Posts Tagged ‘J.M. Barrie’

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Hilda Trevelyan and Pauline Chase in a revival of J.M. Barrie’s fairy play, Peter Pan; or, The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, Duke of York’s Theatre, London, 16 December 1907

August 14, 2013

Hilda Trevelyan as Wendy and Pauline Chase as Peter in J.M. Barrie’s fairy play, Peter Pan; or, The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, revived at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London, 16 December 1907
(photo: Bassano, London, 1907)

‘The Christmas season in the playhouse has begun thus early, for the Duke of York’s has reopened for the fourth year in succession with Peter Pan, Miss Pauline Chase reappearing as Peter and Miss [Hilda] Trevelyan as Wendy. I know of no type of entertainment with the exception of the Savoy operas that has created such a cult as Peter Pan, and like those delightful entertainments it has introduced the playhouse in quarters where it was never heard of before. Peter Pan parties are likely to be the vogue of the day as they were last season, and there will probably be a new outburst of Peter Pan literature of various kinds.’
(J.M. Bulloch, The Sphere, London, Saturday, 21 December 1907, p.238a)

‘The vogue of Peter Pan is really extraordinary. The first night it was produced on this its fourth-year season it was received with almost hysterical enthusiasm by a house which knew every line of the script and every turn of stage management. Every new “line,” every new bit of business, came as a delightful surprise, and the entertainment was sent off with a welcome as hearty as the cheers which have just made Tetrazzini a lion elsewhere.
‘The other theatre entertainments for children – Alice in Wonderland not excepted – have never attracted such a huge audience as Peter Pan. This is rather astonishing, for unlike Alice it has curiously grown-up elements in it which deserve the attention of some serious student of psychology although nobody has treated it in that light. Yet I believe it is just those elements – some of them like a sad, far-off voice – that attract grown-ups, and it is just these moments which Miss Pauline Chase with all her charm does not capture. Thus, for example, when standing on the rock amid the rising seas, she exclaims “To die would be a great adventure,” she says it as a child from a copybook not as one who feels it – as Melisande would have felt it.
‘Miss [Nina] Boucicault [in the first production of Peter Pan, Duke of York’s, London, 27 December 1904] with her fine wistfulness is the true Peter, but on the first night her place was the stalls and not the stage. In all the lighter moments Miss Chase is very bright and pretty, leaving the pathos to Miss Trevelyan, a far more experienced actress, whose Wendy has lost none of its delicacy. Mr. Robb Harwood, replacing Mr. [Gerald] Du Maurier, is excellent as the Pirate Hook, and Miss [Sybil] Carlisle resumes her part of Mrs. Darling to the excellent inconsequence of Mr. A.E. Matthews as the father of the children. The mounting is just as ingenious as ever, showing an extraordinary appreciation of the child’s desire to see the inside of things.
‘The entertainment has, as I suggested last week, duly produced its own literature, for Mr. John Hassall has issued a series of six long panels illustrating Mr. Barrie’s charming story. The pictures, which are issued by Lawrence and Jellicoe at 2s. each (unframed), are beautifully reproduced in colour and form ideal decorations for a nursery.’
(J.M. Bulloch, The Sphere, London, Saturday, 28 December 1907, p.264a)

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Sybil Hook

June 6, 2013

Sybil Hook (fl. 1912-1922), English actress and dancer, as the Second Twin in a United Kingdom touring production of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, about 1913
(photo: Corn, Cardiff, circa 1913)

Sybil Hook appeared as the Second Twin in Peter Pan at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London, for the Christmas season of 1912/13, with Pauline Chase in the title role. She is next recorded as an extra in Seymour Hicks’s production of George Egerton’s comedy, Wild Thyme at the Comedy, London (19 April 1915), which subsequently toured England and Scotland. She reappeared in Peter Pan at the New Theatre, London (23 December 1916), when she played Tootles, with Unity More in the title role. Miss Hook played Tootles again in Peter Pan at the New at Christmas 1918/19, with Faith Celli in the title role, and again at the New at Christmas 1919/20, with Georgette Cohan as Peter. Sybil Hook’s next London engagement was as Ivy Routledge in the topical farce, Her Dancing Man (Garrick, 3 September 1920), with Jack Buchanan, Ronald Squire, Viola Tree, Auriol Lee and Empsie Bowman. Miss Hook is last mentioned as Fair Lady, Manon of Venice in Arlequin, a comedy fantasy by Maurice Magre (translated by Louis N. Parker), with music by Andre Gailhard, produced at the Empire, Leicester Square on 21 December 1922; other members of the cast included Dennis Neilson-Terry, Godfrey Tearle, Dorothy Green, Netta Westcott, Edith Kelly Gould, Rosina Philippi and Viola Tree. The piece was choreographed by Leonide Massine.

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‘MAKING A HIT
‘LONDON, Eng., Mar. 27 [1920]. – London has taken to its heart a new favorite in the person of Sybil Hook, who up to a month ago, was playing small parts in road shows. When Georgette Cohan, daughter of George M. Cohan, and Ethel Levey, now residing here, sailed for America to join her father, she [Sybil Hook] stepped into her part at the Garrick, where ”Mr. Pim Passes By” is playing and has been the pet of London ever since.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, Wednesday, 31 March 1920, p. 12c)

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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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Pauline Chase

May 4, 2013

Pauline Chase (1885-1962), American actress
(photo: Bassano, London, circa 1909)

‘Pauline Chase, once known as ”the pink pajama [sic] girl,” because of the sex of the nightie worn by her in The Liberty Belles, still regards the title role of ‘Peter Pan as her greatest achievement. She has played this part a great many times in London. Miss Chase has just published a selection from innumerable letters she has received from children about the Barrie play. In one part of the book she tells how she sometimes has to receive the children in her dressing room, and how awkward it is when they ask questions about whether Peter Pan is really a boy. ”A young gentleman of about six,” she says, ”was brought to see me, and I gathered from his introductory remarks that his big brother had made him uneasy about my sex. He put two cunning test questions to me, probably suggested by the brother. The first was, ‘Can you whistle?’ By great good luck I could whistle that day. Then, ‘What do you think of kissing?’ he asked, anxiously. ‘Rotten,’ I said. He was immensely relieved. Then I knew I was all right.”’
(Los Angeles Herald Sunday Magazine, Los Angeles, Sunday, 7 February 1909, p. 7)

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Marilyn Miller – ‘Peter Pan (I Love You)’

April 9, 2013

Song sheet cover for ‘Peter Pan (I Love You)’ by Robert King and Ray Henderson. Marilyn Miller (1898-1936), American actress and dancer, as she appeared in the title role of Charles Dillingham’s revival of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, which was produced at the Knickerbocker Theatre, New York, on 6 November 1924.
(photo: unknown, USA, 1924; published by Shapiro, Bernstein & Co Inc, New York, 1924)

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Zena Dare as Peter Pan, her favourite role, Manchester, 1906

December 26, 2012

Zena Dare (1887-1975), English actress, in the title role of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, Prince’s Theatre, Manchester, Christmas, 1906

(photo: Bassano, London, 1906)

This real photograph postcard, no.2323 in Davidson Brothers’ Real Photographic Series, was published in London in late 1906. It shows Zena Dare in her favourite part, the title role of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan as produced by Charles Frohman at the Prince’s Theatre, Manchester, at Christmas 1906. At the end of the run the piece went on a tour of the United Kingdom until May 1907. Running concurrently at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London, during the Christmas season of 1906 was another Frohman production of Peter Pan, with Pauline Chase heading the cast. Immediately afterwards Miss Dare toured in The Catch of the Season before returning to London to appear in The Gay Gordons (Aldwych, 12 September 1907). Miss Chase’s next engagement was in the title role of Loie Fuller’s The Little Japanese Girl (Duke of York’s, London, 26 August 1907).

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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)