Posts Tagged ‘Irene Vanbrugh’

h1

An incident in the original production of H.A. Jone’s play, The Masqueraders, London, 1894

November 30, 2014

an incident from the original production of Henry Arthur Jones‘s play, The Masqueraders with, left to right, Mrs Edward Saker as Lady Crandover, Beryl Faber as Lady Charles Reindean, W.G. Elliott as Montagu Lushington and Irene Vanbrugh as Charley Wisranger. The play opened at the St. James’s Theatre, London, on 28 April 1894.
(cabinet photo: Alfred Ellis, 20 Upper Baker Street, London, NW, negative no. 16228-2)

Emily Mary Kate Saker (1847-1912) was the widow of the actor manager, Edward Sloman Saker (1838-1883); before her marriage she was known on the stage as Marie O’Berne (or O’Beirne).

Beryl Crossley Faber (1872-1912) was the first wife of the playwright and novelist, Cosmo Hamilton (1870-1942). She was also the sister of the stage and film actor, C. Aubrey Smith.

Irene Vanbrugh (née Irene Barnes) (1872-1949) was married in 1901 to the actor and director, Dion Boucicault junior.

h1

Henry Ainley in The Great Conspiracy, Duke of York’s Theatre, London, 1907

August 15, 2014

Henry Ainley as he appeared as Captain Roger Crisenoy opposite Irene Vanbrugh‘s Jeanne de Briantes in Madeleine Lucette Ryley‘s drama, The Great Conspiracy, which was produced at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London, on 4 March 1907. The piece ran for 60 performances.
(photo: Alfred Ellis & Walery, London, 1907)

‘A play with an idea no fresher than that of a young girl’s outwitting of Napoleon – a play, in fact, with the plot and the sort of Bonaparte that have already served in musical comedy, yet a neat, well-planned if artificial piece that is as full of excitement as it is of improbabilities, and, for all its lack of true emotion, gives its three principal interpreters at the Duke of York’s fine opportunities for acting – as is The Great Conspiracy. Mrs. Ryley’s adaptation of M. Pierre Berton‘s Belle Marseillaise. The conspiracy in question, planned by the young heroine’s elderly husband, is one that fails, but the chief conspirator escapes, and Napoleon tries vainly to wrest from the wife the secret of her husband’s safety. Finally he hits on the device of marrying her afresh to a favourite young Captain of his who is infatuated with her, and with whom she, in turn, is in love. Her long colloquy with Napoleon, and the bridal scene, in which she explains to her lover the obstacle that stands in the way of their felicity, make the play. Yet it is the three chief players that make the success of the piece – Miss Irene Vanbrugh, who is alternately arch and tender, and has, in the bridal scene already mention, a moment of exquisite pathos; Mr. John Hare, a very slim and frigid Napoleon, yet authoritative, masterful, and grim; and Mr. Henry Ainley, surely the most attractive stage-lover we have on the London boards, because he is not afraid of emotion, and because to charming intonations of voice he adds perfect tact. With its thrilling story and its splendid representation, there should be a long run in store for The Great Conspiracy.’
(The Illustrated London News, London, Saturday, 9 March 1907, p. 362c)

h1

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)

h1

January 28, 2013

a scene from A.W. Pinero’s comedy, His House in Order,
produced at the St. James’s Theatre, London, on 1 February 1906,
with George Alexander and Irene Vanbrugh
(photo: unknown; printed by J. Miles & Co Ltd,
68 & 70 Wardour Street, London, W, 1906)

This halftone postcard flyer advertises A.W. Pinero’s comedy, His House in Order, produced by George Alexander at the St. James’s Theatre, London, on 1 February 1906. The reverse has printed details including prices of admission and directions to the theatre: ‘The St. James’s Theatre is situated in King Street, St. James’s, a few yard from St. James’s Street and Pall Mall. Piccadilly omnibuses pass within 150 yards of the theatre (alight at the top of St. James’s Street); Regent Street omnibuses proceeding South (alight Piccadilly Circus); those going North (alight at Waterloo Place).’ The production included George Alexander and Irene Vanbrugh in the leading roles, supported by Nigel Playfair, Herbert Waring, E. Lyall Swete, Bella Pateman, Beryl Faber, Marcelle Chevalier, Iris Hawkins and others.

h1

January 28, 2013

a scene from A.W. Pinero’s comedy, His House in Order,
produced at the St. James’s Theatre, London, on 1 February 1906,
with George Alexander and Irene Vanbrugh
(photo: unknown; printed by J. Miles & Co Ltd,
68 & 70 Wardour Street, London, W, 1906)

This halftone postcard flyer advertises A.W. Pinero’s comedy, His House in Order, produced by George Alexander at the St. James’s Theatre, London, on 1 February 1906. The reverse has printed details including prices of admission and directions to the theatre: ‘The St. James’s Theatre is situated in King Street, St. James’s, a few yard from St. James’s Street and Pall Mall. Piccadilly omnibuses pass within 150 yards of the theatre (alight at the top of St. James’s Street); Regent Street omnibuses proceeding South (alight Piccadilly Circus); those going North (alight at Waterloo Place).’ The production included George Alexander and Irene Vanbrugh in the leading roles, supported by Nigel Playfair, Herbert Waring, E. Lyall Swete, Bella Pateman, Beryl Faber, Marcelle Chevalier, Iris Hawkins and others.

h1

A.E. Matthews and Irene Vanburgh in Alice Sit-by-the-Fire

December 26, 2012

This real photograph postcard, no. 588 H, published in 1905 in London by J. Beagles & Co, features a scene from J.M. Barrie’s play, Alice Sit-by-the-Fire: A Page from a Daughter’s Diary, with A.E. Matthews as Cosmo Grey and Irene Vanbrugh as Amy Grey, which was produced at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London, on 5 April 1905. (photo: Alfred Ellis & Walery, London, 1905)

‘London, April 8 [1905]. ‘Barrie’s new play, produced at the Duke of York’s last Wednesday, drew a most distinguished audience, which included many prominent and respected American citizens. The play was called by another of Barrie’s peculiar titles – namely, Alice, Sit by the Fire. This time the title was the least inappropriate that the brilliant little native of Thrums has yet vouchsafed. Alice is a middle-aged, but still merry and charming mother, who until the play opens has had to live in India with her colonel-husband, and to send all her babies, one by one, home to England to be reared. The family thus brought up thousands of miles away from her includes a daughter just on the verge of young womanhood; a son, some years younger, but fancying himself too much a man to suffer any kind of parental care, and a baby who is only old enough, when seeing a friendly hand, to “wrestle with it,” as the Luck of Roaring Camp did in dear old Bret Harte’s memorable and lovable story.

‘When Momma Alice arrives in England with her martial but sympathetic husband, she is staggered to find that her gown-up “chicks” regard her with mixed feelings. They have never seen her since they could “take notice,” as fond mammas say. The son shuns her, because of her demonstrative affection to him “before people.” The growing daughter, with her silly head full of five consecutive nights play going, and seeing her mother display some feeling and affection to a young Anglo-Indian male friend of her husband, jumps to the conclusion that the said mother is “in the power” of this young man, as wives so often are in modern plays.

‘The girl, therefore, egged on by a girl friend, who is even more sentimentally silly, goes alone to the young man’s rooms in order to demand the return of the “incriminating letters” which she feels sure her mother must have written “as they always do in plays.” The daughter’s secret visit, of course, involves herself in the supposed mystery. The mother arriving at the “man’s rooms,” presently with her husband detects that her daughter is hiding in a cupboard, and adopts all sort of subterfuges in order to smuggle the girl away before her father is driven to the supposition that his daughter is keeping an “assignation” with the male friend.

‘Confusion becomes still worse confounded before the quaint mystery is cleared up and the curtain finally falls on Mommer Alice resolving to give up all globe-trotting and giddiness and to sit by the fire at home for evermore.

‘The one fault in this otherwise charming and delightful play – at least on the first night – was that Barrie has put in too much dialogue, bright and crisp as that dialogue was. Ellen Terry, whose performance of the perplexed mother was too perfect for words, had such a lot to say after the play had virtually finished that an anticlimax set in. But the piece is (as it deserves to be) a great success. In addition to Ellen Terry’s glorious performance, splendid acting was put in by Irene Vanbrugh as the foolish daughter and Aubrey Smith as the common sense husband.’ (Gawain, The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 22 April 1905, p.7a/b)