Posts Tagged ‘Joan of Arc (burlesque)’

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programme cover for the burlesque, Joan of Arc, Opera Comique, London, 1891

May 8, 2014

cover of one of the programmes printed for the burlesque, Joan of Arc, which ran at the Opera Comique, London, from 17 January until 17 July 1891, after which it was toured in the United Kingdom. A second edition of the piece then opened at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 30 September 1891 before being transferred to the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, on 22 December 1891, where it finally closed on 15 January 1892.
(lithograph by Holdsworths for The Edwardes Menu Co Ltd; printed for the Edwardes Menu Co Ltd, 6 Adam Street, Adelphi, London, by G. Harmsworth & Co, Hart Street, Covent Garden, London, WC, 1891)

‘Redecorated in a warm and rich style, and much improved from the point of view of the comfort, convenience, and safety of visitors, the Opera Comique reopened its doors on Saturday evening to receive a crowded audience, manifestly rejoicing in the addition of a second burlesque house to the list of London theatres. The Opera Comique, however, is now something more than this; it is a burlesque house under the direction of a manager who comes with the prestige of the immense popularity of the Gaiety. That Mr. George Edwardes was attending to his new charge in his own person was shown by the promptitude with which he appeared before the curtain to repress a rather noisy demonstration in the gallery just before the commencement of Messrs. [J.L.] Shine, [Adrian] Ross, and Osmond Carr’s new operatic burlesque of Joan of Arc. ”Is there anything you want?” inquired Mr. Edwardes, and the same question had been puzzling the quieter portion of the audience unable to distinguish words amidst the confused babel of sounds. Could it be that there were purists in the gallery who objected to the perversion of a noble historical episode? The management appeared to have had some misgivings on that score; for by way of preface to the book some one had contributed an apology in the form of a very gracefully-turned and really poetical sonnet, which out to have appeased the ire of any Frenchmen present. As it was rumoured, however, the trouble was nothing but a rather scant supply of programmes. It would have been well if the louder demonstration towards the close of the performance had been on no more substantial ground; but the truth is that, in spite of public explanations and anticipatory disclaimers, there was a considerable part of the audience who took offence at Mr. Arthur Roberts’s strike solo and still more at the alternate choruses of railway guards, policemen, postmen, messengers, dockers, and colliers. On the whole, however, Joan of Arc was indulgently received in spite of the fact that the humours of the first act were rather forced and the whole piece something wanting in the prettiness and quaint drollery to which the frequenters of the Gaiety have been accustomed. The most amusing thing was the duet ”Round the Town” between Mr. Roberts and Mr. Charles Danby, attired as two costermongers who are supposed to have arrived with a huge barrow of provisions for the relief of the besieged city of Orleans. Miss Emma Chambers, who has returned to our stage after a long absence, sings, dances, and utters her lines with unabated sprightliness, but does not do much to identify herself with the Maid of Orleans beyond donning brilliant armour, waving the Royal Standard of France, and finally turning up in the market place at Rouen, there to be unhistorically rescued from the stake. Mr. [J.L.] Shine, as King Charles VII., laboured under the disadvantage of a hoarseness which finally rendered him almost inaudible. The humour of Miss Alma Stanley’s Talbot Earl of Shrewsbury appeared to be chiefly in embroidering her costumes with the initials with which certain cabs have rendered the eyes of Londoners familiar. Miss Phyllis Broughton brought to the performance her graceful talents as a dancer; as did a new and valuable recruit to the burlesque stage in the person of Miss Katie Seymour, while Miss Grace Pedley’s agreeable presence and well-trained voice served her well in the part of the Queen of France. Provided with brilliant costumes, picturesque scenery, and very tuneful music, Joan of Arc is probably destined to enjoy some measure of success.’
(The Daily News, London, Monday, 19 January 1891, p. 3c)

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Mons. Marius as he appeared in H.B. Farnie’s English version of Offenbach’s Madame Favart, Strand Theatre, London, 12 April 1879

January 9, 2013

Claude Marius (1850-1896),
French actor, singer and stage manager,
affectionately known by English audiences as Mons. Marius as he appeared in H.B. Farnie’s English version of
Offenbach’s Madame Favart, Strand Theatre, London, 12 April 1879
(photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1879)

MARIUS, CLAUDE (a nom de théâtre; CLAUDE MARIUS DUPLANY), born February 18, 1850, Paris. He entered the dramatic profession in 1865 as an auxiliary at the Folies Dramatiques, playing parts in most of the popular pieces presented there for a brief period. In 1869 he came to London, and appeared at the Lyceum Theatre in the characters of Landry in Chilperic, and of Siebel in Little Faust. M. Duplany joined the French Army during the Franco-Prussian war; but in 1872 returned to London, and, at the Philharmonic Theatre, appeared as Charles Martel and Drogan in Généviève de Brabant. Subsequently “M. Marius” joined the company of the Strand Theatre, where he has played and “created” many parts, among them the following: viz. Major Roland de Roncevaux in Nemesis, Rimbobo in Loo, Baron Victor de Karadec in Family Ties, Orloff in Dora and Diplunacy, and Dubisson in Our Club. On Saturday, April 12, 1879, first performance at the Strand of an English version of Offenbach’s Madame Favart, he sustained the rôle of M. Favart.’
(Charles E. Pascoe, editor, The Dramatic List, David Bogue, London, 1880, p.256)

‘Marius, Claude. (C.M. Duplany.) – The clever actor and stage manager whose nom-de-théâtre heads this paragraph is by nationality a Frenchman, and was born at Paris in 1850. He was intended for a commercial life, and entered a silk and velvet warehouse in that city, but his natural proclivities soon led him to mingle in stage circles, and he used to gratify his passion for the drama by working as a super at the Folies Dramatiques, where he presently obtained an appointment in the chorus, and from that rose to small parts. In 1868 he forsook the warehouse, and became a regular member of the dramatic profession. Mr. [Richard] Mansell, while on a visit to Paris in 1869, saw him act, and at once offered him a London engagement, which he accepted, and appeared in Chilperic and Little Doctor Faust. His career was cut short by the breaking out of the Franco-Prussian war, and he was recalled to France and drafted into the 7th Chasseurs-à-Pièd. He fought in three engagements, of which the most important was Champigney. His regiment was then ordered to Marseilles, and subsequently to Corsica, to quell the Communal riots. In the autumn of 1872 Mons. Marius returned to London, and appeared at the Philharmonic in Généviève de Brabant, and afterwards in Nemesis at the Strand. Sine then he has played in almost every theatre in the metropolis, creating many clever and original parts, amongst them being that of M. Favart in Offenbach’s opera of Madame Favart when first played in English at the Strand Theatre in 1879, and later as General Bombalo in Mynheer Jan at the Comedy, and Paul Dromiroff in As in a Looking Glass. But he probably achieved his greatest success as Jacques Legros in The Skeleton at the Vaudeville in 1887. In the autumn of 1890 he appeared in The Sixth Commandment at the Shaftesbury, and in the following year in both editions of Joan of Arc. Mons. Marius excels as a stage manager, and under his able direction Nadgy was produced at the Avenue, and The Panel Picture at the Opera Comique in 1888. He was also responsible for the staging of The Brigands, chiefly memorable by reason of the Gilbert and Boosey quarrel. But his most brilliant success in this line was the triple production of The Field of the Cloth of Gold, preceded in the programme by In the Express and La Rose d’Auvergne, at the Avenue in 1889, and more recently was responsible for the mounting of Miss Decima at the Criterion (1891). Mons. Marius is the husband of Miss Florence St. John, the bewitching prima donna of the Gaiety Company.’
(Erskine Reid and Herbert Compton, The Dramatic Peerage, Raithby, Lawrence & Co Ltd, London, 1892, pp.145 and 146)