Girls is only one of many vivid effects. In the course of four scenes we are introduced to a sequence of panoramic events. A ghostly, chanting procession of desert spirits is followed by the dread swirl of a storm which overtakes an Aram encampment, and pell-mell, calling on Allah to save them, the travellers hurl themselves this way and that in an abandon of terror.
‘Calm is restored, and with the fall of evening come diversions of song, jugglery, and dance. Night passes, and the Arabs prepare to depart. The droning sound of prayer is heard, and the caravan disappears, and the final tableau – ”Allah! Allah!” – fittingly concludes a pageant peopled with lean, dusky-limbed forms in tossing draperies and haunted with the throb of the kettle-drum.
‘The work is founded on Felicien David’s symphonic ode, and set throughout to suitable music. Mr. Holford Bottomley is to be congratulated on his invention, and Mr. George Clarke on the admirable choice of a programme.’
(Daily Express, London, Monday, 22 April 1912, p. 9b/c)