Posts Tagged ‘music hall’


Daisy Wood, English music hall singer

June 23, 2014

Daisy Wood (1877-1961), English music hall singer and pantomime celebrity, whose oldest sibling was Marie Lloyd.
(photo: Ralph & Co, Preston, Lancashire, circa 1914)


‘My Fancy,’ the ‘Queen of Sand Dancers,’ as she appeared in her quick-change scena, ‘Winter, Spring and Summer,’ 1908

August 13, 2013

My Fancy‘ (1878-1933), American variety artist, billed as the ‘Queen of Sand Dancers,’ as she appeared in her quick-change scena, ‘Winter, Spring and Summer,’ during her tour of UK music halls, 1908
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, probably 1908)

‘A Leading Lady Dancer.
‘There are many clever dancers on the variety stage, but very few experts. My Fancy figures amongst the latter; in fact, she stands alone in her particular line of business. She does not sing, or attempt to sing; she simply dances, and one would expert to find her in a state of collapse after her hard work, but she leaves the stage with a smiling face and alert step. My Fancy is the picture of good health, and we in Birmingham are looking forward to seeing her in her quick-change turn entitled “Winter, Spring, and Summer,” which she recently introduced to London audiences. In this dancing scene she appears to great advantage. The first scene depicts the Glacé Mountains, Switzerland, and while My Fancy dances with ice skates on marble snowflakes are falling all around her. There is a veritable bed of roses at the back of the stage when “Spring” is presented, and when My Fancy steps forward holding a fancy paper star in her outstretched hands the scene is really brilliant. The dancer impresses her audience, and thunderous applause follows. Then we have “Summer,” a scene at the seaside, and My Fancy going through one of her famous dances on the stands. Such a show as this is assured a warm appreciation in the provinces during the summer months. – Vide the Birmingham Weekly Mirror, April 11, 1908.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 18 April 1908, p. 21e)

The Oxford music hall, London
‘That finished and versatile dancer My Fancy is presenting with such success her novel scena ”Winter, Spring, and Summer.” In the Winter scene she executes a skilful skate dance; Spring discloses her as a dainty maiden who trips lightly, fashioning the while an elaborate pattern from a large sheet of paper, and the concluding scene, Summer, represents the sea-shore, the dancer, who presents a charming (The Era, London, Saturday, 18 July 1908, p. 16a)

‘My Fancy’, otherwise Mae Rose Bawn (née Baker), wife of the English music hall comedian and manager Harry Bawn (1872-1928), was born in St Louis, United States of America, on 23 May 1878. She began her dancing career as a child and was soon teamed with another girl to appear as the Macumber Sisters. She subsequently performed as a trapeze artist, acrobat and illusionist. Her first appearance in England was as a solo turn under her own name at the London Pavilion on 17 December 1894. She later transferred to the Oxford music hall, London, where she first assumed the name of ‘My Fancy’ on 25 March 1895. Afterwards, billed as ‘The Queen of Sand Dancers,’ she appeared at principal variety theatres worldwide, including the opening of Hammerstein’s Olympia, New York, in 1896. During 1897/98 and 1912/13 she visited Australia, in between fulfilling many other engagements in England, America, Egypt, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), India and South Africa. ‘My Fancy’ also appeared at the Folies Bergères, Paris.

‘The art of step-dancing has reached perfection in the person of “My Fancy,” the famous danseuse, who is delighting audiences at the Hippodrome [Sheerness] this week. If you can imagine a succession of speedy and difficult movements executed in breathtaking haste, but yet well ordered and in perfect time and rhythm, then you have an idea of the art of which “My Fancy” is so able an exponent. Her dancing is unlike that which is at the present taking London by storm. She executes no dream waltzes, no gliding, fantastic movements; there are no wave-like ripples of the arms, no poetic motions. The key-words of “My Fancy’s” dancing are rhythm and vigour. With her body perfectly rigid and her arms practically motionless, she trips out fleet and airy measures, and great applause is hers. For here we have the art of step-dancing pure and simple, without any tendency to the over-worked, flogged-to-death leg-mania. “My Fancy’s” performance is something more refined. After all, is not expert fleetness of foot a poetic attainment; is not the never faltering rhythm danced out by toe and heel something which deserves a position amongst the high arts? But as a sand danseuse “My Fancy” is still more expert. With a medley of minute movements, with a never-flagging vigour, she taps out the rhythms of the measure, and is, of course, recalled by the fascinated audience.’
(The Sheerness Guardian and East Kent Advertiser, Sheerness, Saturday, 7 November 1908)

‘My Fancy’ died in Ramsgate on 24 February 1933.


an unidentified female circus or music hall act

May 23, 2013

an unidentified female circus or music hall act of the 1880s
(photo: F.C. Burnham, Brixton, London, 1880s)


Fannie Leslie

April 8, 2013

a carte de visite photograph of Fannie Leslie (1857-1935), English singer, burlesque actress and music hall serio-comic, in an unidentified role
(photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, late 1880s)


Daisy James

April 2, 2013

a presentation photograph (approximately 8 ¼ by 6 inches) of the English music hall comedienne, Daisy James (1880?-1940), autographed and dated 1913 by her for the music publisher, Bert Feldman of B. Feldman & Co
(photo: Campbell Gray, London, probably 1913)


April 2, 2013

a presentation photograph (approximately 8 ¼ by 6 inches) of the English music hall comedienne, Daisy James (1880?-1940), autographed and dated 1913 by her for the music publisher, Bert Feldman of B. Feldman & Co
(photo: Campbell Gray, London, probably 1913)


Hetty King

April 2, 2013

a ‘Fielding’s Cardette’ of Hetty King (1883-1972), the celebrated English male impersonator in private attire
(photo: Fielding, Leeds, UK, circa 1920)

For a short film of Hetty King in the 1960s performing ‘Goodbye Bachelor Days,’ see YouTube


Louis de Rougemont

March 3, 2013

a photograph of Louis de Rougemont (1847-1921),
Swiss-born would-be explorer, author and latterly a music hall attraction, as he appeared at the London Hippodrome, July and August 1906
(photo: unknown, probably London, 1906)

‘There is something very pathetic in the appearance of Mr. Louis de Rougemont at the Hippodrome to prove (at the age of seventy) that his notorious stories about riding turtles were not fairy tales. Wrapped in a many-coloured blanket the ancient mariner stands on the edge of the Hippodrome arena and makes a speech. Then a real live turtle is thrown into the water, and the old man, throwing off his blanket, dive in after it. The turtle is evidently bent on defending Mr. De Rougemont’s proofs, for although he gets on its back it promptly escapes, and the thin old man flounders through the water in pursuit of his ungainly Pegasus. Once more he mounts and once more it turns adroitly on its back as if anxious to keep him beneath the water altogether. The whole thing is over in a flash, and as someone has put it, one is more than ever convinced that the turtle was primarily meant for soup.’
(J.M. Bulloch, The Sphere, London, 11 August 1906, p. 124c)


‘Lord’ George Sanger

February 27, 2013

‘Lord’ George Sanger (1827- 1911),
English circus showman entrepreneur
and proprietor of his music hall and pleasure garden ‘Hall-by-the-Sea,’ Margate, Kent
(photo: unknown, mid 1880s)

For further information about ‘Lord’ George Sanger, see Julie Goddard’s Oh! What a Circus: ‘Lord’ George Sanger – Son of Newbury. For the ‘Hall-by-the-Sea’ see Dreamland, Margate, Kent. See also the Margate Civic Society’s Newsletter, Spring 2011.

Sanger’s manager at Margate was Gustavus Foster (1847-1901), who was a photographer before becoming a publican and licensed victualler.


skipping rope dancers

February 23, 2013

a carte de visite of two unidentified skipping rope dancers
(photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, late 1870s)

has great pleasure in announcing that, at the termination of the Engagement of Miss ROSE FOX, at the OXFORD MUSIC HALL, she will appear with her Troupe of Beautiful Blondes, in a New Fantastical Farrago, entitled
by FRANK W. GREEN, Esq.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 25 March 1877, p. 20a)

”Th’ adorning thee with so much art.” – COWLEY.
”Queen of the skipping-rope.” – The Era.
ROYAL FORESTERS’, every Evening, Ten o’clock,
in her New Fantastical Farrago,
Libretto by Frank W. Green; Music by Edward Solomon.
New and Magnificent Dresses Designed and Executed
by H. Compton.
OXFORD, Eleven o’clock, every Evening.
217th Night at the centre of attraction.
Miss ROSE FOX begs publicly to tender her best thanks to the Oxford Management for the ”Souvenir” presented to her on the occasion of her 200th performance of ”Skiptomania.”
Address, Mr Hugh J. Didcott.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 5 August 1877, p. 16a)

The Foresters’ music hall, London
‘The programme during the past week has been strengthened by the production of what the bills describe as a ”new fantastical farrago,” bearing the title Skipping in the Snow, arranged, we believe, by Mr H.J. Didcott, to whom must be given the credit – or at least some of the credit – of a pretty idea, capitally carried out. Skipping in the Snow cannot be said to have a story, and if we say that it introduces us to a young, handsome, well-dressed foreign prince on the look-out for a wife among the ”beautiful blondes,” who share in his taste for skipping-rope pastime, it must be understood that we speak only of our own imaginings, and that it is just possible we may have placed the wrong interpretation upon the sketch after all. Music Hall sketches are not allowed to have stories, and we are sure that this is about the very last place where any attempt would be made to violate the regulations laid down by the ”powers that be.” Story or no story, however, there is no denying the fact that Skipping in the Snow is a very attractive production. A really charming rustic and wintry scene has been prepared, and this alone appears to be sufficient to call forth the warmest demonstrations of approval from the skipping-rope dancers. Miss Rose Fox comes tripping upon the stage with her beautiful companions; when they sing and skip and dance; when the snow begins to fall and its flakes are made brilliant by the aid of the lime-light, the enthusiasm of the onlookers hardly knows bounds, and cheers of the most hearty description testify to the pleasure afforded. Miss Fox towards the end comes skipping and dancing with a rope of fire, the effect being wonderfully picturesque. Skipping in the Snow will doubtless remain one of the chief attractions at the Foresters’ for a considerable time to come.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 12 August 1877, p. 4b)

‘Miss Rose Fox, the pretty and accomplished skipping-rope dancer, who some time ago created a sensation at the Gaiety Theatre, has been engaged by Mr E. Villiers to appear with her ”Belles Blondes” in the ”Fantastical Farrago” Skipping in the Snow, at the Canterbury, at Easter. Miss Fox may rely on a very cordial reception.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 24 March 1878, p. 4b)

‘Miss Rose Fox (Mrs H.J. Didcott), formerly immensely popular as a dancer – her skipping-rope dance secured her a host of admirers – and lately a teacher of dancing, died, we regret to hear, on Friday, the 28th ult., after a long illness. She was the mother of two children. The remains of deceased were buried at Brighton on Tuesday.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 6 July 1889, p. 15c)

Hugh Jay Didcott (1836-1909), a well-known London music hall agent, and Rose Fox (d. 1889, whose father was Harry Fox (1817-1976), music hall comedian and chairman of The Middlesex music hall, otherwise known as ‘The Old Mo’,’ Drury Lane), were the parents of the actress Maudi Darrell (1882-1910). The latter’s husband was Ian Bullough who following her death married Lily Elsie.