Posts Tagged ‘London Palladium’

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Phyllis Dare in Edgar Wallace’s The Yellow Mask, London, 1928

October 6, 2014

Phyllis Dare (1890-1975), English star of musical comedy, as she appeared in EdgarWallace‘s musical comedy drama, The Yellow Mask, which was first seen at the Theatre Royal, Birmingham, 5 November 1927 before opening at the Carlton Theatre, London, on 8 February 1928. The production was subsequently transferred to His Majesty’s Theatre, London, 26 March 1928 and then to the London Palladium, 25 June 1928. Other leading members of the cast were Bobby Howes, Malcom Keen and Winnie Collins.
(photo: Stage Photo Co, London, 1928)

‘The ”leading lady” in The Yellow Mask is Miss Phyllis Dare and of its type her dancing is a joy to watch. Her movements are so controlled and graceful and there is such a wealth of meaning in the play of her hands and arms. I do not know at all where Miss Dare had her original dancing lessons, but I am confident that at some time or other she must have been well grounded in the simple technique of the ballet.’
(The Dancing Times, London, August 1928, pp. 487 and 488)

In 1930 The Yellow Mask was adapted for the cinema, starring Lupino Lane and Dorothy Seacombe, with Winnie Collins in her original part of Molly.

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Toots Pounds and chorus in The Flower Garden scene in Palladium Pleasures, London Palladium, 1926

August 11, 2014

Toots Pounds (1897-1976), Australian actress and singer, as she appeared with chorus in The Flower Garden scene singing ‘Mary Mary, Quite Contrary’ in Palladium Pleasures, a revue produced at the London Palladium on 24 February 1926. The cast also included Toots Pounds’s sister, Lorna, with whom she sang the popular song, ‘Valencia,’ Billy Merson and George Clarke. Also in the cast was Leslie Stuart, composer of a string of hits at the turn of the century, including ‘The Lily of Laguna,’ ‘Little Dolly Daydream,’ ‘The Soldiers of the Queen‘ and ‘Tell Me, Pretty Maiden.’
(photo: The Stage Photo Co, London, 1926)

Toots Pounds, whose real name was Dorice Sophie Mary Pounds, was born at Carlton, a suburb of Melbourne, NSW, Australia on 17 November 1897. She and her sister, Lorna first appeared in London at the Palace Theatre in the summer of 1912. Thereafter they made regular appearances in the United Kingdom in a number of revues and at variety theatres. At the height of their popularity in the late 1920s, Toots decided upon a professional change of name, to Maria Linda after which she appeared for a while as a concert singer, making her debut at the Aeolian Hall, Wigmore Street in 1935. She was married in 1945 as his second wife to William Buchanan-Taylor (d. 1958), an expert in advertising who for some 20 years had been head of publicity for J. Lyons & Co Ltd and was responsible for naming the firm’s waitresses ‘Nippies.’ During the 1950s Toots was seen in small parts in several films, and in 1953 was understudy to Cicely Courtneidge on a tour of the revue, Over the Moon. (The Barrier Miner, Broken Hill, NSW, Thursday, 3 December 1953, p. 8b)
Toots Pounds died in Brighton, Sussex, in January 1976.

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Gabrielle Ray, on a tour of United Kingdom variety theatres, in song scenas, supported by Leslie Barker and ‘a bevy of charming children,’ 1920

April 10, 2014

Gabrielle Ray (1883-1973), English musical comedy dancer and actress, photographed for The Sketch about the time of her return to the stage in 1915. She afterwards appeared in revue and pantomime; she also toured United Kingdom variety theatres after opening at the London Palladium in song scenas with her then dancing partner, Leslie Barker.
(photo: The Sketch, London, 1915)

‘GABRIELLE RAY ENTERS VAUDE
‘LONDON, Eng., April 17 [1920]. – Gabrielle Ray, the musical comedy comedienne, assisted by Leslie Barker, is offering a new turn in the variety halls here, consisting of a number of new song selections, characters bits and dances. The piece, which opened at the Palladium, London [on Monday, 22 March 1920, before an engagement at the Alhambra, Bradford], is a big hit.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, Saturday, 21 April 1920, p. 13a)

London Palladium, week beginning Monday, 13 September 1920
‘Aptly described as the musical comedy favourite, Gabrielle Ray, supported by Leslie Barker and a bevy of charming children, score an artistic success with a finely contrasted series of song-scenas and dances. The act is beautifully staged and is deservedly acclaimed.’
(The Stage, London, Thursday, 16 September 1920, p. 12c)

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Whimsical Walker

April 28, 2013

Whimsical Walker (1850/51-1934), English clown
(photo: unknown, probably 1915/16)

‘Dear Girls and Boys –
‘How many of you have never seen a pantomime? Not many, I imagine, for the funny business between clown and pantaloon with which all proper pantomimes still conclude has always strongly appealed to the hearts of the children. I wonder if any of you have seen Whimsical Walker, the world’s most famous living clown. For some years he has been appearing regularly in the pantomime at Drury Lane Theatre, and because he is also appearing in the Trans-Atlantic British-made film comedies I have published his portrait, and feel sure a few facts about his adventurous career will interest you.
‘Mr. Walker was born at sea on July 5th, 1854, and first appeared before the public at Burnley as a tiny clown who emerged from a carpet bag carried by another member of the company. In 1872 he was engaged for the famous Sanger’s Circus in Westminster Bridge Road, London (as a boy ”Uncle Tim” saw and enjoyed many shows there), where a stage performance was given in addition to the circus. Mr. Walker admits that his stage efforts were so bad that he was sacked every night, but always re-engaged because of his skill in the circus. In 1874, and important period in his career, he was engaged by Charles Hengler to appear at his circus in London, where he was christened ”Whimsical Walker,” and for fourteen winter seasons he appeared there regularly. (”Uncle Tim” also enjoyed himself on rare occasions at Hengler’s, which stood on the site of the present Palladium.) In America Mr. Walker appeared with other circuses, including the great Barnum and Bailey shows, and was also commissioned to purchase the famous elephant Jumbo from the Zoo at a cost of £1,000.
‘Jumbo was an enormous success in America, many single day’s takings amounting to as much as £3,000. The cast was poured into great wooden casks and sent to a bank in New York.
‘In 1882 Whimsical Walker opened a theatre of his own in new York with a pantomime called Three Wishes. Its success brought temporary misfortune, for the top gallery dropped a bit when filled with people, a stampede followed, and actions for damages reduced poor Mr. Walker to the clothes he wore and a few dollars. He had to borrow money to return to Liverpool, where he was again engaged by Mr. Hengler.
‘On boxing Day, 1882, feeling in need of a refresher, Whimsical Walker chartered a horse at 7 a.m., and started off for a gallop. Before he had travelled far, however, the horse stumbled and fell, and the clown sustained a fractured leg, which laid him up for five months.
‘In a singularly adventurous career, this is the only serious accident he has ever suffered.
‘On February 20th, 1886, Whimsical Walker was honoured by a Command Performance to appear with his singing donkey before her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle. In commemoration of this visit the queen presented Mr. Walker with the beautiful diamond tie-pin which he is wearing in the [above] photograph.
‘In 1904 the great clown embarked for Australia for a long tour there, but on landing at Melbourne he was cabled for by Mr. Arthur Collins, of Drury Lane Theatre, and he returned immediately. The fact is that Whimsical Walker had been appearing every season in the Drury Lane harlequnade since 1890, and the reason for his sudden recall was that, owing to the death of Herbert Campbell, and the absence of Dan Leno from the cast, Mr. Collins felt that he could not possibly do without the popular clown as well.
‘I hope these details have not bored you. The subject fascinates me. I should like to write a big book about Mr. Walker’s life. Oh, I’ve forgotten to tell you that the first of these films in which he is now appearing on the screen is called The Knut and the Colonel, so mind you look out for it.’
(Uncle Tim, ‘The Young Picturegoer,’ Pictures and the Picturegoer, London, weed ending Saturday, 12 February 1916, pp. 463 and 464)

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April 28, 2013

Whimsical Walker (1850/51-1934), English clown
(photo: unknown, probably 1915/16)

‘Dear Girls and Boys –
‘How many of you have never seen a pantomime? Not many, I imagine, for the funny business between clown and pantaloon with which all proper pantomimes still conclude has always strongly appealed to the hearts of the children. I wonder if any of you have seen Whimsical Walker, the world’s most famous living clown. For some years he has been appearing regularly in the pantomime at Drury Lane Theatre, and because he is also appearing in the Trans-Atlantic British-made film comedies I have published his portrait, and feel sure a few facts about his adventurous career will interest you.
‘Mr. Walker was born at sea on July 5th, 1854, and first appeared before the public at Burnley as a tiny clown who emerged from a carpet bag carried by another member of the company. In 1872 he was engaged for the famous Sanger’s Circus in Westminster Bridge Road, London (as a boy “Uncle Tim” saw and enjoyed many shows there), where a stage performance was given in addition to the circus. Mr. Walker admits that his stage efforts were so bad that he was sacked every night, but always re-engaged because of his skill in the circus. In 1874, and important period in his career, he was engaged by Charles Hengler to appear at his circus in London, where he was christened “Whimsical Walker,” and for fourteen winter seasons he appeared there regularly. (“Uncle Tim” also enjoyed himself on rare occasions at Hengler’s, which stood on the site of the present Palladium.) In America Mr. Walker appeared with other circuses, including the great Barnum and Bailey shows, and was also commissioned to purchase the famous elephant Jumbo from the Zoo at a cost of £1,000.
‘Jumbo was an enormous success in America, many single day’s takings amounting to as much as £3,000. The cast was poured into great wooden casks and sent to a bank in New York.
‘In 1882 Whimsical Walker opened a theatre of his own in new York with a pantomime called Three Wishes. Its success brought temporary misfortune, for the top gallery dropped a bit when filled with people, a stampede followed, and actions for damages reduced poor Mr. Walker to the clothes he wore and a few dollars. He had to borrow money to return to Liverpool, where he was again engaged by Mr. Hengler.
‘On boxing Day, 1882, feeling in need of a refresher, Whimsical Walker chartered a horse at 7 a.m., and started off for a gallop. Before he had travelled far, however, the horse stumbled and fell, and the clown sustained a fractured leg, which laid him up for five months.
‘In a singularly adventurous career, this is the only serious accident he has ever suffered.
‘On February 20th, 1886, Whimsical Walker was honoured by a Command Performance to appear with his singing donkey before her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle. In commemoration of this visit the queen presented Mr. Walker with the beautiful diamond tie-pin which he is wearing in the [above] photograph.
‘In 1904 the great clown embarked for Australia for a long tour there, but on landing at Melbourne he was cabled for by Mr. Arthur Collins, of Drury Lane Theatre, and he returned immediately. The fact is that Whimsical Walker had been appearing every season in the Drury Lane harlequnade since 1890, and the reason for his sudden recall was that, owing to the death of Herbert Campbell, and the absence of Dan Leno from the cast, Mr. Collins felt that he could not possibly do without the popular clown as well.
‘I hope these details have not bored you. The subject fascinates me. I should like to write a big book about Mr. Walker’s life. Oh, I’ve forgotten to tell you that the first of these films in which he is now appearing on the screen is called The Knut and the Colonel, so mind you look out for it.’
(Uncle Tim, ‘The Young Picturegoer,’ Pictures and the Picturegoer, London, weed ending Saturday, 12 February 1916, pp. 463 and 464)

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vocal score of Harry Day’s revue, Rockets, 1922

March 27, 2013

cover of the vocal score of Harry Day’s revue, Rockets, devised and staged by Charles Henry, with lyrics by Ernest Melvin and music by Joseph A. Tunbridge, produced at the London Palladium on 25 February 1922
(published by B. Feldman & Co, London, 1922)

This score comprises the following songs, all by Melvin and Tunbridge:
‘Eden Down in Bond Street’
‘Variety Queen’
‘There’s a Sugar-Coated Cupid’
‘Isle of Southern Splendour’
‘That Lovin’ Trombone Man’
‘Harem Days’
‘Automobile Car’
‘Klaxon Horn Jazz’

Interpolated numbers furnished by Herman Darewski are not included in the score.

Among the cast of Rockets were Charles Austin, Ivor Vintor, and Lorna and Toots Pounds. The production ran for 491 performances, closing on 9 December 1922.

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London Palladium programme cover, 1923

March 21, 2013

The London Palladium programme cover for the week commencing Monday, 15 October 1923
(printed by W. Trounce, 10 Gough Square, Fleet Street, London, EC4, 1923)

This design for London Palladium programme covers was in use from about 1916 to 1924. The bill for this week of Monday, 15 October 1923 was as follows:

1. OVERTURE.
‘All that your little heard desires’ … James Kendis
2. THE THREE EQUALS, physical culture and statues.
3. MORNY CASH, the Lancashire lad.
4. JAN RUBINI and M’LLE DIANE, the Concert Violinist, Composer and Conductor, and the Americanized French Girl. Two Artists of International Fame allied in a Musical presentation. At the Piano Miss YVONNE MARR. Lighting effects by Jan Rubini. Costumes designed by M’lle Diane. Mr. Rubini will change his programme each day, and play solos by Paganini, Tschaikowsky, Beethoven, Wieniawski, Garasate, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Kubelik, Kreisler, Vieuxtemps, &c., &c.
5. MAY HENDERSON, the original dusky queen of comedy.
6. MARGARET HALSTAN presents THE CONVICTING THREAD By Cecil Clifton.
Mr. HANSON, F.R.C.S… . Mr. DAWSON MILWARD.
Dr. Stroud … Mr. Gerard Clifton.
A Trained Nurse … Miss Emma Lovett.
Mrs. INNES … Miss MARGARET HALSTAN.
SCENE. – A Room in Mrs. Innes’s Home.

7. INTERMISSION.
‘Black Sheep Blues’ … Phil Baker
(Musical Director, HORACE SHELDON).

8. MARION MORGAN DANCERS,
in a new Dance Drama in Prologue and 3 Scenes,
HELEN OF TROY
Helen … Josephine McLean
Menelaus … Dennis Hogan Paris … Charles Haverlin
Achilles … Albert Albert
Egyptian Dancer … Josephine Head
The Faun … Louise Riley
Greek maidens … Victoria Elliot, Josephine Head, Christine Meehan, Florence Martin, Esther Sommers, Ruth Southgate.
Asiatic Slaves … Adele Kellogg, Florence Lewis, Louise Riley.
Captive Maiden … Josephine Head.
Goddesses – Juno … Christine Meehan. Minerva … Esther Sommers. Venus … Ruth Southgate …
9. J.W. RICKABY, burlesque character comedian.
10. WILLIAM BURR & DAPHNE HOPE, The Lovers, in A Belle, a Beau and a Blacony.
11. BILLY BENNETT, almost a gentleman.
12. THE FLYING POTTERS, sensational and comedy ærial gymnasts.
13. THE KING. [i.e. The National Anthem]