Posts Tagged ‘Harry Monkhouse’

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Harry Monkhouse

March 1, 2013

a cabinet photograph of Harry Monkhouse (1854-1901), English actor,
as Duvet in the comic opera Captain Thérèse,
by Alexandre Bisson and F.C. Burnand, with music by Robert Planquette,
which was produced at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, on 25 August 1890.
The cast also included Hayden Coffin, Joseph Tapley, Tom A. Shale,
Attalie Claire (in the title role), and Phyllis Broughton
(photo: Alfred Ellis, London, 1890)

‘Monkhouse, Harry. (John Adolph McKie.) – there is no more general favourite than Mr. Harry Monkhouse, who is a native of Newcastle-on-Tyne, where he was born in 1854. Of course he was never intended for the stage – actors and actresses never are – and his parents, who were Presbyterians, gave him a liberal education at Newcastle Grammar School, which they intended should fit him either for a clergyman or a doctor. From acting in amateur theatricals and assisting behind the scenes at the local theatre on benefit nights, he rose to the dignity of small parts, and at length secured his first regular engagement at the Theatre Royal, Blythe, where Mrs. Wybert Rousby seeing him act, offered him his next engagement to go to Jersey as one of her company. From the Grecian, where he first played in London, he migrated to the Alhambra, and thence to the Gaiety for three years. He met, whilst touring with the Nellie Farren Gaiety Company, Mr. Wilton Jones, who wrote for him a very funny burlesque entitled Larks, and with this and other plays, he made several long and very successful provincial tours. Just as every comedian fancies himself a tragedian, so Mr. Monkhouse, who made his name in burlesque, fancies himself for parts in melodramas where pathos is the prevailing characteristic, and squeezes into his characters a little touch of pathos whenever the chance occasion offers. As Bouillabaisse in Paul Jones (1889) he made himself wonderfully popular, and the way he eventually worked up the part during its run at the Princes of Wales’ Theatre was very marked. As Gosric in Marjorie and M. Duvet in Captain Thérèse he further added to his reputation for originality and humour. There he also played during the run of The Rose and the Ring and Maid Marian, but was drafted over to fill the ranks at the Lyric when the second edition of La Cigale was produced, and played with great drollness the part of Uncle Mat.’
(Erskine Reid and Herbert Compton, The Dramatic Peerage, Raithby, Lawrence & Co Ltd, London, 1892, pp. 154 and 155)

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Grace Palotta and Florence Lloyd A Gaiety Girl, Daly’s Theatre, New York, 18 September 1894

January 29, 2013

Grace Palotta and Florence Lloyd as they appeared in the bathing scene
in A Gaiety Girl, Daly’s Theatre, New York, 18 September 1894
(photo: B.J. Falk, New York, 1894)

This real photograph cigarette card was issued in England in the late 1890s by Ogden’s in one of their Guinea Gold series. The photograph shows Florence Lloyd and Grace Palotta respectively as Cissy Verner and Ethel Hawthorne in the London Gaiety Theatre Company’s production of A Gaiety Girl at Daly’s Theatre, New York, 18 September 1894. A United States tour followed the Broadway run.

Florence Lloyd and Grace Palotta

Florence Lloyd and Grace Palotta as they appeared in the bathing scene
In A Gaiety Girl, Daly’s Theatre, New York, 18 September 1894
(composite photo, originals by: B.J. Falk, New York, 1894)

A Gaiety Girl at Daly’s [New York] is realistic in that it has two dozen gaiety girls [sic] on the stage. The burlesque bases its hope to success on the claim that one dozen of these are beauties.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Sunday, 23 September 1894, p.8c)

‘George Edwardes’ London company will occupy the Brooklyn Academy of Music during Christmas week [1894]. It will appear in The Gaiety Girl [sic] that had a run of 300 nights in London and three months at Daly’s theater in New York.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Sunday, 16 December 1894, p.9a)

The Gaiety Girl [sic], an English burlesque which has attracted a good deal of attention in London and New York, will be brought to the Academy of Music for the whole of this week. The piece is a mixture of pretty girls, English humor, singing, dancing and bathing machines and dresses of the English fashion. The dancing is a special feature of the performance, English burlesques giving much more attention to that feature of their attractiveness than the American entertainments of the same grade do. The present dancers are the successors of Letty Lind and Sylvia Gray [sic], who are still remembered for introducing the blessings of the skirt dance to America, and they are subjects of the same sort of interest.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Sunday, 23 December 1894, p.9a)

‘The attendance at the Academy [Brooklyn] to see the new musical comedy – it might better be called a farce – A Gaiety Girl, was not great in point of numbers. It was Christmas eve, and Brooklyn people do not attend theatres on the night before Christmas. Those who did go are wondering yet what they say. No such surprising amount of nothing has appeared on a stage here for some time. It was entertaining beyond a doubt, but this was mainly owing to the efforts of perhaps three capably eccentric actors and three or four dancers. Harry Monkhouse, as Dr. Montague Brierly, was exceedingly clever. He was like a subdued De Wolf Hopper, and the audience waited for him to appear again when he left the stage. His scenes with Miss Maud Hobson, as Lady Virginia Forrest, where comical, and he has a drawl that would make any lines funny. Miss Maud Hobson was excellent as the flirtatious chaperon and woman of the divorce courts. Mr. Leedham Bancock [i.e. Leedham Bantock], as Sir Lewis Grey, judge of the divorce court; Major Barclay, as portrayed by Mr. Frederick Kaye, and the Rose Brierly of Miss Decima Moore were well received. The Gaiety girls [sic] are good dancers, graceful as could be wished for, and Miss Cissy Fitzgerald made a hit in her one dance, but, in spite of continued applause, she refused to reappear. The play went calmly on amid a storm of handclapping which developed into several well defined hisses when no attention was paid to the encore. As Miss Fitzgerald came down pretty hard on the floor at the close of her dance and limped off, it is to be presumed she was unable to continue. Mr. Charles Ryley, as Charles Goldfield, has a pleasant tenor voice and was quite willing to use it. The rest of the cast looked pretty, the songs were quite catching and the lines fairly humorous. Most of the jokes, however, were too broad for this side of the bridge. Mina, as given by Miss Grace Palotta, was a typical American idea of a French girl. Her songs were light but taking and she gave them with decided vivacity and grace. The words of A Gaiety Girl are by Owen Hall, lyrics by Harry Greenback [i.e. Harry Greenbank] and music by Sydney Johnson [i.e. Sidney Jones]. The play is well mounted.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Wednesday, 26 December 1894, p.2c)