Posts Tagged ‘Lily Elsie’


Topsy Sinden and Lily Elsie on tour in See-See, early 1907

March 6, 2015

Topsy Sinden (1877-1950) and Lily Elsie (1886-1962), as they appeared respectively as So-Hie and See-See, with ladies of the chorus, on tour in the United Kingdom during the first few months of 1907 with George Edwardes’s Company‘ in the ‘New Chinese Comic Opera,’ See-See. So-Hie and See-See were originally played by Gabrielle Ray and Denise Orme when See-See was first produced at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, on 20 June 1906.
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, late 1906/early1907; postcard no 3283F in the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd’s Rotary Photographic Series, published London, early 1907)

‘Miss Lily Elsie, who played the title rôle in ”The New Aladdin” at the Gaiety, gave a charming performance of ”See See” at the King’s, Hammersmith, last night. Miss Elsie has an engaging presence and a charming voice, and altogether gives promise of a brilliant future. Mr. George Edwardes has staged the popular Chinese comic opera very handsomely, both as regards scenery and company. Mr. Frank Danby and Mr. W.H. Rawlins keep the fun going, and the singing, acting, and dancing of Miss Amy Augarde, Mr. Leonard Mackay, and Miss Topsy Sinden are delightful. The production was enthusiastically received by a full house.’
(The Standard, London, Tuesday, 30 April 1907, p. 4f)


Lily Elsie as Princess Soo Soo in A Chinese Honeymoon, April 1903

March 5, 2015

Lily Elsie (1886-1962), English musical comedy star, as she appeared as Princess Soo Soo in the musical comedy A Chinese Honeymoon. a part initially played by Violet Dene on tour when the piece was first produced at the Theatre Royal, Hanley, on 16 October 1899, and by Beatrice Edwards when the production opened in London at the Strand Theatre on 5 October 1901. Miss Edwards was succeeded (circa March 1902) by Kate Cutler and then (October 1902) by Mabel Nelson who in turn was succeeded by Lily Elsie when the latter took up the part of Soo Soo on Monday, 20 April 1903.
(photo: R.W. Thomas, Cheapside, London, 1903; colour halftone postcard no. 114 in C. Modena & Co’s ‘Ducal’ series, published London, 1903)


Gertrude Glyn as she appeared as Sonia during the run of The Merry Widow, Daly’s Theatre, London, 1907-1909

January 23, 2015

Gertrude Glyn (1886-1965), English musical comedy actress, as she appeared as understudy to Lily Elsie in the role of Sonia during the first London run of The Merry Widow, produced at Daly’s Theatre, Leicester Square, on 8 June 1907 and closed on 31 July 1909.
(photo: Bassano, London, probably 1908 or 1909; postcard no. 1792M in the Rotary Photographic Series, published by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1908 or 1909)

Gertrude Glyn began her career in 1901 at the age of 15 with Seymour Hicks when he cast her in one of the minor roles in the ‘musical dream,’ Bluebell in Fairyland (Vaudeville Theatre, London, 18 December 1901), of which he and his wife, Ellaline Terriss were the stars. Miss Glyn was subsequently under contract to George Edwardes, appearing in supporting roles at the Gaiety and Daly’s theatres in London and where she was also one of several understudies to both Gabrielle Ray and Lily Elsie. She also seen from time to time in other United Kingdom cities. Her appearances at Daly’s in The Merry Widow, The Dollar Princess (1909-10), A Waltz Dream (1911), and The Count of Luxembourg (1911-12) were followed during 1912 or 1913 by her taking the role of Lady Babby in Gipsy Love (also played during the run by Avice Kelham and Constance Drever), in succession to Gertie Millar.

On 10 April 1914, Gertrude Glyn and Elsie Spain sailed from London aboard the SS Otway bound for Sydney, Australia. Their first appearances there were at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Sydney, on 6 June that year in Gipsy Love in which they took the parts respectively of Lady Babby and Ilona, the latter first played in London by Sari Petrass.

Gipsy Love, Her Majesty’s Theatre, Sydney, 6 June 1914
‘A thoroughly artistic performance is that offered by Miss Gertrude Glyn, another newcomer, in the role of Lady Babby. Although her singing voice is not a strong point in her equipment of talent, this actress artistically makes one forget this fact in admiration for the skilful interpretation of her lines and lyrics, and also the gracefulness of her dancing and movements. Another point of excellence about Miss Glyn’s work is that she acts easily and naturally, always keeping well within the pictures and confines of the character she impersonates.’
(The Referee, Sydney, NSW, Wednesday, 17 June 1914, p. 15c)

Gertrude Glyn’s last appearances were as Lady Playne in succession to Madeline Seymour and Mary Ridley in Paul Rubens’s musical play, Betty, which began its long run at Daly’s Theatre, London, on 24 April 1915 and ended on 8 April 1916.

* * * * *

Gertrude Glyn’s real name was Gertrude Mary Rider. She was the youngest daughter of James Gray (or Grey) Rider (1847/49-1900), a civil servant, and his wife, Elizabeth. She was baptised on 24 October 1886 at St. Mark’s, Hanwell, Middlesex. She married in 1918.
‘The marriage arranged between Captain Walter Beresford Bulteel, Scottish Horse, youngest son of the late John Bulteel, of Pamflete, Devon, and Gertrude Mary Glyn (Rider), youngest daughter of the late James Grey Rider, and of Mrs. Rider, 6, Windsor Court, Bayswater, will take place at St. Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge, on Thursday, May 9, at 2.30.’
(The Times, London, 7 May 1918, p. 9c)
Bulteel, one of whose maternal great grandfathers was Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764-1845), was born in 1873 and died in 1952; his wife (Gertrude Glyn) died on 16 October 1965.


Lily Elsie about the time of her return to the stage in the title role of Pamela, Palace Theatre, London, 1917

November 19, 2014

Lily Elsie (1886-1962), English star of musical comedy, upon her return to the stage in the title role of Pamela, comedy with music by Arthur Wimperis and Frederic Norton, Palace Theatre, London, 10 December 1917
(photo: unknown, probably London, 1916/1917)

‘I hear them talking. For once they all agreed. Not time or love or circumstance could change her – she must succeed. She was Lily Elsie. I did not marvel. She is such a sweet woman. Men and women love her equally. Could anyone wish for greater blessing? What is her fascination? Perhaps it is charm. That elusive quality. Few women and fewer men possess it. She alone of all our stage women possesses it to the full. She is herself – Lily Elsie. Queen of Hearts – back on the stage once more. If Alfred Butt never did anything else he has earned in that achievement the gratitude of playgoers everywhere.’
(The Pelican, London, Friday, 1 February 1918, p. 3)

Note the similarity between this photograph and Sir James Jebusa Shannon’s portrait of Miss Elsie, which has been dated to circa 1916.


Lily Elsie: a photograph by Rita Martin

August 16, 2014

Lily Elsie (1886-1962), English actress and singer and star of musical comedy
(photo: Rita Martin, London, circa 1915-1917)


Lily Elsie as Humming Bird in See-See, Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, 1906

June 18, 2014

Lily Elsie (1886-1962), English star of operetta and musical comedy, as she appeared as Humming Bird in the ‘Chinese’ comic opera, See-See, which was produced at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, on 20 June 1906. Gabrielle Ray was also in the cast.
(photo: uncredited, probably Bassano, London, 1906)


Lily Elsie and Ivor Novello in The Truth Game, 1928/29

June 7, 2014

Lily Elsie and Ivor Novello as Rosine Browne and Max Clement in H.E.S. Davidson’s [i.e. Ivor Novello’s] light comedy The Truth Game, first produced at the Globe Theatre, London, on 5 October 1928. A tour followed its closure on 23 February 1929, returning to London (Daly’s Theatre) on 25 June 1929 for a further 22 performances.
(photo: E. Harrington, New Bond Street, London, 1928; postcard no. 339K published by J. Beagles & Co Ltd, 1928)


A tribute to Lily Elsie in the title role of The Merry Widow, Daly’s Theatre, London, 1907

April 9, 2014

a flyer issued by The Edison Bell Consolidated Phonograph Co Ltd, 30 Charing Cross Road, London, WC, in June 1907 for the Edison Bell recording of ‘The Merry Widow Waltz,’ ‘The enormously successful Waltz now being encored nightly at Daly’s Theatre, London.’

‘The Merry Widow Waltz’ and other selections from Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow were recorded innumerable times, particularly after the play’s production in London (Daly’s Theatre, 8 June 1907), with Lily Elsie and Joseph Coyne, and in New York (New Amsterdam Theatre, 21 October 1907), with Donald Brian and Ethel Jackson respectively playing Prince Danilo and Sonia.


Lily Elsie at the time of her appearance in The Dollar Princess, London, 1909/10

November 3, 2013

Lily Elsie (1886-1962), English actress and singer and star of musical comedy, at the time of her appearance in The Dollar Princess, which opened at Daly’s Theatre, London, on 25 September 1909 for a run of 430 performances, closing on 3 December 1910.
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, circa 1910)

‘Which lady to-day has the cosiest dressing-room in London? Probably Miss Lily Elsie, at Daly’s Theatre. Nothing could be more tasteful or dainty that the boudoir of ”The Dollar Princess.” Wall-paper, curtains, furniture, and all fittings harmonize in a scheme of white and pale mauve, while refined luxury is hinted at everywhere, from the many-cushioned couch by the fire to the thick fur rug, from the baskets of cosy flowers to the silken photograph frames. The most exalted of grand dames could not wish for a more elegant room. At the same house Miss Gabrielle Ray has a pretty apartment where the walls are embellished with water-coloured paintings.’
(from ‘Dressing-Rooms of Actresses,’ The Albury Banner and Wodonga Express, Albury, New South Wales, Australia, Friday, 15 April 1910, p. 45c/d)


Lily Elsie, Gabrielle Ray, Zena Dare and Grace Pinder, 1906

August 9, 2013

Lily Elsie (1886-1962), Gabrielle Ray (1883-1973), Zena Dare (1887-1975), English musical comedy actresses, and Grace Pinder (1884-1932), Canadian-born English musical comedy actress, in an episode from their song, ‘I Should So Love to be a Boy,’ written by C.H. Bovill, with music by Frank E. Tours, from the The Little Cherub, produced at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, on 13 January 1906.
(photo: Bassano, London, 1906)

Girls have a rotten time! –
There’s not the slightest doubt of it!
Boys have sport
Of every sort,
But we are always out of it!

I should so love to be a boy!
I’d wear check suits
And big brown boots,
Then I could ride
A horse astride;
If only I were built that way!

No girl who has to wear
A corset to support her back
Can hope to play
At ‘footer,’ eh?
And be a great three-quarter back!
(published by Chappell & Co Ltd, 1906)

‘The national love of football is the subject of a song incident in The Little Cherub at the Prince of Wale’s Theatre, where a quartette of pretty girls sing ”I Should Love to be a Boy.”
‘When the piece was first produced a few weeks ago the four girls threw a football to and fro on the stage, but now they go in for tackling and Miss Gabrielle Ray brings the incident to a close by kicking the football into the auditorium.
‘Miss Ray usually aims at getting the ball into one of the private boxes on the ”prompt” side of the house, and generally brings off a goal. Frequently, however, it rebounds into the stalls, and is tossed back to the stage, occasionally shaking up the musical director by catching him on the head. Some nights the light-footed kicker sends the ball into the pit. She is afterwards met at the stage-door by the lucky finder of the ball, and she writes her name on it. The finder retains the ball as a souvenir.’
(Daily Mail, London, Tuesday, 20 March 1906, p. 5f)