Posts Tagged ‘Herbert Beerbohm Tree’

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Mab Paul, English actress

February 8, 2014

Mab Paul (1873/83?-?; active 1900-1916), English actress
(photo: Albert Sachs, Bradford, circa 1905)

Mab Paul appears to have begun her career as a dancer in musical comedy and pantomime, appearing during 1900 in a tour of My Girl headed by John Le Hay, and at the Opera House, Crouch End, north London, during the Christmas season of 1900 in the pantomime Babes in the Wood. She subsequently played the part of Melantho in Stephen Phillips’s poetic drama, Ulysses, with Herbert Beerbohm Tree in the title role, at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London, produced on 1 February 1902. In April 1903 Miss Paul appeared in the small part of Marozia in Sir Henry Irving’s English production at Drury Lane of Dante after Sardou and Moreau’s original play. She accompanied Irving’s company in the same piece, opening for a three week season at the Broadway Theatre, New York City, on 26 October that year. Following a short tour the company returned to England in March 1904. After that Miss Paul spend some years on to tour the United Kingdom and then, at the beginning of 1910, she went to Australia where she continued her career until about 1916.

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Mab Paul in Sydney, Australia, October 1910, during a tour of Australia with George Willoughby’s English Farcical Comedy Company
‘ASSAULT ON AN ACTRESS.
‘Miss Mab Paul Attacked.
‘Her Assailant Worsted.
‘An attack upon Miss Mab Paul, leading lady of the George Willoughby Night of the Party Company, was made by an unknown man at the North Shore on Thursday night. Fortunately she was able to defend herself, and her assailant was the chief sufferer.
‘Miss Paul travelled by the 11.30 p.m. boat from town, and on arrival at the northern shore decided to walk to her quarters at Beulah flats. Within a few hundred yards of her destination she was set upon by a footpad, who caught her by both arms and endeavoured to snatch her handbag. Miss Paul, who is just over six feet, and something of an athlete, finding herself in the grip of the man, made a determined effort and kicked him hard upon the shin. He let go his hold, whereupon the actress hit him across the face with her handbag. Her assailant staggered back. Miss Paul then dropped the gag, and, clenching her fists, struck the man twice. The first blow glanced off, and her left hand grazed along a wall, causing a painful wound. The second blow was more effective, catching the footpad full upon the point of the jaw, and causing his downfall. As he fell Miss Paul recovered her bag and hurried home.
‘A sympathetic public gave her a rousing reception in The Night of the Party last night, when she appeared [at the Criterion Theatre, Sydney] with her hand in bandages.’
(The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Saturday, 22 October 1910, p. 14b)

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February 8, 2014

Mab Paul (1873/83?-?; active 1900-1916), English actress
(photo: Albert Sachs, Bradford, circa 1905)

Mab Paul appears to have begun her career as a dancer in musical comedy and pantomime, appearing during 1900 in a tour of My Girl headed by John Le Hay, and at the Opera House, Crouch End, north London, during the Christmas season of 1900 in the pantomime Babes in the Wood. She subsequently played the part of Melantho in Stephen Phillips’s poetic drama, Ulysses, with Herbert Beerbohm Tree in the title role, at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London, produced on 1 February 1902. In April 1903 Miss Paul appeared in the small part of Marozia in Sir Henry Irving’s English production at Drury Lane of Dante after Sardou and Moreau’s original play. She accompanied Irving’s company in the same piece, opening for a three week season at the Broadway Theatre, New York City, on 26 October that year. Following a short tour the company returned to England in March 1904. After that Miss Paul spend some years on to tour the United Kingdom and then, at the beginning of 1910, she went to Australia where she continued her career until about 1916.

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Mab Paul in Sydney, Australia, October 1910, during a tour of Australia with George Willoughby’s English Farcical Comedy Company
‘ASSAULT ON AN ACTRESS.
‘Miss Mab Paul Attacked.
‘Her Assailant Worsted.
‘An attack upon Miss Mab Paul, leading lady of the George Willoughby Night of the Party Company, was made by an unknown man at the North Shore on Thursday night. Fortunately she was able to defend herself, and her assailant was the chief sufferer.
‘Miss Paul travelled by the 11.30 p.m. boat from town, and on arrival at the northern shore decided to walk to her quarters at Beulah flats. Within a few hundred yards of her destination she was set upon by a footpad, who caught her by both arms and endeavoured to snatch her handbag. Miss Paul, who is just over six feet, and something of an athlete, finding herself in the grip of the man, made a determined effort and kicked him hard upon the shin. He let go his hold, whereupon the actress hit him across the face with her handbag. Her assailant staggered back. Miss Paul then dropped the gag, and, clenching her fists, struck the man twice. The first blow glanced off, and her left hand grazed along a wall, causing a painful wound. The second blow was more effective, catching the footpad full upon the point of the jaw, and causing his downfall. As he fell Miss Paul recovered her bag and hurried home.
‘A sympathetic public gave her a rousing reception in The Night of the Party last night, when she appeared [at the Criterion Theatre, Sydney] with her hand in bandages.’
(The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Saturday, 22 October 1910, p. 14b)

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Constance Collier and Herbert Beerbohm Tree in Oliver Twist, His Majesty’s Theatre, London, 1905

October 1, 2013

Constance Collier (1878-1955), English actress, and Herbert Beerbohm Tree (1852-1917), English actor manager, as they appeared as Nancy and Fagin in Tree’s production of Oliver Twist, adapted from Charles Dickens’s novel by Comyns Carr and first presented at His Majesty’s Theatre, London, on 10 July 1905.
(photo: F.W. Burford, London, 1905; postcard no. 354.G published by J. Beagles & Co, London, 1905)

‘HIS MAJESTY’S : OLIVER TWIST
‘Mr. Tree has been as good as his word. Saying good-bye for the summer on July 10 [1905], he expressed his satisfaction with the launch of Oliver Twist, and promised a prolonged revival for September 4. On that evening the favourable verdict of the former first-night tribunal was not only confirmed, but it is said that the reception beats all records of His Majesty’s Theatre. In our issue of July 16 the artistic merits of the case have been fully discussed, and while due praise was given to the adapter for his skill, a note of protest was sounded against the very painful and over-emphasised scene of Nancy’s murder and the prominence given to the character of Fagin. I see that in other papers some critics and some voices from the public have joined chorus in the objection to the murder episode, and it is to be hoped that something will be done to tone down the gruesome effect. Whether Oliver Twist be a good play or not, it is bound to attract all who have read and still love their Dickens, and for this reason in particular it would be desirable not to dwell upon the gruesome side of the story. Under all circumstances there is enough of the sensational in the play, and some consideration should be shown to the nerves of the weaker sex. With Mr. Tree in his versatile performance of Fagin, and the remarkable impersonations of Miss Constance Collier as Nancy and Mr. Lyn Harding as Bill Sykes, the acting alone is well worth a visit to the theatre… .
(J.T. Grein, Sunday Times, London, Sunday, 10 September 1905, p. 2c)

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Phyllis Neilson-Terry as Queen Elizabeth, 1912

August 15, 2013

Phyllis Neilson-Terry as Queen Elizabeth in Louis N. Parker’s Drake, His Majesty’s Theatre, London, 3 September 1912
(photo: Daily Mirror Studios, London, 1912)

Louis N. Parker’s pageant play, Drake, produced by the author and Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, opened at His Majesty’s Theatre, London, on 3 September 1912. The cast was headed by Lyn Harding in the title role, Amy Brandon-Thomas as Elizabeth Sydenham and Phyllis Neilson-Terry as Queen Elizabeth, Herbert Waring as John Doughty and Philip Merivale as Thomas Doughty. During the play’s 221 performance run the part of Drake was also played by Frederick Ross, Harding’s understudy. The costumes, designed by Seymour Lucas, were supplied by B.J. Simmons and L. & H. Nathan.

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Kate Cutler in A Model Trilby, 1895

July 28, 2013

Kate Cutler (1864-1955), English actress, as she appeared in the title role of the burlesque, A Model Trilby; or, A Day or Two After Du Maurier, which opened at the Opera Comique, London, 16 November 1895. Trilby, the play, with Dorothea Baird in the title role, had opened at the Haymarket Theatre, London, on 30 October 1895.
(photo: unknown, probably London, 1895; Ogden’s Guinea Gold cigarette card issued about 1900)

‘Miss Nellie Farren has fixed the date of the reopening of the Opera Comique with A Model Trilby; or, A Day or Two After Du Maurier, for the 16th [November 1895]. The burlesqued Trilby will be represented by clever Miss Kate Cutler, and Mr Tree’s Svengali will be travestied by Mr Robb Harwood… . The interior [of the Opera Comique] has been greatly altered; new stalls, dress circle, and upper boxes have been added, and a new and spacious pit has been provided; so that Miss Farren’s enterprise will have a fair start, so far as the house in which it is made is concerned.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 2 November 1895, p. 10a)

‘Messrs Yardley and Brookfield’s burlesque The Model Trilby had a trial trip on Monday afternoon at the Kilburn Theatre. Miss Kate Cutler was demurely droll as Trilby, and Mr Robb Harwood imitated cleverly the appearance, voice, and manner of Mr Beerbohm Tree as Svengali. Miss Cutler’s song ”The Altogether” seems decidedly smart; and we await with agreeable anticipation the production of the ”skit” at the Opera Comique on Saturday next.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 9 November 1895, p. 12b)

A MODEL TRILBY, AT THE OPERA COMIQUE.
‘The trilby jokes date back to the fifties, Taffy in the burlesque says in apology. It may be out of regard to the unities that Miss Farren has gone to the same period for the ”new and original comedy” which precedes A Model Trilby at the Opera Comique. Nannie is a good half-century belated. With its naïve sentiment, its old-fashioned seducer, its painstaking dialect, it might perhaps have brought tears to the eyes of the Amelias of a more susceptible generation. But the early Victorian revival could not make this sort of primitive pathos and humour again the fashion, and in the face of it a modern audience yawns politely from the stalls, laughs uproariously from the gallery. Or, it may be that there is wisdom in the choice. After so tame a performance, the weakest attempt at burlesque could not by seen gay.
‘The Model Trilby of Mr. C.H. Brookfield and Mr. W. Yardly, is, however, something more than an attempt, and would, in parts, amuse under any circumstances. Trilby, the book, it must be confessed, adapts itself to parody with unusual facilities. Indeed, with us it is a question whether the play at the Haymarket belongs, strictly speaking, to burlesque or to melodrama. The Haymarket Taffy, with his pepper-pot and dumb-bells, the Haymarket Mrs. Bagot with her unreserved confidences to a chance concierge, the Haymarket Mr. Bagot, modelled upon Mr. Blakeley in his familiar rôles, are really conceived in as farcical spirit as the same characters at the Opera Comique, and are, if anything, the funnier because of the seriousness with which they are played. And if the magnificent proportions of Trilby herself have grown less at the Opera Comique – because the part has been so much cut down, Durien, the artist-author explains – at least the lady has an ankle to account for her speciality as a model. In the Haymarket, too, the success, in large measure, depends upon make-up; the characters are received with applause in proportion as they look like Mr. Du Maurier’s drawings. But the trick is an easy one, and on the stage of the Opera Comique, Svengali and Taffy and the Laird and Trilby all reappear with a genuinely comic excellence of imitation. In the case of Svengali, Mr. Robb Harwood and Mr. Tree might change places, and the two audiences be none the wiser. The burlesque takes all the usual indispensable liberties with the play and the novel. The whole story is turned topsy-turvy. Little Billie weeps unrestrainedly because he is counted too young to see Trilby pose in the ”altogether”; Trilby’s voice is ruined by Svengali in the training, and so on. But, after all, plot in burlesque matters little. The great thing is the way it is written and played. Mr. Brookfield and Mr. Yardley, in the beginning at least, are not wanting in wit and gaiety. They have seized upon the real weakness of Trilby, and got all the fun out of it they can; to provide harmless, Bowdlerized indecency for the middle classes; that is the little game of Durien, their artist-author, ”the present scribe,” who is perpetually appealed to by his puppets to set them straight. But. Apparently, the material, made to their hand as it might be, could not hold out for an hour or more. The second half of the performance, ending in an indifferent variety entertainment, drags and is as dull as the first half is light and gay and spontaneous. And here the trouble must rest with the authors; for, to the end, the actors do their very best. The whole thing is carried through with plenty of ”go” and life and vivacity. Mr. Eric Lewis, as Durien, may show unexpected restraint in his get up, but he plays with spirit, and his song and dance with Mdme. Vinard is one of the best things in the whole burlesque. Miss Kate Cutler does not bother to study the Haymarket Trilby, except to borrow a hint for her first costume, and, perhaps, this is just as well. Mr. Farren Soutar and Mr [C.P.] Little and Mr. [George] Antley make the Taffy and Laird and Little Billie of the play seem by comparison more tedious than ever, and before dullness sets in on their own stage they have one very jolly dance. We have already said that Mr. Harwood’s Svengali is a capital piece of mimicry. The music has the appropriate gaiety, and there is a Trilby dance, which means, of course, bare, or rather stockinged, feet. And the chances are that in the course of time the last part will go at a more lively rate, and A Model Trilby will be as amusing a little skit, which is all it pretends to be, as you could have.
‘But on Saturday, perhaps, the prettiest bit of comedy of the evening was given by Miss Nellie Farren in the little speech to her ”boys and girls,” a lump in her ”froat,” ready for the good cry all ”females” must have at such a critical moment. Miss Farren the manager has not forgotten Miss Farren the actress.’
(The Pall Mall Gazette, London, Monday, 18 November 1895, p. 3b)

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Phyllis Embury

May 24, 2013

Phyllis Embury (1889?-1948), English actress
(photo: Alfred Ellis & Walery, London, circa 1906)

Phyllis Embury, who is said to have been born in Leeds, Yorkshire, is first mentioned in connection with Herbert Beerbohm Tree, playing the small part of Octavia in his production of Stephen Phillips’s Nero, which was first performed at His Majesty’s Theatre, London, on 25 January 1906. She then appeared as the 2nd twin in a revival of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London, 22 December 1906. She played the same character the following year (Duke of York’s, 16 December 1907) and other small parts followed, the last being in Vice-Versa, a farcical fantasy, at the Comedy Theatre, London, which opened for a run of 40 performances on 18 December 1911.

Miss Embury’s career came to an end upon her married in 1912 to Stanley Dodd (1876-1946), a successful obstetric physician, the son of Arthur Dodd (1838-1924), a diamond merchant trading as P.G. Dodd & Son, and grandson of Philip George Dodd (1801-1865), a well-known retail jeweller and silversmith of Leadenhall Street and Cornhill, City of London.

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April 19, 2013

Esmé Percy (1887-1957), English actor and theatrical producer, as Britannicus, with Phyllis Embury as Octavia, in H. Beerbohm Tree’s spectacular production of Stephen Phillips’s poetical play, Nero, His Majesty’s Theatre, London, 25 January 1906
(photo: unknown, london, 1906)