Posts Tagged ‘London Hippodrome’

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Marceline (1873-1927), celebrated Spanish clown

September 27, 2014

Marceline (Martinez Orbes, 1873-1927), Spanish clown, who appeared successfully during long engagements at the London Hippodrome (1901-1905) and the New York Hippodrome (1905-1914), but who died in obscurity.
(photo: unknown, circa 1905)


The Mishaps of Marceline – Lost Silent Film Reconstructed, based on the lost film by Thanhouser Company, with acknowledgements to Darren R. Reid.

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Aimée Roberts, English variety theatre actress and singer, appears in The Flood, a spectacular melodrama, London Hippodrome, 1906

April 24, 2014

Aimée Roberts (active 1906-1921), English variety theatre actress and singer and dialect comedienne
(photo: unknown, UK, probably 1906)

Aimée Roberts’s first appearance seems to have been as Lucie Gray in The Flood, a spectacular melodrama set in Ripplemere, a picturesque Cumberland village, which was produced at the London Hippodrome on 19 March 1906. The piece, which included an inundation of 300,000 gallons of water, was written by Arthur Shirley, with music by Clarence C. Corri. Other cast members were Hal Forde as Harry Darvill, Bert Gilbert as Wilkins, Cecil Morton York as Zambarro, J. Windham Gulse as Peter Peel and Simeta Marsden as Rosie Tynge, supported by a chorus of huntsmen, show folk, village yokels and a bridal party.

The Flood. NOVEL SPECTACLE AT THE LONDON HIPPODROME.
‘Stage realism has gone far in these modern days, but never further than in The Flood, a melodrama now occupying the boards at the London Hippodrome. It secured a signal and well deserved success.
‘The Hippodrome water-shows in the past have been many, but none has equalled in completeness, picturesqueness, and effect Mr. Frank Parker’s latest spectacle. To being with, the setting provided is delightfully pretty and realistic, a lake district village furnishing the scene of Mr. Arthur Shirley’s cleverly-devised little melodrama. A rustic wedding, a crown of bucolic revellers, the village inn, a happy bride and bridegroom, acclaimed by cheering yokels, a breezy ”mine host,” and a scowling villain – these and other familiar elements conjure up pleasant memories. In such company the old playgoer feels young again – or, at any rate, younger.
‘Moreover, the marriage festivities, the hilarious villagers, the rustic dances interrupted by the coming of scarlet-clad huntsmen, and the other well-contrived incidents make a bright and spirited show, while threats and portents of storm serve to create the right melodramatic atmosphere and whet the appetite for the Hippodrome’ newest ”sensation.”
‘After the revels, the deluge. Warnings go forth, rumblings of distant thunder are heard, the purple lights that play upon the rocky heights in the background change to darker hues, the lightning flashes – and then down come the rain. It is no ordinary, everyday rain. It is a torrential, tropical downpour, which sweeps everything – and everybody – before it, and the terrified villagers, whose shrieks are realistically disconcerting, fly for their lives. For the mountain dam has burst, the gentle cascade has become a surging, roaring cataract, and the dreaded flood is spreading destruction in all directions.
‘Down crashes the roof of a pretty cottage, in a twinkling the little bridge over the tarn collapses, trees and dovecotes are submerged, sunflowers and hollyhocks are swept away and, in a scene of admirably-simulated excitement horses and cattle plunge into the swollen waters of the lake, while rescues of drowning women and children add further actuality to the spectacle.
‘Nothing so spirited, vivid, and thrilling as this has been seen before at the Hippodrome, which, indeed, has not only eclipsed its own excellent record, but has evolved a bit of impressive realism which any establishment would find it hard to surpass.’
(The World’s News, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Saturday, 28 April 1906, p. 5c)

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April 24, 2014

Aimée Roberts (active 1906-1921), English variety theatre actress and singer and dialect comedienne
(photo: unknown, UK, probably 1906)

Aimée Roberts’s first appearance seems to have been as Lucie Gray in The Flood, a spectacular melodrama set in Ripplemere, a picturesque Cumberland village, which was produced at the London Hippodrome on 19 March 1906. The piece, which included an inundation of 300,000 gallons of water, was written by Arthur Shirley, with music by Clarence C. Corri. Other cast members were Hal Forde as Harry Darvill, Bert Gilbert as Wilkins, Cecil Morton York as Zambarro, J. Windham Gulse as Peter Peel and Simeta Marsden as Rosie Tynge, supported by a chorus of huntsmen, show folk, village yokels and a bridal party.

The Flood. NOVEL SPECTACLE AT THE LONDON HIPPODROME.
‘Stage realism has gone far in these modern days, but never further than in The Flood, a melodrama now occupying the boards at the London Hippodrome. It secured a signal and well deserved success.
‘The Hippodrome water-shows in the past have been many, but none has equalled in completeness, picturesqueness, and effect Mr. Frank Parker’s latest spectacle. To being with, the setting provided is delightfully pretty and realistic, a lake district village furnishing the scene of Mr. Arthur Shirley’s cleverly-devised little melodrama. A rustic wedding, a crown of bucolic revellers, the village inn, a happy bride and bridegroom, acclaimed by cheering yokels, a breezy “mine host,” and a scowling villain – these and other familiar elements conjure up pleasant memories. In such company the old playgoer feels young again – or, at any rate, younger.
‘Moreover, the marriage festivities, the hilarious villagers, the rustic dances interrupted by the coming of scarlet-clad huntsmen, and the other well-contrived incidents make a bright and spirited show, while threats and portents of storm serve to create the right melodramatic atmosphere and whet the appetite for the Hippodrome’ newest “sensation.”
‘After the revels, the deluge. Warnings go forth, rumblings of distant thunder are heard, the purple lights that play upon the rocky heights in the background change to darker hues, the lightning flashes – and then down come the rain. It is no ordinary, everyday rain. It is a torrential, tropical downpour, which sweeps everything – and everybody – before it, and the terrified villagers, whose shrieks are realistically disconcerting, fly for their lives. For the mountain dam has burst, the gentle cascade has become a surging, roaring cataract, and the dreaded flood is spreading destruction in all directions.
‘Down crashes the roof of a pretty cottage, in a twinkling the little bridge over the tarn collapses, trees and dovecotes are submerged, sunflowers and hollyhocks are swept away and, in a scene of admirably-simulated excitement horses and cattle plunge into the swollen waters of the lake, while rescues of drowning women and children add further actuality to the spectacle.
‘Nothing so spirited, vivid, and thrilling as this has been seen before at the Hippodrome, which, indeed, has not only eclipsed its own excellent record, but has evolved a bit of impressive realism which any establishment would find it hard to surpass.’
(The World’s News, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Saturday, 28 April 1906, p. 5c)

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Fred Barnes as he appeared as the Prince in the pantomime, The House that Jack Built, Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool, Christmas, 1913

April 6, 2014

Fred Barnes (1885-1938), English music hall light comedian, as he appeared as the Prince in the pantomime, The House that Jack Built, produced at the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool, at Christmas, 1913.
(photo: Carbonora, proprietor Gwilym Eiriol Mills, Liverpool, 1913)

Other leading members of the cast were Gwladys Soman as Jack Durden (principal boy), Daisy Yates as Charity (principal girl) and Billy Merson as Sammy. Fred was one of many artists that Christmas to sing the phenomenally successful ‘You’re My Baby,’ written by Nat D. Ayer, with words by A. Seymour Brown. This song had been introduced to London audiences by Lew Hearn and Bonita in the revue, Hullo, Ragtime! (London Hippodrome, 23 December 1912), who recorded it for the HMV label (04108 and C558) in London on 3 July 1913.

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Elsie Prince as Cupid in Brighter London, London Hippodrome, 1923

February 7, 2014

Elsie Prince (1902-1988), English actress and singer, as she appeared in the role of Cupid in the revue, Brighter London, produced at the London Hippodrome, 23 March 1923. The cast was headed by Lupino Lane, Billy Merson and Annie Croft. Brighter London ran for 603 performances, closing on 15 March 1924.
(photo: Claude Harris, London, 1923)

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Anna Wheaton as she appeared for the song ‘My Snake-Charming Girl’ in the revue, Push and Go at the London Hippodrome 1915

January 20, 2014

Anna Wheaton (1896-1961), American musical comedy and revue actress, dancer and singer as she appeared in the revue Push and Go at the London Hippodrome (10 May 1915) in her costume for the song, ‘My Snake-Charming Girl.’
(photo: Wrather & Buys, 27 New Bond Street, London, 1915)

Anna Wheaton, accompanied by Jamieson Dodds, recorded ‘My Snake-Charming Girl’ for the Columbia label in London (Col 560) about June 1915. While this is unavailable at the moment, several of Miss Wheaton’s later recordings are featured on YouTube, including ‘Rolled Into One‘ from Oh! Boy!, recorded in New York City, 23 March 1917.

The principals in Push and Go were Violet Lorraine and Harry Tate. They were joined by a number of American artists including Shirley Kellogg, Arthur Swanston and Anna Wheaton. Among the sketches was a skit on Elsie Janis and her mother (played by Misses Kellogg and Wheaton), with Gerald Kirby appearing as Basil Hallam. It was well known at the time that in her private life Miss Janis (the American revue star then currently appearing at the Palace Theatre, London, in The Passing Show of 1915) was always accompanied by her mother and that she was also romantically attached to to her co-star, the English actor Basil Hallam.

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London Hippodrome, 1901

November 3, 2013

a colour lithograph postcard of the London Hippodrome with views of the Interior, the Cabin Saloon, the Royal Box, the Vestibule and the Exterior, published in London in 1901 by Raphael Tuck & Sons, ‘Famous Playhouse’ series, no. 1340, ‘designed at the studios in England & printed at the fine art works in Germany’

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Gertrude Lawrence at Murray’s Night Club, London, 1920

September 26, 2013

Gertrude Lawrence (1898-1952), English actress and singer, as she appeared in 1920 as the lead in London’s first cabaret entertainment at Murray’s Night Club.
(photo: Claude Harris, London, 1920)

‘THE LEADER OF THE FROLICS.
‘It was a somewhat daring innovation on the part of Murray’s Club to introduce a Cabaret Entrainment each night during the dinner hour, as although very popular in the States and on the Continent the experiment had not been tried in this country, but owing to the fact that Mr. Jack May persuaded a really brilliant artiste to ”top the bill,” Murray’s Frolics have proved a big success and a great draw.
‘Miss Gertie Lawrence, who appears on our font cover in colours [see above], is without a doubt the coming revue star. She made a name for herself at the Vaudeville in Buzz Buzz, particularly with the song, ”Winnie the Window Cleaner,” and in the forthcoming Hippodrome Christmas pantomime she will take Miss Phyllis Dare‘s part at all the matinees… .
‘Miss Lawrence not only has a good voice but is also a fine actress, particularly when portraying a London type of to-day. She is a trained dancer, and was under Madame Judith Espinosa for some time, and studied elocution with Miss Italia Conti. She has been on the stage since she was ten, and comes of a theatrical family. The late Pony Moore was her godfather, and her father was with the Moore and Burgess Minstrels and afterwards interlocutor at the Palladium. She bids to become as well known as either Marie Lloyd or Albert Chevalier, with whose work hers had much in common.’
(The Dancing Times, Christmas number, London,1920, cover and p. 209)

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Charles Hawtrey in Time is Money, London, 1905 and 1909

August 23, 2013

a scene from Time is Money, Criterion Theatre, London, 3 August 1905, with, left to right, Dorothy Hammond as Mrs Murray, Mona Harrison as Susan, and Charles Hawtrey as Charles Grahame
(photo: unknown for The Play Pictorial, London, 1905)

Time is Money, a comedietta by Mrs Hugh Bell and Arthur Cecil, was first produced at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 5 September 1890,

‘By way of answer to the complaint that the curtain-raiser is neglected, the Criterion Theatre has given us a lever de rideau in which no less an actor than Mr. Charles Hawtrey takes a part. Time is Money, the work in question, shows a little too grimly how quickly the clock moves in the theatre. It does not seem a very long time since it was a lively, fresh comedietta, but the other night one felt a little grieved that the actor should be using his gifts, and using them very ably, upon such mechanical humours and trifling verbal quips. However, a good deal of it is amusing. The favourite was in excellent form, and well supported by Miss Mona Harrison and Miss Dora Hammond.’
(The Sketch, London, 16 August 1905, p.156)

Charles Hawtrey revived Time is Money at the reopening of the London Hippodrome, 2 August 1909
‘A very comical episode is the basis of the little play ”Time is Money,” in which Mr. Charles Hawtrey has been appearing at the London Hippodrome. It is all about a gentleman who comes to propose to a lady. He takes a cab to the lady’s house, and in the natural excitement of the moment rushes indoors without paying the cabman. Not unnaturally, the cabman sends a message after him to remind him of the little oversight. Mr. Hawtrey plunges his hand apologetically into his pocket in order to give the maid the fare, and finds to his disgust that he has come out without money. He, therefore, instructs the maid to tell the cabby to wait and take him back. Cabby, however, has another engagement and cannot wait, and meanwhile the fare, that was eighteenpence just now, has already gone up to half-a-crown, and is still growing. Mr. Hawtrey’s representation of his embarrassment is quite delightful (says ”M.A.P.” [i.e. Mostly About People, a contemporary London periodical]), because when you have come to propose to a lady you can hardly begin by asking the loan of half-a-crown. The spectacle of Mr. Hawtrey singing a sentimental song at the piano to the lady’s accompaniment, and trying all the time not to hear the cabman’s appeal through the window for his long-delayed fare, is one of the funniest scenes imaginable.’
(Kalgoorlie Miner, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, Saturday, 25 September 1909, p. 1e)

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Pattie Wells, Madge Melbourne and Ruby Kennedy, in Our Miss Gibbs, Gaiety Theatre, London, 1909

August 22, 2013

left to right: Pattie Wells, Madge Melbourne and Ruby Kennedy, three of the ‘Girls at the Stores’ in Our Miss Gibbs, the musical play produced at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 23 January 1909. The cast was headed by George Grossmith junior, Edmund Payne, Denise Orme and Gertie Millar.
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1909; hats by Maison Lewis, Hanover Square and Paris)

Pattie Wells began her career as one of the ‘Ladies of Havana’ in Havana, another musical play at the Gaiety (25 April 1908); and she was last seen in Potash and Perlmutter in Society, a comedy by Montague Glass and Roi Cooper Megrue, produced at the Queen’s Theatre, London, on 12 September 1916.

Madge Melbourne was an American, born about 1885. She appeared on Broadway and on tour in the United States between about 1903 and 1906. She arrived in England in December 1908 and lived in London until about 1918. Apart from her appearances in Our Miss Gibbs, during which she made A Gaiety Dueta short film with George Grossmith junior and Edmund Payne, Miss Melbourne was also in the cast of Hullo Ragtime!, London Hippodrome, 23 December 1912, with Ethel Levey, Lew Hearn, Willie Solar, Dorothy Minto and Shirley Kellogg. She was also in Are You There?, a new musical piece by Ruggiero Leoncavallo, produced at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, 28 October 1913, with Lawrence Grossmith, Alec Fraser, Shirley Kellogg and others. Her last appearance seems to have been in the one act comedy, Squibbs by Clifford Seyler, at the London Coliseum, in June 1915, with Mabel Russell and Charles Quartermaine.

Ruby Kennedy, whose real name was Ruby Trelawny, was born in 1889. She first appeared with Seymour Hicks and Ellaline Terriss as one of the ‘Guests’ in The Gay Gordons, a musical play which ran at the Aldwych Theatre, London, from 11 September 1907 for a run of 229 performances. She was last seen in another musical play, The Dancing Mistress, produced at the Adelphi Theatre, London, on 19 October 1912, with Joseph Coyne and Gertie Millar heading the cast. She was married to Group Captain (later Brigadier-General) Henry Brewster Percy Lion Kennedy (1878-1953) at St Luke, Chelsea, London, on 26 November 1913. She died in 1972.

One of Ruby Kennedy’s sisters was May Kennedy (née May Trelawny, 1885-1978) who also appeared in various musical productions, including The Gay Gordons and the revue, Everybody’s Doing It (Apollo Theatre, London, 9 December 1912), with J. Farren Soutar, Robert Hale, Ida Crispi and Unity More.