Posts Tagged ‘Lennox Grey’

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Marguerite Debreux in the role of Cupidon in La Poudre de Perlimpinpin at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, autumn 1869

July 26, 2014

Marguerite Debreux (active 1868-1883), French actress and singer, in the role of Cupidon in La Poudre de Perlimpinpin at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, autumn 1869 (Le Gaulois, Paris, Tuesday, 21 September 1869, p. 4)
(carte de visite photo: Disdéri, Paris, 1869)

‘THE NUDITARIAN RAGE ON THE PARIS STAGE. – The Paris correspondent of the New York Herald, describing the grand rehearsal of ”Poudre de Perlimpinpin,” at the Chatelet, observes:- There is a certain negligé about costume I will not dwell on. Some come in every day clothes, some in splendid costume; some, the ballet dancers, are in white muslin reminiscences, but that is not much. Then 260 women! For the real performance 2000 costumes! On the occasion of the rehearsals I had witnesses a few little whiffs of passion about costume, and I was anxious to see who had gained his or her point, the manager or the actress. One of the prettiest threatened to throw herself into the Seine if she had to put that ”bag” on, in which not a bit of her arms could be seen; another meant to cut the tailor’s throat if he insisted on making her unmentionables more than three inches below the knee; a third would twist the tenor’s neck round if the colour of her tights did not harmonise with that of her hair, and the manager told me that the whole army of men employed – gaslighters, choruses, mechanics, decorators, singers, in all 1200 – were easier to lead than these terrible women. The ”ugly” ones, he said, are as mild as lambs – they put on anything; but it is the pretty ones, with fine legs and tempers to match! Oh! -.-. The way he turned up the whites of his eyes at this is till present to my memory.’
(The Dundee Courier & Argus, Dundee, Scotland, Tuesday, 2 November 1869, p. 3d)

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On 18 April 1870 Marguerite Debreux appeared as Mephisto at the Lyceum Theatre, London, in H.B. Farnie’s adaptation of Le Petit Faust (Little Faust), an opera bouffe with music by Hervé. Other members of the cast included Lennox Grey, Jennie Lee, and Ada Luxmore, with Emily Soldene as Marguerite, M. Marius as Siebel, Aynsley Cook as Valentine and Tom Maclagan as Faust.

‘… But if our Faust [Tom Maclagan] was awkward, the public were more than compensated by our Mephisto, our specially imported Mephisto, the beauteous Mdlle. Debreux. Chic and shapely, full of brand-new bouffeisms, she brought the air of the Boulevards with her, and came on tiny, tripping toes, armed with diabolical devices to break up all the women and capture all the men, with a perfect figure, no corsets, and a svelte waist that waved and swayed with every movement; with manicured pink nails an inch long, with a voice that cracked and creaked like a rusty signboard in half a gale of wine, and was never exactly there when wanted. But these vocal eccentricities were accompanied by such grace and gesture and perfect insinuation that a little thing like C sharp for D natural was considered quite the finest art. She was an immense success, and made us English girls just ”sit up,” and we felt very sick indeed… .’
(Emily Soldene, ‘My Theatrical and Musical Recollections,’ Chapter X, The Evening News Supplement, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Saturday, 20 March 1897, p. 2d)

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Lennox Grey

July 29, 2013

Lennox Grey (fl. 1870s), English actress and singer
(photo: Hills & Saunders, London, circa 1875)

Lennox Grey was born Louisa Caulfield in London in 1845, the daughter of John Caulfield, a teacher of music, and his wife, Louisa, a vocalist. Her stage name derives from that of her first husband, Lieutenant Francis Lennox George Grey of H.M. 96th Regiment, who she married at the age of 17 in 1862.

‘ACTRESS IN WORKHOUSE.
‘Miss Lennox Grey, Once the Most Admired Woman on the London Stage.
‘Just as a benefit is being arranged for Emily Soldene another old time burlesque actress and a member of the famous Soldene company of other days has been found in poverty in an English workhouse [i.e. the Strand Workhouse, Edmonton, north London]. These two women are said to be the only survivors of the company which originally sang Genevieve de Brabant, which was a New York sensation of the early ’70s.
‘Miss Lennox Grey was the stage name of the old woman who has been taken out of a London workhouse, an anonymous donor having provided a weekly stipend sufficient to support her for the rest of her days. She did not take part in the original production of Offenbach’s operetta in London [at the Philharmonic Theatre, Islington, 11 November 1871], but succeeded Selina Dolaro, who was compelled to retire from the cast after a few performances.
‘Miss Lennox Grey was at that time the wife of an officer in the English army. She had married him after a short stage experience and went to India to live. He deserted her and she returned to the stage in England.
‘she was for years one of the most popular burlesque artists in England and came to this country with the Soldene companies, appearing in Little Faust, Chilperic, and other works of this company’s decollete repertoire. Emily Soldene, who is now a very old woman, came to this country for the last time about twenty years ago and sang in the Bowery variety theatres in New York.
‘Miss Lennox Grey married for her second husband a classical scholar of high attainments, which did not, however, avail to prevent him from going to the poorhouse along with her. When the actress began to lose her youth there was no longer engagements for her, and she finally disappeared so completely that she was commonly supposed to be dead.
‘Yet less than forty years ago she was the most admired woman on the London stage.’
(The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Sunday, 31 March 1907, Theatrical News and Gossip, p.3e)