Posts Tagged ‘H.J. Byron’

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Lina Edwin, American burlesque actress and singer

May 11, 2014

Lina Edwin (otherwise, Lena Edwin, Mrs Bland Holt, 1846?-1883), American burlesque actress and singer.
(cabinet photo: Howell, 867 and 869 Broadway, New York, circa 1870)

‘A SOUTHERN LADY TAKES TO THE STAGE. – Miss Lina Edwin, who has just opened her theatre in New York, has a romantic history, according to the Brooklyn Union. ”She is a Southerner, well born, and highly educated. She lived on her paternal estates near Richmond, Virginia, and was brought up in the mollesse of the old southern aristocracy. During the war the paternal estates wee melted in the crucible of the Confederacy, and Miss Edwin turned pluckily to self-support. First she tried literature, and became well known in the internal newspaper world as a song writer. Then she set about writing music for her sons, and the orchestral world began to know her. She wrote waltzes and fantasias, and in all acquitted herself well. Next she took to the stage, and in two years or so from a brilliant beginning, reached the degree of manageress in her own right. An opportune legacy has set her right pecuniarily, but it did not arrive until she had got well into the expense list of her ledger on behalf of the public amusement, and now she will appear in her new capacity as manager.”’
(The Daily Phoenix, Columbia, South Carolina, Tuesday, 22 September 1870, p. 2b)

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Notable among Lina Edwin’s first appearances were with W.H. Lingard and his actress wife, Alice Dunning, in the former’s production of H.J. Byron’s Orpheus and Eurydice (New York, 1 February 1869); and with Lydia Thompson and her troupe (including Harry Beckett, Pauline Markham, Alice Atherton and Eliza Weathersby) in the burlesque, Pippin; or, The King of the Golden Mines (Niblo’s Garden, New York, 4 April 1870). She subsequently gave her name to a theatre at 720 Broadway, New York, which became well-known for burlesques and other popular entertainment but in December 1872 was burnt to the ground. Meanwhile, in December 1871, Miss Edwin was in Ireland where she appeared as Doe Maynard in the comedy, Rank at the Queen’s Royal Theatre, Dublin. She became a great favourite there, remaining until October 1872. After returning to the United States, Lina Edwin then left for Australia at the close of 1876 in a company headed by Annie Pixley and Bland Holt. She continued her career in Australia until her death in 1883.

Melbourne, NSW, Australia, Thursday, 31 May 1883
‘Mrs Bland Holt, better known by her stage name of Lena [sic] Edwin, died to-day. About two months ago the deceased lady was seized with an apoplectic fit on the stage of the Theatre Royal [Melbourne], which resulted in paralysis, from which she was recovering, but to-day she was seized with a second attack of apoplexy, and rapidly sank. Mr. Holt is at present in Sydney.’
(The Sydney Morning Herald, NSW, Australia, Friday, 1 June 1883, p. 7f)

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Miss A. Newton and Nelly Power in H.J. Byron’s extravaganza, The Orange Tree and the Humble Bee, Vaudeville Theatre, London, 1871

April 26, 2014

Miss A. Newton (1859?-1884), English actress, and Nelly Power (1854-1887), English dancer, burlesque actress, singer and music hall serio-comic, as they appeared respectively as The Princess Ada and Prince Precious in H.J. Byron’s extravaganza, The Orange Tree and the Humble Bee; or, The Little Princess who was Lost at Sea, which was produced at the Vaudeville Theatre, London, on Saturday, 13 May 1871.
(photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1871)

Other members of the cast included Charles Fenton as Kokonibbs, The Courageous (King of the Chocolate Islands), Thomas Thorne as Croquemitaine and David James as Tippertiwitch

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Miss A. Newton was the stage name of Amelia Smith, a daughter of Richard Smith, a carpenter/scenic artist, and his wife, Alice, who on 21 July 1867 married the actor Thomas Thorne at the church of St. Mary, Putney, south west London. She died on the 18 April 1884, lamented by her husband and a wide circle of family and friends.

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Miss Varcoe

May 28, 2013

Miss Varcoe (fl. late 1860s/early 1870s), actress/dancer
(carte de visite photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, circa 1870)

Identified simply as ‘Varcoe,’ the sitter in this photograph is probably the Miss Varcoe who is first mentioned as appearing as one of the supernumeraries in Turko the Terrible; or, The Fairy Roses, an extravaganza written by William Brough, with a ballet arranged by Kiralfy, which was product at the Theatre Royal, Holborn, on 26 December 1868. The cast included Fanny Josephs and George Honey, supported in minor parts by Kate Love (the mother of Mabel Love), Eliza Weathersby and others. Miss Varcoe also appeared in The Corsican ‘Brothers’; or, The Troublesome Twins, a burlesque extravaganza by H.J. Byron, produced at the Globe Theatre, London, on 17 May 1869; and La Belle Sauvage, a burlesque, adapted from J. Brougham’s Pocohontas, and produced at the St. James’s Theatre, London, on 27 November 1869.

It is possible that this Miss Varcoe is the Agnes Varcoe who in early 1871 successfully brought a charge of assault against Elizabeth Alleyne, the manageress of the Globe Theatre, London, for having abused her behind the scenes there during a performance on Boxing Night, 1870. The production was a revival of Palgrave Simpson’s drama, Marco Spada, the first night of which took place on Saturday, 1 October 1870. The case was widely reported in the Press. The controversial Mdme. Colonna and her troupe of dancers were introduced into the piece towards the end of the same month.

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‘Madame Colonna and her ”troupe dansante,” whose peculiar evolutions at the Alhambra so provoked the indignation of the Middlesex magistrates as to lead to the withdrawal of the dancing license from that establishment, have been engaged at Miss Alleyne’s theatre. It is hardly necessary to say that in their new sphere of action these noted performers no longer indulge either in the ”can can” or any similar saltations. They appear in a so-called ”Dance of Brigands” in the concluding act of Mr. Palgrave Simpson’s drama of ”Marco Spade;” and though their performances are not always in the best ”form” – to use the strange phrase of the day – they are in most cases agile and spirited, and in the instance of one dancer even graceful and expressive. They are so decorous also as to the void of offence in the estimation of the most fastidious. If any ballet is to be tolerated there is no reason why this should be objected to on any plea of decorum. Madame Colonna and her associates are received with enthusiasm, and their dance is clamorously encored.’
(The Morning Post, London, Tuesday, 1 November 1870, p. 2d)

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May 28, 2013

Miss Varcoe (fl. late 1860s/early 1870s), actress/dancer
(carte de visite photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, circa 1870)

Identified simply as ‘Varcoe,’ the sitter in this photograph is probably the Miss Varcoe who is first mentioned as appearing as one of the supernumeraries in Turko the Terrible; or, The Fairy Roses, an extravaganza written by William Brough, with a ballet arranged by Kiralfy, which was product at the Theatre Royal, Holborn, on 26 December 1868. The cast included Fanny Josephs and George Honey, supported in minor parts by Kate Love (the mother of Mabel Love), Eliza Weathersby and others. Miss Varcoe also appeared in The Corsican ‘Brothers’; or, The Troublesome Twins, a burlesque extravaganza by H.J. Byron, produced at the Globe Theatre, London, on 17 May 1869; and La Belle Sauvage, a burlesque, adapted from J. Brougham’s Pocohontas, and produced at the St. James’s Theatre, London, on 27 November 1869.

It is possible that this Miss Varcoe is the Agnes Varcoe who in early 1871 successfully brought a charge of assault against Elizabeth Alleyne, the manageress of the Globe Theatre, London, for having abused her behind the scenes there during a performance on Boxing Night, 1870. The production was a revival of Palgrave Simpson’s drama, Marco Spada, the first night of which took place on Saturday, 1 October 1870. The case was widely reported in the Press. The controversial Mdme. Colonna and her troupe of dancers were introduced into the piece towards the end of the same month.

* * * * *

‘Madame Colonna and her “troupe dansante,” whose peculiar evolutions at the Alhambra so provoked the indignation of the Middlesex magistrates as to lead to the withdrawal of the dancing license from that establishment, have been engaged at Miss Alleyne’s theatre. It is hardly necessary to say that in their new sphere of action these noted performers no longer indulge either in the “can can” or any similar saltations. They appear in a so-called “Dance of Brigands” in the concluding act of Mr. Palgrave Simpson’s drama of “Marco Spade;” and though their performances are not always in the best “form” – to use the strange phrase of the day – they are in most cases agile and spirited, and in the instance of one dancer even graceful and expressive. They are so decorous also as to the void of offence in the estimation of the most fastidious. If any ballet is to be tolerated there is no reason why this should be objected to on any plea of decorum. Madame Colonna and her associates are received with enthusiasm, and their dance is clamorously encored.’
(The Morning Post, London, Tuesday, 1 November 1870, p. 2d)

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Jenny Beauclerc

March 1, 2013

a carte de visite photograph of Jenny Beauclerc (fl, late 1860s-early 1880s),
English actress and singer
(photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, crica 1870)

Theatre Royal and Opera House, Bradford, Yorkshire
‘Without hinting at a detailed notice of their performance, I may say that the stock company which Mr. Rice has got together at the theatre is a strong one. Mr. E. Harris, a good actor last season, is a better [one] now; his ”party by the name of Johnson” in the Lancashire Lass [the burlesque by H.J. Byron] is really a very clever performance. Mr. C. Groves’s comedy, too, is not to be sneezed at. Miss Meadway, the leading actress thus far, has plenty of vigour; but is decidedly of too melodramatic a turn. Miss Jenny Beauclerc is already one of the most valuable members of Mr. Rice’s corps dramatique, and a favourite of the audience, ”gods and all.” She is a simple, pleasing actress, and a very sweet singer; her gestures are especially graceful, and might be commended as a study to many an older actress. The names of Miss Phillis Glover appeared in Mr. Rice’s list of the new company. I have seen this young lady act elsewhere, and am anxious to witness her appearance at Bradford. She is an actress of sterling merit. What with melodrama, ballet and burlesque, Mr. Rice offers a very varied and attractive bill of fare, and deserves, as he is receiving, public support.’
(The Bradford Observer, Bradford, Yorkshire, Friday, 17 September 1869, p. 4b)