Posts Tagged ‘Havana (musical comedy)’


Gladys Cooper, photographed in London, about 1908

June 15, 2014

Gladys Cooper (1888-1971), English actress.
(photo: Bassano, London, circa 1908; tinted postcard no. E.2022 published by the Aristophot Co Ltd, London, circa 1908)

Although the exact date of this photograph is uncertain, it is likely to have been taken during the run of the musical play, Havana, which ran at the Gaiety Theatre, London, from 25 April to 12 December 1908. Gladys Cooper appeared as one of the Touring Newspaper Beauties, together with Julia James, Frances Kapstowne, Daisy Williams, Connie Stuart, Kitty Lindley and Crissie Bell.


Gladys Cooper, photographed in London, about 1908

April 9, 2014

Gladys Cooper (1888-1971), English actress, at about the time she appeared in Havana, the musical comedy which opened at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 25 April 1908.
(photo: unknown, but probably Bassano, London, circa 1908)


Adelina Balfe, a Gaiety Girl, photographed by the Dover Street Studios, London, circa 1909

March 4, 2014

Adelina Balfe (1888?-1948), Welsh born actress and Gaiety Girl
(photo: Dover Street Studios, London, circa 1909)

Adelina Balfe, whose real name was Dorothy Winifred Davies, was born in Swansea, Wales, about 1888. Her brief theatrical career began in 1906 but she did not attract attention until she was contracted to appear in small parts at the Gaiety Theatre, London, first in Havana (25 April 1908) and then in Our Miss Gibbs (23 January 1909). It was shortly after the beginning of the run of the latter that Miss Balfe married Lieutenant Gerard Randal Klombies (1887-1934), of the 2nd Dragoon Guards, son of (Carl) Robert Klombies (1842?-1920) and his second wife, Henrietta Sophia (née Peek). The couple had a daughter and were divorced in 1918 after which Miss Balfe was married for a second and third time.

* * * * *

‘The marriage is reported of Miss Adelina Balfe, who is playing Sheila in Our Miss Gibbs at the Gaiety Theatre, London, to Lieutenant Gerard Randal Klombies, of the 2nd Dragoon Guards.
‘Miss Balfe appeared at the Gaiety that afternoon and evening as usual.<br. ‘The secret of the wedding was well kept, and even the bride’s closest friends knew nothing about the event till it was over.
‘Some particulars of the happy couple were published in the Evening News. The bridegroom – a lieutenant in the 2nd Dragoon Guards – is said to be a rich man in his own right, besides being the son of a wealthy mill-owner in the North. The bride who was described in the register as ”an actress, daughter of Herbert Davies, deceased, musician,” was born in Kilkenny [sic], and her dark beauty and nervous, generous temperament are typically Irish. She is just eighteen years of age, her husband being twenty-one.
‘Miss Adelina Balfe – to give her the name by which she is known to playgoers – joined the Gaiety Company in Havana, playing the part of Lolita, one of the ”Cigarette Girls.” her first stage experience was, however, with Mr Weedon Grossmith.
‘The young lieutenant first saw his bride about four months ago. It was a case of love at first sight, but some little time elapsed before he could secure an introduction. In the interval he occupied the same box every night until a common friend brought the young people together.
‘At the ceremony the bride, wearing heavy squirrel furs, a long fur coat, and a large hat of light blue shade, was accompanied by her mother. After the ceremony she repaired to the Gaiety Theatre, where she took her part of Sheila in Our Miss Gibbs. She also appeared at the evening performance. She is under a three years’ contract with Mr George Edwardes, and had expressed her intention of seeing it out.’
(The Marlborough Express, Blenheim, New Zealand, Friday, 2 April 1909, p. 2c)


Pattie Wells, Madge Melbourne and Ruby Kennedy, in Our Miss Gibbs, Gaiety Theatre, London, 1909

August 22, 2013

left to right: Pattie Wells, Madge Melbourne and Ruby Kennedy, three of the ‘Girls at the Stores’ in Our Miss Gibbs, the musical play produced at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 23 January 1909. The cast was headed by George Grossmith junior, Edmund Payne, Denise Orme and Gertie Millar.
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1909; hats by Maison Lewis, Hanover Square and Paris)

Pattie Wells began her career as one of the ‘Ladies of Havana’ in Havana, another musical play at the Gaiety (25 April 1908); and she was last seen in Potash and Perlmutter in Society, a comedy by Montague Glass and Roi Cooper Megrue, produced at the Queen’s Theatre, London, on 12 September 1916.

Madge Melbourne was an American, born about 1885. She appeared on Broadway and on tour in the United States between about 1903 and 1906. She arrived in England in December 1908 and lived in London until about 1918. Apart from her appearances in Our Miss Gibbs, during which she made A Gaiety Dueta short film with George Grossmith junior and Edmund Payne, Miss Melbourne was also in the cast of Hullo Ragtime!, London Hippodrome, 23 December 1912, with Ethel Levey, Lew Hearn, Willie Solar, Dorothy Minto and Shirley Kellogg. She was also in Are You There?, a new musical piece by Ruggiero Leoncavallo, produced at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, 28 October 1913, with Lawrence Grossmith, Alec Fraser, Shirley Kellogg and others. Her last appearance seems to have been in the one act comedy, Squibbs by Clifford Seyler, at the London Coliseum, in June 1915, with Mabel Russell and Charles Quartermaine.

Ruby Kennedy, whose real name was Ruby Trelawny, was born in 1889. She first appeared with Seymour Hicks and Ellaline Terriss as one of the ‘Guests’ in The Gay Gordons, a musical play which ran at the Aldwych Theatre, London, from 11 September 1907 for a run of 229 performances. She was last seen in another musical play, The Dancing Mistress, produced at the Adelphi Theatre, London, on 19 October 1912, with Joseph Coyne and Gertie Millar heading the cast. She was married to Group Captain (later Brigadier-General) Henry Brewster Percy Lion Kennedy (1878-1953) at St Luke, Chelsea, London, on 26 November 1913. She died in 1972.

One of Ruby Kennedy’s sisters was May Kennedy (née May Trelawny, 1885-1978) who also appeared in various musical productions, including The Gay Gordons and the revue, Everybody’s Doing It (Apollo Theatre, London, 9 December 1912), with J. Farren Soutar, Robert Hale, Ida Crispi and Unity More.


Gladys Cooper in Havana, 1908

July 13, 2013

Gladys Cooper (1888-1971), English actress, as she appeared in Havana, the musical comedy which opened at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 25 April 1908.
(photo: Bassano, London, 1908)


Sylvia Storey

June 12, 2013

Sylvia Storey (1889-1947), English actress, as she appeared in the chorus accompanying Bert Sinden for the song and dance, ‘The Frolic of the Breeze,’ in The Beauty of Bath, Aldwych Theatre, London, 19 March 1906

Sylvia Lillian Storey, a member of the London Gaiety Theatre company [in Havana], was married in London on Sept. 2, to William John Lydson, Earl Poulett. Lady Poulett is a daughter of Fred Storey, an English comedian.’
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 12 September 1908, p.2b)

‘The question is often raised as to who is the most beautiful English peeress.
‘Viscountess Curzon, who was chosen as queen of beauty at the famous tournament at Earl’s Court, is commonly yielded the palm, but Countess Poulett has her champions.
‘Lady Poulett, formerly Sylvia Storey, a Gaiety girl, is the daughter of Fred Storey, a star member of the famous company organized by Gilbert and Sullivan for the original production of their operas. She has not the advantage of being in the smart set like Lady Curzon and so is not so much advertised in the newspapers, but she has won a position for herself and, incidentally, for the Poulett family, which was rather under a cloud, in Shropshire.
‘Her husband’s claim to the Poulett peerage was contested in a sensational suit by an organ grinder, who for many years called himself Viscount Hinton. It was proved that although the late Earl Poulett married the organ grinder’s mother, at the time the organ grinder was born he was not the organ grinder’s father. The Pouletts have taken up country life and Lady Poulett is one of the most fearless riders to hounds in the district.
‘She and her husband afford another proof of the possibility of a happy marriage between peerage and stage.
‘Both Earl and Countess Poulett attended the Goodwood races this week and were invited to meet King George and Queen Mary at Goodwood House privately for the first time but European affairs kept their majesties away.’
(The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Friday, 7 August 1914, p.7f)


December 30, 2012

Dennis Creedon (1878-1953), English violinist and tenor, and Jessie Broughton (Mrs Dennis Creedon, 1885-1938), English actress and contralto; together they toured as entertainers between about 1910 and the mid 1930s (photo: unknown, probably UK, circa 1913)

This real photograph postcard of Dennis Creedon and Jessie Broughton, which dates from about 1913 and is without photographer’s or publisher’s credit, was produced in the UK.

Jessie Broughton, daughter of Broughton Black, studied singing under Madame Oudin before launching her career at the Apollo Theatre, London, in The Girl from Kay’s in 1903. Between then and 1910 she appeared in various other musical productions, notably in Havana at the Gaiety in 1908. Afterwards she toured variety theatres and concert halls in the UK and abroad with her husband Dennis Creedon until the early 1930s. They both made a number of recordings.