Posts Tagged ‘George Grossmith jr’


H. Robert Averell, grandson of Jenny Lind, on tour in the United Kingdom during 1908 in The Girls of Gottenberg

February 12, 2014

H. Robert Averell (1885-1913), English actor and singer, as he appeared on tour in the United Kingdom during 1908 in the role of Prince Otto in George Dance’s The Girls of Gottenberg company. The part was first played by George Grossmith junior in the original production of The Girls of Gottenberg at the Gaiety Theatre, London (15 May 1907).
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1908; postcard published by The Rotary Photographic Co Ltd, London, in the Rotary Photographic Series, no. 2356 B)

The promising young actor known as H. Robert Averell (and sometimes as Robert Averell) was born Walter Averell Lind Goldschmidt in Kensington, London, on 4 May 1885. He was the son of Walter Otto Goldschmidt (1854-1929) and his first wife, Mary Julia (née Daniell, 1859-?), who were married in 1884 and acrimoniously separated ten years later. Averell was therefore the grandson of Jenny Lind (1820-1887), the celebrated soprano known ‘The Swedish Nightingale,’ his father being her eldest child by her husband, the German-born musician, Otto Moritz David Goldschmidt (1829-1907).

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‘Mr Robert Averell, a promising young English actor, died suddenly recently from the after effects of a chill. Only a few days previous Mr Averell, who made his name on the metropolitan stage as Hubert in The Girl in the Taxi, was playing in Oh, I Say at the London Criterion. A grandson of Jenny Lind, the famous Swedish diva, he was an old Westminster schoolboy and a ward in Chancery, and, consent to his adopting the stage as a career being practically impossible to obtain, he made his way to South Africa, where although under age he managed to join the Cape Mounted Rifles. Then he joined a travelling theatrical company which was often unable to proceed for lack of funds and the privations he then met with unquestionably hastened his end.’
(The New Zealand Observer, Auckland, Saturday, 13 December 1913, p. 14a)

In 1910 Averell was declared bankrupt, ‘his failure being attributed to his having lived in excess of his income.’ (The Times, London, Saturday, 14 May 1910, p. 17d) This reverse did not interfere with his career, however, and he went on to appear in several West End productions including Our Little Cinderella, a play with music (Playhouse Theatre, London, 20 December 1910), with his kinsman Cyril Maude (1862-1951) in the leading role; and The Girl in the Taxi, the musical play produced at the Lyric Theatre, London, on 5 September 1912. Averell’s last appearance was in the Parisian farce, Oh! I Say!, produced at the Criterion Theatre, London, on 28 May 1913. During the run he became ill and died suddenly in October that year, when his part was taken over by Ronald Squire who went on to become a well-known character actor.


George Grossmith junior and Connie Ediss in The Sunshine Girl, Gaiety Theatre, London, 1912

December 5, 2013

George Grossmith junior (1874-1935), English actor, singer, theatrical producer, writer, &c, and Connie Ediss (1871-1934), English actress, comedienne and singer, respectively as Lord Bicester and Brenda Blacker in an incident from The Sunshine Girl, the musical play by Paul Rubens and Cecil Raleigh produced at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 24 February 1912.
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1912; Rotary Photographic Series postcard no. 11670 B, published by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1912)


Sadrene Storri

May 13, 2013

Sadrene Storri (1899-1918), musical comedy dancer
(photo: unknown, probably London, circa 1913)

This real photograph postcard of the dancer Sadrene Storri (otherwise known as Sadie or Saddie Storrie, daughter of Fred and Nana Storrie, both actors) was published by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd of London (no. A.451-2) about 1913. It was in 1913 that she first made a wide impression for her dancing in The Pearl Girl. She was married in 1915 to George Cecil Murray Tinline (1895-1958), but died at the age of 19 in 1918. For further photographs of Miss Storri taken by Bassano, London, during 1913, see the National Portrait Gallery, London.

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‘HAMMERSMITH: NAZARETH HOUSE. – Through the great kindness and exertions of Mr. Fred Storrie (Staff Manager at the ”White City”) and of his little daughter, ”Saddie,” 275 of the children from Nazareth House, Hammersmith, were a few days ago admitted to the Exhibition and entertained by these good benefactors. To the great delight of the children they were allowed to remain to see the illuminations.’
(The Tablet, London, Saturday, 3 October 1908, p. 554a)

‘Is the Tango Doomed?
‘Very elaborate tango teas are announced for the Palace Theatre next week. Remarkable dresses are expected. Miss Sadrene Storri and Miss Kitty Mason will dance, and Mr. George Grossmith will dance and sing. The prices have been fixed at five shillings, which is quite a ”royal opera” charge for tango teas. Meanwhile people are already prophesying that Christmas will see the beginning of the end, so far as this craze is concerned.’
(The Daily Mirror, London, Saturday, 22 November 1913, p. 9c)

‘Miss Sadrenne [sic] Storri … will remain in the cast of the ”Bing Girls,” having failed to get her release for the new Empire revue.’
(The Daily Mirror, London, Wednesday, 26 March 1917, p. 12a)

‘Dancer Dead. – Admirers of graceful stage dancing will regret to hear of the death of Miss Sadrenne [sic] Storri, of the Shaftesbury and the Alhambra. Great sympathy will be felt with her husband, Mr. Cecil Tinline, an old Etonian, who was recently invalided out of the Cameron Highlanders with shell shock. Miss Storri was only nineteen.’
(The Daily Mirror, London, Tuesday, 30 April 1918, p. 6d)


a scene from To-night’s the Night

March 9, 2013

a scene from George Grossmith and Edward Laurillard’s production of To-Night’s The Night, first staged (after a trial at New Haven) at the Shubert Theatre, New York, 24 December 1914, with, left to right, James Blakely as Montagu Lovitt-Lovitt, George Grossmith as Dudley Mitten and Emmy Wehlen as June

the piece ran at the Shubert until March 1915 after which, with various cast changes, it toured the United States;
meanwhile, Blakely, Grossmith and others returned to London, where
To-Night’s the Night opened at the Gaiety Theatre on 28 April 1915,
when the part of June was played by Haidée de Rance (later replaced by Madge Saunders)
(photo: White, New York, 1914/15)

‘There has been, inevitably, an influx of English actors and English plays. Six entire theatrical companies are said to have arrived in their entirely in New York. Charles Frohman announced the past week that he intended to close his Duke of York’s Theater in London and transplant the company to Chicago. Marie Lohr, Irene Vanbrugh and Godfrey Tearle will head the Chicago all-star company.
‘George Grossmith, Jr., and Edward Laurillard intend bringing a company of 60 players, including a majority of the Gaiety favorites, to this country [a modernized version of] the old farce, ‘Pink Dominoes. In the cast are Emmy Wehlen, Iris Hooey [sic], Max Dearly, Robert Nainby and Mr. Grossmith himself. They will sail for New York November 28.’
(The Evening Public Ledger, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Saturday, 21 November 1914, p. 12a/b)

To-Night’s the Night, on tour in the United States, at the Lyric Theatre, Philadelphia
Tonight’s the Night is a drama from the English of Fred Thompson – as we Drama Leaguers put it about Ibsen. Anybody at the Lyric could tell it came from London by the flora, fauna and indehiscent polycarpellaries. When a stout gentleman, with a dreadnought wife says, ”What a pretty shape that house maid has. I mean what a pretty shape he has made the house”; when that fell remark is brazenly followed up by allusions to law cases and corkscrews; when a stony stare is described, with intent to kill, as a geological survey, then you may truly know that you are in the presence of English whit and ‘humour.
‘Those an ”med’cine” and ”ridic’lous” didn’t settle the question of pedigree or pleasure for the audience at the Lyric last night, for you can suffer that sort of thing in any Frohman importation. The present specimen was redeemed, redeemed completely and gloriously, by a real London company, doing the piece just as it would have done it if Tonight’s the Night had been produced at the Gaiety first instead of over here in America. The chorus proved it the minute it came on. It had a ladylike air about it. It breathed the refinement of duchesses in reduced circumstances. Probably that was because we are naturally too unused to the English girl to be able to detect subtle shadings. No doubt there are dozens of Englishmen who could say, ”That one isn’t a lady,” or ”This one will be some day.” But that doesn’t matter. There they were with their fresh complexions – fresh, but not from the rouge box – their softly curling flaxen hair, their gray-blue eyes, their gleaming teeth and their large, admirable noses. A languid chorus, maybe, that dawdled among while the music kicked up its heels and ran off. But a change for us! The second string wasn’t so good, but what can you expect in one show? ‘At any rate, you need not expect so many excellent principals. Lauri de Frece, a good-looking tenor-or-thereabouts with a sense of humor, capable of going punting on the sofa and flinging flowers to himself. Teddy Webb, playing the sort of fat uncle part James Blakely always does – and used to do in the present case. Wilfred Seagram, another of those good-looking young Englishmen, holding down, quite successfully, George Grossmith’s shoes. Edward Nainby, as a grotesque in the style of George Graves. Maurice Farkoa, cooing his songs with all the art of a chamber recital. Davy Burnaby, polite comedian, and added feature.
‘As for women – Ethel Baird, as an Iris Hoey: Allison Skipworth, as a matron of a decidedly subtle type, and Fay Compton, her delightful self, a beautiful women and also an artist in the subtleties that make ladies’ maids ladies’ maids, even if they are adored by sundry leading men.
‘And outside all the list of the Allies, Emmy Wehlen, the Von Hindenburg, the Von Kluck, of Tonight’s the Night, dashing from the eastern front to the west, sweeping down on Warsaw, plunging a new drive on Paris. Languid English girls are very nice, ever so much nicer than American tango fiends. But ‘way for the lady from Germany!
‘All of which forgets the plot and music. For the first, understand that Tonight’s the Night is supplied with the dramatic details of that veteran farce, The Pink Domino – perhaps a few too many for the amount of music. And as for the music, it may not be up to American tunes as ragtime, but its composer is aware of the existence of the bassoon. And that is a good deal.
Tonight’s the Night is fresh from England, fresh as an English daisy. So far it has acquired only three bad habits: allusions to B.V.D.’s, Fatimas and the inevitable Ford.’
(The Evening Public Ledger, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Tuesday, 4 May 1915, p. 7a)


Go-Bang on tour

February 15, 2013

detail of the Theatre Metropole programme
for Go-Bang, week beginning Monday, 11 March 1895
(printed by the Free Press Co, 429 Brixton Road, London, S.E., 1895)

Go-Bang on tour at the Theatre Metropole, Camberwell, week beginning Monday, 11 March 1895
‘On Monday, March 11th [1895], the Musical Farcical Comedy, by Adrian Ross and Osmond Carr, entitled GO-BANG… .
‘This merry, musical piece, which was originally played at the Trafalgar on March 10th last year, was reproduced at Mr Mulholland’s Theatre on Monday evening, and, judging by the reception accorded it, Go-Bang is likely to meet with much success on its provincial travels. The piece had all the advantages of being represented by a thoroughly competent company, and in regard to the important accessories of dresses, appointments, and scenery, everything had been done to ensure a performance in which no weak point could possibly be detected. Mr Victor Stephens [i.e. Victor Stevens] as Dam Row, the eccentric Bojam elect of Go-Bang, invested the part with that quaint and apparently spontaneous humour by which had has earned a high reputation in the world of burlesque. His singing was always acceptable, and in every scene in which he appeared successfully co-operated with his fellow players in the pleasant task of exciting the hearty merriment of the audience. Mr Edward W. Colman seemed to positively revel in the rôle of Jenkins, the greengrocer, who for a time bears the burdens which devolve upon a rule. His performance throughout was an undeniably funny one, and the value of his services cannot be over-estimated. Mr Arthur P. Soutten, taking Mr George Grossmith, jun., as his model, made much comic capital out of the part of the Hon. Augustus Fitzpoop. His peculiar laugh and oddities of appearance and manner had their intended effect, and his Fitzpoop was a distinct hit. Mr Guy Waller as Narain, the secretary who eventually ascends the throne, evinced the possession of an excellent voice, and did justice to the musical numbers entrusted to him. Mr John Lisbourne, who appeared as Wang, distinguished himself by his nimble dancing, and Mr Alexander Loftus was fully equal to the requirements of the rôle of Sir Reddan Tapeleigh. Miss Alice Brookes was as winsome and dainty a representative of Di Dalrymple as could be wished, and her high spirits and vivacity were important factors in gaining for her the favour of the audience. The popular ”Di, Di, Di,” proved to be one of the most taking songs of the evening, and was loudly redemanded. Her dancing was also greatly admired and heartily applauded. Miss Edith Stuart both looked well and did well as Lady Fritterleigh, and Miss Lottie Brookes was a pleasing Helen Tapeleigh. Miss Violet Irving made a coquettish Sarah Anne, and Lady Fritterleigh’s sisters were charmingly impersonated by the Misses Winnie Leon, Edith Denton, and Evreton Eyre. The chorus was composed of a number of attractive young ladies, who sang with precision and danced in graceful style.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 16 March 1895, p. 9c)


Harry Fragson, English variety comedian and entertainer at the piano

January 4, 2013

Harry Fragson (1869-1913)
English variety comedian and entertainer at the piano,
in his monologue, ‘Le Grand Flegme Britannique.’
(photo: unknown, Paris, 1904)

‘Mr. Harry Fragson tells me he was very nervous on making his first appearance at the Tivoli (says a writer in the Daily Express), for some of his songs were novel in character. But the Tivoli, with its audience well round the singer, is just the small drawing-room house suited to an entertainer at the piano, and none of Mr. Fragson’s little effects are lost.
”’It is not quite the same thing over here, going from a theatre to a music-hall, than it is in Paris. Over there an artist passes from the theatre to the vaudeville house without any misgiving. Barral went to Olympia direct from the Comédie Française. Gallois passed without a moment’s hesitation from Olympia to the Théà tre des Varietés. Here, of course, you would feel a little shock if you saw Mr. George Alexander go from Pinero to the Palace, but we view things differently in Paris.”
‘The practice, of course, is growing here. Mr. Willie Edouin contemplates the halls. Mr. Chevalier turns with ease from ”Pantaloon” to ”The Fallen Star.” Indeed, he may be said to belong as much to the variety house as to the legitimate theatre. In August, Mr. George Grossmith, jun., hopes to be able to appear at the Palace.
‘Mr. Fragson is evidently a great favourite with the King. His Majesty, when Prince of Wales, head him sing many times at the Paris Figaro office. The conductors of the big French journal give tea parties at the offices, and to several of these parties King Edward went. King Leopold was a constant visitor. On Mr. Fragson’s arrival in London the King sent him a photograph, which I have just seen. It bears a suitable inscription in the King’s handwriting, and, of course, Mr. Fragson is inordinately proud of the gift. The signature Edward VII. shows the ”seven” put down as an ordinary numeral, with a little stroke across it, making it look like a capital ”F.”’
(The Penny Illustrated Paper and Illustrated Times, London, Saturday, 28 July 1906, p. 59d/e)


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.