Posts Tagged ‘Our Miss Gibbs (musical play)’

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Gladys Cooper photographed by Bassano, London, 1911

May 21, 2014

Gladys Cooper (1888-1971), English actress.
(photo: Bassano, London, 1911)

When this photograph was published in May 1911, Miss Cooper had lately left the cast of Our Miss Gibbs and, turning her back on pantomime and musical comedy, was about to begin her theatrical career in earnest by appearing as Ethel Trent in Frank Howell Evans’s farce, Half-a-Crown, produced at the Royalty Theatre, London, on 31 May 1911. The cast was headed by Dennis Eadie.

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Adelina Balfe, a Gaiety Girl, photographed by the Dover Street Studios, London, circa 1909

March 4, 2014

Adelina Balfe (1888?-1948), Welsh born actress and Gaiety Girl
(photo: Dover Street Studios, London, circa 1909)

Adelina Balfe, whose real name was Dorothy Winifred Davies, was born in Swansea, Wales, about 1888. Her brief theatrical career began in 1906 but she did not attract attention until she was contracted to appear in small parts at the Gaiety Theatre, London, first in Havana (25 April 1908) and then in Our Miss Gibbs (23 January 1909). It was shortly after the beginning of the run of the latter that Miss Balfe married Lieutenant Gerard Randal Klombies (1887-1934), of the 2nd Dragoon Guards, son of (Carl) Robert Klombies (1842?-1920) and his second wife, Henrietta Sophia (née Peek). The couple had a daughter and were divorced in 1918 after which Miss Balfe was married for a second and third time.

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‘GAIETY GIRL’S MARRIAGE.
‘The marriage is reported of Miss Adelina Balfe, who is playing Sheila in Our Miss Gibbs at the Gaiety Theatre, London, to Lieutenant Gerard Randal Klombies, of the 2nd Dragoon Guards.
‘Miss Balfe appeared at the Gaiety that afternoon and evening as usual.<br. ‘The secret of the wedding was well kept, and even the bride’s closest friends knew nothing about the event till it was over.
‘Some particulars of the happy couple were published in the Evening News. The bridegroom – a lieutenant in the 2nd Dragoon Guards – is said to be a rich man in his own right, besides being the son of a wealthy mill-owner in the North. The bride who was described in the register as ”an actress, daughter of Herbert Davies, deceased, musician,” was born in Kilkenny [sic], and her dark beauty and nervous, generous temperament are typically Irish. She is just eighteen years of age, her husband being twenty-one.
‘Miss Adelina Balfe – to give her the name by which she is known to playgoers – joined the Gaiety Company in Havana, playing the part of Lolita, one of the ”Cigarette Girls.” her first stage experience was, however, with Mr Weedon Grossmith.
‘The young lieutenant first saw his bride about four months ago. It was a case of love at first sight, but some little time elapsed before he could secure an introduction. In the interval he occupied the same box every night until a common friend brought the young people together.
‘At the ceremony the bride, wearing heavy squirrel furs, a long fur coat, and a large hat of light blue shade, was accompanied by her mother. After the ceremony she repaired to the Gaiety Theatre, where she took her part of Sheila in Our Miss Gibbs. She also appeared at the evening performance. She is under a three years’ contract with Mr George Edwardes, and had expressed her intention of seeing it out.’
(The Marlborough Express, Blenheim, New Zealand, Friday, 2 April 1909, p. 2c)

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Winifred Barnes, English musical comedy actress and singer

January 19, 2014

Winifred Barnes (1892-1935), English musical comedy actress and singer
(photo: Lallie Charles, London, circa 1916)

Winifred Barnes was born in Brixton, south London, on 18 November (or December) 1892, the younger daughter of William Bernard Barnes (1861-1943), a bicycle maker, and his Irish-born wife, Nora (née Buckley). Her successful but relatively brief career began during 1909 when she appeared in a minor part in the musical play, Our Miss Gibbs at the Gaiety Theatre, London. She later had starring roles in Betty (1915) and The Happy Day (1916), both at Daly’s Theatre, London. She retired from theatrical life in 1924 upon her marriage in Kensington to Roy Faulkner. Miss Barnes died suddenly after a brief illness in Eastbourne, Sussex, on 5 April 1935 aged 41.

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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.