Posts Tagged ‘Metropolitan music hall (London)’

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Miss Amalia sings ‘Dolly Varden,’ early 1870s

September 5, 2013

Miss Amalia (1859-1911), English actress, singer and dancer, as she appeared in the early 1870s singing G.W. Hunt’s song, ‘Dolly Varden,’ which was inspired by the character of that name in Dickens’s novel, Barnaby Rudge.
(carte de visite photo: G.J. Tear, 12 Clapham Road, London, SW, probably 1871)

Amalia, usually billed as Mdlle. Amalia or Miss Amalia, was one of the daughters of Scipion Brizzi (1835?-1899), a commercial traveller and sometime clerk to a parliamentary agent, and his wife Annie (née Michael), who were married in London in 1856. Miss Amalia’s daughter, Ethel Constance Brizzi, who was born in 1882, married in May 1911 at St. George’s, Hanover Square, Thomas Robinson Stavers (1877-1957). She died in 1940.

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‘Mr. G.W. Hunt, the popular composer of comic songs, has just written a new and original song for Mdlle. Amalia, entitled ”Dolly Varden,”’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 8 October 1871, p. 9d)

‘MDLLE. AMALIA, the Celebrated Juvenile Burlesque Actress, Vocalist, Pianiste and Danseuse, OXFORD THEATRE OF VARIETIES, BRIGHTON, To-morrow, Twelve Nights. Metropolitan, London (Six Weeks) to follow. Royal Princess’s Theatre, Christmas. Niblo’s Garden, New York, next August. Sole Agents, Messrs. Parravicini and Corbyn. ”Dolly Varden” (Copyright) will shortly be published.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 29 October 1871, p. 16a)

Metropolitan music hall, London, November 1871
‘Miss Amalia, who is a new comer here, is in great favour. She looks a bewitching little woman as ”Dolly Varden,” and as a smart Prince causes much amusement by singing of ”Promenading the Spa,” imitating Mr. George Leybourne’s manner of rendering the strain ”After the Opera is over,” and by other clever vocal efforts. As usual, she dances excellently and charmingly.”
(The Era, London, Sunday, 19 November 1871, p. 12c)

‘NEW MUSIC … Dolly Varden, By G.W. Hunt… . Dolly Varden, founded upon a pretty waltz melody has already become very popular, and, together with Amalia’s comical singing, is found wonderfully attractive just now. Many other singers are also adopting the air in the various Music Halls.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 14 January 1872, p. 4c)

The East London music hall, week beginning Monday, 3 November 1873
‘Miss Amalia, whose good looks and ability increase with her years, on the evening of our visit appeared first as a pretty little ”Dolly Varden,” and secondly in the garb of a bewitching representative of that honest-hearted race over whose lives a sweet little cherub has been specially appointed ”up aloft” to keep watch. She not only sang well, but danced in a style which somewhat astonished us. She, too, retired amid well-merited marks of approbation.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 9 November 1873, p. 11c)

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‘AMALIA, MISS, burlesque actress, made her début on the London state at the Surrey Theatre, December 26, 1869, in the pantomime of St. George and the Dragon. She subsequently played in other pantomimes, securing, conjointly with Miss Violet Cameron, the full honours of the evening on December 27, 1873, at Drury Lane Theatre, ”for her acting and singing in a ballad called ‘Buttercup Green,”’ introduced into the burlesque opening. More recently Miss Amalia has been engaged at the Gaiety, and has played in many of the extravaganzas of Mr. Byron on which that theatre mainly, and for the most part profitably relies as its principal attraction.’
Charles E. Pascoe, editor, The Dramatic List. A Record of the Performances of Living Actors and Actresses of the British Stage, London, 1880, p. 3)

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Florence Yaymen

August 5, 2013

Florence Yaymen (died 1927), English music hall character comedienne and dancer
(photo: unknown, probably United Kingdom, circa 1905)

Florence Yaymen (sometimes Yayman) began her career about 1905, finding immediate success as a ‘coon burlesque artist.’ She died suddenly on 22 July 1927, the cause being given as the bursting of a blood vessel.

London Coliseum, London, November 1908
‘Rough ”coon” stuff is very acceptable over here. Florence Yayman has some, but inside that she is an excellent dancer.’
(Variety, New York, Saturday, 5 December 1908, p. 8c)

Metropolitan music hall, Edgware Road, London, September 1907
‘Florence Yayman gets away with some comedy that seems to hurt her in her Topsy speciality [a reference to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin]. Miss Yayman was quite popular.’
(Variety, New York, Saturday, 2 October 1909, p. 11b)

‘The committee of the Music Hall Ladies’ Guild, 3, Newport House, Great Newport Street, [London] W.C.2, desire to thank Florence Yayman, who has kindly been making dolls, and has sent a donation of £2 0s. 6d… .’
(The Stage, London, Thursday, 7 June 1917, p. 8c)

‘FLORENCE YAYMAN’S SUCCESS
‘Big Christmas Show at Tivoli [Sydney, NSW, 1923]
‘Originality in vaudeville is the keynot of success. Because Florence Yayman, who made her first Australian appearance at the Tivoli yesterday, possess that requisite in a particularity marked degree, she at once sang and acted her easy way into the good graces of the big audience.
‘Miss Yayman is a character impersonator, in itself an unusual line for a female artist. She is also a delightful yodeller – a phase of entertainment usually confined to the sterner sex. She changes costume on the stage but in a light dim enough to make anybody open wide their eyes and presents a series of character sketches commencing with that of a Chinese. This is followed by a Tyrolean love songs, and then Miss Yayman presents what is obviously her forte – the impersonation of the American coal-black ”cooness.” As a coon flapper she gives a quaint rendering of I Want a Boy, and then concludes a too-brief programme with a lullaby, in which she appears as a black mammy… I Her impersonation of the old mammy and the ”picken’ ‘em up and puttin’ ‘em down again feet” are perfect.’
(Sunday Times, Sydney, NSW, 23 December 1923, p. 6b)

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Victor Liston

April 18, 2013

Victor Liston (1838-1913), English music hall vocalist and comedian
(photo: photo: T. Pope, Birmingham, circa 1874)

Collins’s Music Hall, Islington Green, London
‘Mr. Victor Liston adheres to the legitimate, and sings those songs which can hardly be called new-fangled. His “shabby-genteel” impersonation is excellent. Mr. Liston sang four songs, and enjoyed a recall on the evening of our visit to Collins’s.’
(The Entr’acte, London, Saturday, 17 December 1881, p.6b)

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Too proud to beg, too honest to steal,
I know what it is to be wanting a meal;
My tatters and rags, I try to conceal,
I’m one of the Shabby Genteel.

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‘Mr Victor Liston, another favourite comic singer, made his first appearance when seventeen years old [in 1855] at a benefit at the Old Bower Saloon, Stangate Street [London]. Afterwards he sang at various of the smaller halls, such as Price’s in the Caledonian Road, which was only open on Saturday nights, and where “Billy Randall” [William Randall (1830-1898)] was very popular. Then Harry Fox [1817-1876], of the Middlesex [music hall, Drury Lane], sent Liston to Sheffield, where he played at Parker’s, where J.H. Ridley and his wife, Marie Barnum, sister to Johnny Barnum, started as duettists. After a long provincial probation, Liston returned to London and sang at the Grapes, the Coal Hole, the Cyder Cellars, the Dr Johnson, and Macdonald’s in Hoxton, where Fred Albert [1845-1886] made one of his earliest appearances. This is now used as a mission hall. One night [in 1868] Liston deputised at the old Philharmonic [Islington Green], then under the proprietorship of the late Mr Sam Adams, and made such a success with his song “Shabby Genteel” [written by Henry S. Leigh, a noted contributor to the satirical periodical Punch], that he stayed there for seven months, a ditty which Harry Clifton [1832-1872] used to sing in his “two-hours’ entertainment.” Victor Liston was also popular at the Metropolitan, Collins’s, and at Evans’s, where one night H.R.H. the Prince of Wales [later King Edward VII] brought the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland expressly to hear “Shabby Genteel.” After a five months’ successful visit to America, Liston returned to England. Among his principal songs were “The Auctioneer’s Daughter,” “Charming Arabella,” “Polly Darling,” and “Of Course it’s no Business of Mine.” The last-named was written by Arthur Lloyd [1840-1904], the others by G.W. Hunt [1851-1936]. On one occasion Liston was a member of Sam Hague’s Minstrels. He was also manager of the Bon Accord Music Hall, at Aberdeen, and “ran” halls of his own at Gloucester and Cheltenham, where George Leybourne [1842-1884] and other stars appeared.’
(Charles Douglas Stuart and A.J. Park, The Variety Stage, T. Fisher Unwin, London, 1895, pp.108 and 109)

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‘It is sad to relate that towards his end, Victor Liston became the embodiment of [“Shabby Genteel”] himself, for he met with misfortune and, dressed carefully, but in threadbare clothes trying to keep up appearances, was himself, as was the hero of his song, too often wanting a meal.’
(W. Macqueen-Pope, The Melodies Linger On, W.H. Allen, London, 1950, p.311)