Posts Tagged ‘George Edwardes’

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Topsy Sinden and Lily Elsie on tour in See-See, early 1907

March 6, 2015

Topsy Sinden (1877-1950) and Lily Elsie (1886-1962), as they appeared respectively as So-Hie and See-See, with ladies of the chorus, on tour in the United Kingdom during the first few months of 1907 with George Edwardes’s Company‘ in the ‘New Chinese Comic Opera,’ See-See. So-Hie and See-See were originally played by Gabrielle Ray and Denise Orme when See-See was first produced at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, on 20 June 1906.
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, late 1906/early1907; postcard no 3283F in the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd’s Rotary Photographic Series, published London, early 1907)

”’SEE SEE” AT HAMMERSMITH.
‘Miss Lily Elsie, who played the title rôle in ”The New Aladdin” at the Gaiety, gave a charming performance of ”See See” at the King’s, Hammersmith, last night. Miss Elsie has an engaging presence and a charming voice, and altogether gives promise of a brilliant future. Mr. George Edwardes has staged the popular Chinese comic opera very handsomely, both as regards scenery and company. Mr. Frank Danby and Mr. W.H. Rawlins keep the fun going, and the singing, acting, and dancing of Miss Amy Augarde, Mr. Leonard Mackay, and Miss Topsy Sinden are delightful. The production was enthusiastically received by a full house.’
(The Standard, London, Tuesday, 30 April 1907, p. 4f)

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Gertrude Glyn as she appeared as Sonia during the run of The Merry Widow, Daly’s Theatre, London, 1907-1909

January 23, 2015

Gertrude Glyn (1886-1965), English musical comedy actress, as she appeared as understudy to Lily Elsie in the role of Sonia during the first London run of The Merry Widow, produced at Daly’s Theatre, Leicester Square, on 8 June 1907 and closed on 31 July 1909.
(photo: Bassano, London, probably 1908 or 1909; postcard no. 1792M in the Rotary Photographic Series, published by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1908 or 1909)

Gertrude Glyn began her career in 1901 at the age of 15 with Seymour Hicks when he cast her in one of the minor roles in the ‘musical dream,’ Bluebell in Fairyland (Vaudeville Theatre, London, 18 December 1901), of which he and his wife, Ellaline Terriss were the stars. Miss Glyn was subsequently under contract to George Edwardes, appearing in supporting roles at the Gaiety and Daly’s theatres in London and where she was also one of several understudies to both Gabrielle Ray and Lily Elsie. She also seen from time to time in other United Kingdom cities. Her appearances at Daly’s in The Merry Widow, The Dollar Princess (1909-10), A Waltz Dream (1911), and The Count of Luxembourg (1911-12) were followed during 1912 or 1913 by her taking the role of Lady Babby in Gipsy Love (also played during the run by Avice Kelham and Constance Drever), in succession to Gertie Millar.

On 10 April 1914, Gertrude Glyn and Elsie Spain sailed from London aboard the SS Otway bound for Sydney, Australia. Their first appearances there were at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Sydney, on 6 June that year in Gipsy Love in which they took the parts respectively of Lady Babby and Ilona, the latter first played in London by Sari Petrass.

Gipsy Love, Her Majesty’s Theatre, Sydney, 6 June 1914
‘A thoroughly artistic performance is that offered by Miss Gertrude Glyn, another newcomer, in the role of Lady Babby. Although her singing voice is not a strong point in her equipment of talent, this actress artistically makes one forget this fact in admiration for the skilful interpretation of her lines and lyrics, and also the gracefulness of her dancing and movements. Another point of excellence about Miss Glyn’s work is that she acts easily and naturally, always keeping well within the pictures and confines of the character she impersonates.’
(The Referee, Sydney, NSW, Wednesday, 17 June 1914, p. 15c)

Gertrude Glyn’s last appearances were as Lady Playne in succession to Madeline Seymour and Mary Ridley in Paul Rubens’s musical play, Betty, which began its long run at Daly’s Theatre, London, on 24 April 1915 and ended on 8 April 1916.

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Gertrude Glyn’s real name was Gertrude Mary Rider. She was the youngest daughter of James Gray (or Grey) Rider (1847/49-1900), a civil servant, and his wife, Elizabeth. She was baptised on 24 October 1886 at St. Mark’s, Hanwell, Middlesex. She married in 1918.
‘CAPTAIN BULTEEL and MISS GERTRUDE GLYN (RIDER).
‘The marriage arranged between Captain Walter Beresford Bulteel, Scottish Horse, youngest son of the late John Bulteel, of Pamflete, Devon, and Gertrude Mary Glyn (Rider), youngest daughter of the late James Grey Rider, and of Mrs. Rider, 6, Windsor Court, Bayswater, will take place at St. Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge, on Thursday, May 9, at 2.30.’
(The Times, London, 7 May 1918, p. 9c)
Bulteel, one of whose maternal great grandfathers was Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764-1845), was born in 1873 and died in 1952; his wife (Gertrude Glyn) died on 16 October 1965.

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programme cover for the burlesque, Joan of Arc, Opera Comique, London, 1891

May 8, 2014

cover of one of the programmes printed for the burlesque, Joan of Arc, which ran at the Opera Comique, London, from 17 January until 17 July 1891, after which it was toured in the United Kingdom. A second edition of the piece then opened at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 30 September 1891 before being transferred to the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, on 22 December 1891, where it finally closed on 15 January 1892.
(lithograph by Holdsworths for The Edwardes Menu Co Ltd; printed for the Edwardes Menu Co Ltd, 6 Adam Street, Adelphi, London, by G. Harmsworth & Co, Hart Street, Covent Garden, London, WC, 1891)

‘Redecorated in a warm and rich style, and much improved from the point of view of the comfort, convenience, and safety of visitors, the Opera Comique reopened its doors on Saturday evening to receive a crowded audience, manifestly rejoicing in the addition of a second burlesque house to the list of London theatres. The Opera Comique, however, is now something more than this; it is a burlesque house under the direction of a manager who comes with the prestige of the immense popularity of the Gaiety. That Mr. George Edwardes was attending to his new charge in his own person was shown by the promptitude with which he appeared before the curtain to repress a rather noisy demonstration in the gallery just before the commencement of Messrs. [J.L.] Shine, [Adrian] Ross, and Osmond Carr’s new operatic burlesque of Joan of Arc. ”Is there anything you want?” inquired Mr. Edwardes, and the same question had been puzzling the quieter portion of the audience unable to distinguish words amidst the confused babel of sounds. Could it be that there were purists in the gallery who objected to the perversion of a noble historical episode? The management appeared to have had some misgivings on that score; for by way of preface to the book some one had contributed an apology in the form of a very gracefully-turned and really poetical sonnet, which out to have appeased the ire of any Frenchmen present. As it was rumoured, however, the trouble was nothing but a rather scant supply of programmes. It would have been well if the louder demonstration towards the close of the performance had been on no more substantial ground; but the truth is that, in spite of public explanations and anticipatory disclaimers, there was a considerable part of the audience who took offence at Mr. Arthur Roberts’s strike solo and still more at the alternate choruses of railway guards, policemen, postmen, messengers, dockers, and colliers. On the whole, however, Joan of Arc was indulgently received in spite of the fact that the humours of the first act were rather forced and the whole piece something wanting in the prettiness and quaint drollery to which the frequenters of the Gaiety have been accustomed. The most amusing thing was the duet ”Round the Town” between Mr. Roberts and Mr. Charles Danby, attired as two costermongers who are supposed to have arrived with a huge barrow of provisions for the relief of the besieged city of Orleans. Miss Emma Chambers, who has returned to our stage after a long absence, sings, dances, and utters her lines with unabated sprightliness, but does not do much to identify herself with the Maid of Orleans beyond donning brilliant armour, waving the Royal Standard of France, and finally turning up in the market place at Rouen, there to be unhistorically rescued from the stake. Mr. [J.L.] Shine, as King Charles VII., laboured under the disadvantage of a hoarseness which finally rendered him almost inaudible. The humour of Miss Alma Stanley’s Talbot Earl of Shrewsbury appeared to be chiefly in embroidering her costumes with the initials with which certain cabs have rendered the eyes of Londoners familiar. Miss Phyllis Broughton brought to the performance her graceful talents as a dancer; as did a new and valuable recruit to the burlesque stage in the person of Miss Katie Seymour, while Miss Grace Pedley’s agreeable presence and well-trained voice served her well in the part of the Queen of France. Provided with brilliant costumes, picturesque scenery, and very tuneful music, Joan of Arc is probably destined to enjoy some measure of success.’
(The Daily News, London, Monday, 19 January 1891, p. 3c)

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Gabrielle Ray’s birthday, 28 April; views on the effects of motoring on kissing

April 28, 2014

Gabrielle Ray (1883-1973), English musical comedy dancer and actress, who celebrated her birthday on 28 April.
(photo: Bassano, London, circa 1909)

‘THE MOTOR MOUTH.
‘EFFECTS ON KISSING.
‘The medical specialist who recently had the hardihood to assert that motoring would ultimately put an end to kissing, because it made the lips hard, will find few supporters among lady motorists, who are practically unanimous in describing his prophecy as nonsense.
”’King goes by favor,” said one young lady, ”and perhaps it is because no one will kiss him or take him for a motor drive that the poor man is setting up to be an authority on something that we understand better then he does.”
‘From the many inquiries made recently a Daily Mail representative arrived at the conclusion that ladies will not accept as a scientific fact that statements of the medical pessimist.
”’Motoring will go out of fashion before kissing will,” said Miss Marie Studholme. ”The gold wind makes one’s face hard for a little while, but most of the kissable people in the world are now motoring.”
‘Miss Gabrielle Ray thinks the medical specialist is a very funny man; ”but as I don’t go in for kissing,” she said, ”I don’t know much about hard mouths. I have done a lot of motoring, but very little kissing. At the same time, I think it would be a pity to discourage those who like kissing because it seems to please them very much. If I have by accident kissed anyone I have never heard any complaint about my mouths; but there, you see, I put cream on my face when going out in a motor-car, because before I used to do so the wind made my face very dry.”
‘Mlle. Mariette Sully, the charming French actress at Daly’s Theatre [in <HREF=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Merveilleuses>Les Merveilleuses], says it is very wicked of the doctor to talk like that. ”If he had said that motoring sops kissing because the automobile shakes so much,” she could understand him; ”but hard lips, oh, no, not at all.”
‘At the Apollo Theatre Miss Carrie Moore [who is appearing in The Dairymaids] holds the same views. ”Motor drives do not make the lips hard. Of course not. Motoring is lovely, and I am sure it won’t put kissing out of fashion.”
‘At the Gaiety Theatre [where The New Aladdin began its run on 29 September 1906] Miss Kitty Mason suggested that motoring will cause wrinkles round the eyes. ”People screw up their eyes when motoring,” she said, ”and I think that must eventually cause wrinkles.” ”Oh, I hope not,” said the other ladies so loudly that Mr George Edwardes had to call for order to allow the rehearsal to proceed.’
(The Grenfell Record and Lachlan District Advertiser, Grenfell, NSW, Australia, Saturday, 27 October 1906, p. 3c)

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Fred Farren and Ida Crispi in the ballet, New York, Empire Theatre, Leicester Square, London, 1911/1912

April 20, 2014

Fred Farren (1874?-1956), English dancer, actor, choreographer, ballet-master and producer and principal male dancer at the Empire, Leicester Square, 1904-1912, with Ida Crispi (1884-1955), English actress, singer and dancer, and they appeared dancing ‘The Yankee Tangle’ in the ballet, New York, inspired by the then ragtime craze, which was produced at the Empire on 10 October 1911.
(photo: Alfred Ellis, London, 1911)

Fred Farren, whose real name was Michael Rouhan, was a talented dancer who also worked as a choreographer for ballets and musical comedies produced under the managership of George Edwardes in London during the early years of the 20th Century. Ida Crispi was born Jennie Florence Ida Worsley, daughter of William Henry Worsley, a furniture dealer, and his wife, Jennie; she was baptised on 4 May 1884 at St. Catherine’s, Barton-upon-Irwell, near Manchester. Like Farren, she went on the stage at an early age, first making a name for herself in the United States in 1910. Before that, however, she had married Ernest Vivian Silvester (1877-1945), a barrister’s son, at Brighton in 1904. This marriage ended in divorce in 1913 when Michael Ronhan (Fred Farren) was named as co-respondent; he had married in 1903 Clara Eliza Taylor, by whom he had a daughter. Miss Crispi’s second husband, whom she married in Kensington in 1916, was Charles J. Boothby.

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Ida Crispi made several recordings between 1912 and 1915, the most effective of which was her duet with Robert Hale (Binnie Hale‘s father), entitled ‘Everybody’s Doing It Now’ by Irving Berlin, which they sang in the revue Everybody’s Doing It, produced at the Empire Theatre, Leicester Square, on 14 February 1912. Their recording was made in London less than a month later on 13 March.

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‘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.

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Bertie Wright and other members of the English cast of the New York production of The Shop Girl, Palmer’s Theatre, Manhattan, 1895

March 25, 2014

Bertie Wright (1871-after 1958), English actor and singer, as he appeared as Mr Miggles, together with other members of the English cast in the New York production of The Shop Girl, which opened at Palmer’s Theatre, New York, on 28 October 1895.
(cabinet photo: Sarony, New York, 1895)

‘At PALMER’S THEATRE, on Oct. 28, there was produced, for the first time in this country, The Shop Girl, a musical farce, in two acts, by H.J.W. Dam, music by Ivan Caryll, with additional numbers by Lionel Monckton and Adrian Ross. The work was originally produced Nov. 24, 1894, at the Gaiety Theatre, London, Eng., where it met with great success. The company presenting it here is under the local management of Charles Frohman, but was sent from England by George Edwardes, proprietor and manager of the Gaiety Theatre. Of its principal members only two appeared in the original London production. The story concerns a search for an heiress. John Brown, an American millionaire, has advertised through his solicitor, Sir George Appleby, for a female foundling, the child of his late partner, who inherits a large fortune. Colonel Singlton, a retired officer; the Count St. Vaurien, secretary to Mr. Brown, and Mr. Hooley, proprietor of the ”Royal Stores,” are in possession of the secret that a fortune of four millions sterling awaits the missing heiress, whose identity they hope to establish by means of a birth mark known to exist. Many founding girls present themselves, being congenital marks, but all are doomed to disappointment. Mr. Hooley believes he has discovered the missing girl in Ada Smith, a good natured but illiterate and somewhat vulgar apprentice in his employ. He proposes to this girl, and she accepts and marries him, although she is engaged to Mr. Miggles, a floor walker of the establishment. It is eventually discovered that the real heiress is Bessie Brent, the prettiest girl in the stores, who is engaged to marry Charles Appleby, son of the solicitor who is seeking her. The farce has gained success here at a bound. In fact the nature of its reception was almost a foregone conclusion, for the coming of the company was eagerly awaited, and the advance sale of seats showed that nothing less than an absolutely bad performance would rob it of its anticipated triumph. The event proved that the performance was very far from bad, although the book was equally far from good, and the music was not above mediocrity. In spite of all shortcomings, however, there is sufficient exhilaration supplied by the performers to warrant the favorable verdict rendered. The state forces were admirably handled, and from the principals down to the most obscure member of the company every one was in constant motion. The principal comedians, including Seymour Hicks, George Grossmith Jr., W.H. Rawlins, Bertie Wright and George Honey, are undoubtedly clever. They labored assiduously and effectively to promote merriment, and displayed powers that suggested their ability to accomplish even better results had they a work which would afford them greater opportunities.

The Shop Girl (Musical), by H.... Digital ID: th-50908. New York Public Library
Connie Ediss as Ada Smith and W.H. Rawlins as Mr. Hooley in The Shop Girl, Palmer’s Theatre, New York, 1895)
(photo: Sarony, New York, 1895; Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts / Billy Rose Theatre Division )

The female contingent, however, showed less capability than the male, but Ethel Sydney, as Bessie Brent, and Connie Ediss, as Ada Smith, fairly won an excellent report, Miss Ediss being especially deserving of mention for good comedy work. Some very pretty dancing was shown, but the terpsichorean features were less praiseworthy than have been seen in previous Gaiety productions. The staging was quite effective. They first act showed the interior of the ”Royal Stores,” and the action in the second act occurred in a fancy bazaar at Kensington. Some of the costumes were very pretty. There was much color shown, but by reason of strong contrasts there was little harmony I this respect and much gaudiness. The average of beauty among the women was not high, and in figure there was shown more bulk than daintiness. Still the show throughout its length was rather pleasing to the eye, and in spite of its friskiness was restful in so far as it made no demands whatever upon the intellect. It was plainly in evidence that it afforded the greatest delight to that portion of the audience which, for a very obvious reason, brought no brains to bear upon it. The assignment of roles was as follows: Mr. Hooley, W.H. Rawlins; Charles Appleby, Seymour Hicks; Bertie Boyd, George Grossmith Jr.; John Brown, [Michael] Dwyer; Sir George Appleby, Walter McEwen; Singleton, George Honey; Count St. Vaurten, A. Nilson-Fisher; Mr. Tweets, Alfred Asher; Mr. Miggles, Bertie Wright; Bessie Brent, Ethel Sydney; Lady Dodo Singlton, Annie Albu; Miss Robinson, Marie Paucett; Lady Appleby, Leslie Greenwood; Ada Smith, Connie Ediss; Faith, May Beaugarde; Hope, Minnie Sadler; Charity, Minnie Rose; Maud Plantagenet, Adelaide Astor; Eva Tudor, Violet Dene; Lillie Stuart, Ida Wallace; Ada Harrison, Hylda Galton; Mabel Beresford, Nellie Huxley; Florence White, Zara De L’Orme; Birdie Waudesfaude, Nellie Langton; Maggie Jocelyn, Violet Durkin; Violet Deveney, Annie Vivian. A solo dance in Act II was contributed by Dorothy Douglass, who was not included in the assignment. Of the above Seymour Hicks had already been seen here in Cinderella [sic], and Adelaide Astor, now the wife of George Grossmith Jr., had previously appeared here [in September 1893] upon the vaudeville stage under the name of Cissy Lind . With these exceptions all of the members of the company were, upon this occasion, seen her for the first time.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, New York, Saturday, 9 November 1895, p. 567d)