Posts Tagged ‘New Theatre (Cardiff)’


Cressie and Billy Leonard in the touring revue, A la Carte, United Kingdom, 1916/17

April 28, 2014

Cressie Leonard (b. about 1887, active 1902-1926), Irish-born English music hall comedienne and pantomime principal boy, with her younger brother, Billy Leonard (1891-1974), Irish-born English variety theatre entertainer and musical comedy actor and singer, about the time they appeared together in 1916 and 1917 in the touring revue, A la Carte.
(photo: Dobson Studios, Liverpool, probably 1916/17)

A la Carte, by Richard Merriman and Fred Leigh, with lyrics by Fred Leigh, and music by Alf. Leondard and Henry Pether, was described as ‘a merry dish of musical dainties’ in one scene. First produced on 13 November 1916 at the Palace Theatre, Bath, its principal artists were Reg. Wilson, Daisy West, Cressie Leonard, Billy Leonard (as ‘The Immaculate Dude’), Dorothy Vaughan, Dave O’Toole, Doris and Dot Pickford, Afred Lucella, and Stephen Hall.

Alf. Leonard, a well-known variety theatre violinist, was Cressie and Billy Leonard’s brother.

Billy Leonard in 1929, probably filmed in the British Pathé Studio, London.

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Sinbad the Sailor, New Theatre, Cardiff, Wales, 26 December 1913
‘Miss Cressie Leonard as Sinbad has added fresh laurels to her fame. Her gallant bearing and dashing style are magnetic and in rousing audiences to a high pitch of enthusiasm, and the success of her songs is accentuated by the manner in which they join in the choruses. Her principal numbers are ”Hey ho! Don’t you hear the steamer?” ”You made me love you.” and a duet with [Rose Wylie] the principal girl, ”Take me in your arms.” Miss Leonard also excels in her tango dances with Mr. Dan Leno, Jun. [as Hinbad], this proving a novel feature.’


Gladys Guy in Dick Whittington, New Theatre, Cardiff, Christmas 1909

November 29, 2013

Gladys Guy (1888-1968), English actress and singer, as she appeared as Alice in the pantomime Dick Whittington at the New Theatre, Cardiff, Christmas, 1909. Other leading members of the cast were Isabelle Dillon in the title role, Johnny Fuller as the cat and Mark Lester as Idle Jack.
(photo: C. Corn, Cardiff, 1909; postcard published by the Metropolitan Studios, Cardiff, Panto Series)

Gladys Juhel Guy was born in London on 27 February 1888, one of the several children of George Augustus Guy (1851/52-1939), a French-born violinist, and his wife, Mary. Her career began about 1905 and between then and 1917 she appeared successfully in London and on tour in a number of musical productions as well as in pantomime. Miss Guy was also understudy at various times to both Phyllis Dare and Gabrielle Ray.

Gladys Guy was married at St. Jude’s Church, Kensington, London, on 1 June 1912 to Hugh Arnold Henson (1884-1958), an actor whose credits included a small part during the run of The Dollar Princess at Daly’s Theatre, London (1909-1910). He later joined the Indian Army in which he eventually became a lieutenant colonel. Miss Guy’s career came to an end just before the birth in 1918 of the couple’s son, Basil Edmund Wyvill Henson. The latter, who died in 1990, became the well-known actor, Basil Henson.