Posts Tagged ‘Queen’s Theatre (London)’

h1

Phoebe Don, English burlesque actress and singer

February 2, 2015

Phoebe Don (active 1872-1882), English burlesque actress and singer, latterly music hall serio-comic and dancer, in an unidentified role, possibly as the Prince in the pantomime The House that Jack Built, produced at the Surrey Theatre, London, 26 December 1878
(two carte de visite photos: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, circa 1878/79)

Ixion; or, The Man at the Wheel, a burlesque by F.C. Burnand, produced at the Court Theatre, London, Wednesday, 5 February 1873
‘What old playgoer is there who fails to have a pleasant reminiscence of that ”Ixion” which made the fortune of the New Royalty Theatre ten years ago? The chic of Miss Jenny Wilmore as Ixion, the charms of Miss Ada Cavendish as Venus, the delicious pertness of Miss [Blanche] Elliston as Juno, the drollery of Felix Rogers as Minerva, the unctuous officiousness of Joseph Robins as Ganymede after the fashion of Mr. Wardle’s Fat Boy [in Dickens’s Pickwick Papers], still linger in our memory. Was it only our hot youth which impressed us with the devout belief that the goddesses of the little theatre in Dean-street [Soho, London] made up a galaxy of beauty which never had been, would be, or could be surpassed? Labuntur anni; we have grown to despise puns, to stickle for the dramatic unities, and to declaim against what we are pleased to call dramatic nudities and we rather anticipated that the ”Ixion” of 1873 would be likely to dis-illusion us as to the ”Ixion” of 1863. We are glad to say that this is not the case. The ”Man at the Wheel” of the Court appears to us to be in all respects equal to the ”Man at the Wheel” of the New Royalty. It hangs fire, indeed, in the prologue, which is altogether an unnecessary encumbrance, and it contains allusions to topics of the last decade which might be modernised with advantage. But is pleased us more than anything of the same kind that we have seen since the ”Vivanière” [i.e. Vivanière; or, True to the Corps, an operatic extravaganza by W.S. Gilbert, produced at the Queen’s Theatre, London, 22 January 1868]; Mr. [Edward] Righton is the most mirth-moving Minerva possible; the charms of Miss Phœbe Don, Miss M. Don, and half a dozen other Olympians could only be expressed by an unlimited number of notes of admiration; the songs are really funny and sparkling, the dances are lively, and the whole extravaganza has an amount of ”go” in it which is very attractive indeed. We should be rather glad if Bacchus could be transformed into a stanch [sic] teetotaller; for with Marks very tipsy half through ”Lady Audley’s Secret,” and Bacchus very tipsy all through ”Ixion,” we have an unpleasant surfeit of inebriation. In real life a drunkard is an exceedingly unpleasant companion, and we are not much more fond of him on the stage. Furthermore, we have a decided objection to those repeated encores of songs and dances which are now so common; and we cannot help thinking that an advertisement to the effect ”that such and such a dance is encored four times nightly” must have a decidedly repellent effect on sensible people. But here our cavilling ends, and we heartily recommend ”Ixion” to our readers.’
(The Observer, London, 9 February 1873, p. 3c/d)

‘Mr. R. BLACKMORE as organised another company for a five months’ season in Calcutta, the artistes engaged comprising Messrs Crawford, Cowdery, [George] Titheradge, Bond, E. Sheppard, Owen, Beverley; and the Misses Alice Ingram, Bessie Edwards, Alma Sainton, A. Rose, Phœbe Don, G. Leigh, F. Seymour, and Tessy Hamerton. They sailed from Southampton on the 21st inst. in the ”Poonah.” The Corinthian Theatre will be the scene of their operations.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 24 September 1876, p. 4c)

‘CALCUTTA.
‘My dear Tahite, – Miss [Rosa] Cooper‘s benefit came off a few days ago. She played Miami in ”Green Bushes,” and the house was wedged. I understand the low-comedy man of this theatre is engaged to Mr. Coppin. The artist and the manager are shortly going to China in a panorama (”The Prince in India”). The French opera has been a disheartening failure. I never saw anything so bad, even at a third-class concert in Melbourne. Miss Bessy Edwards is a pretty taking actress, and Miss Phœbe Don, if not a great actress, is so bewilderingly beautiful a woman, that young men – and for the matter of that old men – go distraught about her… .’
(The Australasian, Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, 28 April 1877, p. 19c)

The House that Jack Built, pantomime, produced at the Surrey Theatre, 26 December 1878
‘Miss Phoebe Don, a promising young actress and singer, plays the part of the Prince effectively, and is ably seconded by Miss Nelly Vane as Princess Rosebud.’
(The Daily News, London, Friday, 27 December 1878, p. 6a)

Venus; or, The Gods as They Were and Not as They Ought to Have Been, a burlesque by Edward Rose and Augustus Harris, produced at the Royal Theatre, London, on 27 June 1879
‘The new extravaganza, ”Venus,” can hardly be deemed worthy, from a literary point of view, to follow Mr. [G.R.] Sims‘s still-popular comedy of ”Crutch and Toothpick.” Mr. Edward Rose and Mr. A. Harris are named as the authors of ”Venus,” and Mr. rose is so graceful a writer that probably he should be credited with work the goodness of which may have been drowned in the noise and obtrusive horse-play of the first night’s representation. The extravaganza, however, was possibly merely intended to served as a vehicle for the exhibition of the majority of the mythological deities, from Venus (Miss Nelly Bromley) to Adonis and Mars, who find comely representatives in Miss Alma Stanley and Miss Phœbe Don. Subdued to a tone more in keeping with the smallness of the house, ”Venus” may now run smoothly, and the vivacity of Miss Kate Lawler as a dashing Cupid would certainly be appreciated none the less for a little moderation. But ”Venus” will not be a second ”Ixion.”’
(The Illustrated London News, London, Saturday, 5 July 1879, p. 7b)

Nelly Power’s benefit, the Cambridge music hall, London, Wednesday, 27 October 1880
‘… The Sisters Lindon, in a duet in praise of waltzing, were generally admired, as was Miss Phœbe Don in her song with the chorus commencing ”D’ye take me for a stupid little silly?” a chorus which the audience was not slow to take up… .’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 31 October 1880, p. 4c)

London Pavilion, Piccadilly Circus, London, week beginning Monday, 8 November 1880
‘… Mr Fred Law, who should rapidly make his way in public favour, sang ”Allow me to see you home,” and ”If a girl likes to kiss me,” in a merry style; and was following by handsome Phœbe Don, who, though possessed of only a small voice, makes the most of it, and contrived to win admiration in her song of the ”Little Cat,” and in another which allowed the audience to exercise their own sweet voices… .’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 14 November 1880, p. 4b)

Phoebe Don played the small part of Blue Peter in the pantomime Robinson Crusoe, produced at Drury Lane Theatre, on 26 December 1881, of which the stars were Dot and Minnie Mario, James Fawn, Miss Amalia, Arthur Roberts, Fanny Leslie, Harry Nicholls and Charles Lauri junior. Miss Don’s last known appearances were at the London Pavilion, Piccadilly Circus, London, in May 1882.

h1

Gladys Saqui, Australian-born dancer in the pantomime Aladdin, Grand Theatre, Leeds, Christmas 1907

March 23, 2014

Gladys Saqui (1884-1919), Australian-born dancer, as she appeared as Nicee in the pantomime Aladdin, produced at the Grand Theatre, Leeds, at Christmas 1907. The principal parts in this production were played by Constance Hyem (Aladdin), Nell Emerald (Brigette), Frank Danby (Widow Trankey) and J.F. McArdle (Abanazar). The cast also included Hebe Bliss, G.H. Elliott and Olive Crellin.
(photo; J. Garratt, Leeds, 1907)

Gladys Mignon Saqui was born in Australia in 1884, one of the children of John ‘Jack’ Isaac Saqui (1855-1916), a cigar manufacturer and bookmaker, and his wife Esther (Stella) (née Barnett, 1852?-1946), who were both born in London’s East End and married in 1878. Two of Gladys’s sisters, Maie (1880-1907) and Hazel (1887-1975) were also actresses; the former was married in 1903 as his first wife to Arthur Hope Travers (1875-1938), a Grenadier Guardsman, and the latter was married in 1908 to the well-known actor manager, Nelson Keys (1886-1939). Maie and Gladys Saqui made professional appearances in their native Australia and once in England all three sisters were sometime under contract to George Edwardes. Maie first appeared in London in The Geisha (Daly’s Theatre, 25 April 1896 – 28 May 1898) towards the end of its run. Gladys Saqui appeared on tour and also as a dancer in The New Aladdin (Gaiety Theatre, London, 29 September 1907) and The Belle of Britanny (Queen’s Theatre, London, 24 October 1908).

* * * * *

‘Miss Maie Saqui, the famous Gaiety girl, whose death is announced this week, belonged to a sporting family. Her grandfather, Austen Saqui [Abraham Austin Saqui (1834-1889)], was a well-known bookmaker and owner of racehorses in Australia. Her father, Jack Saqui, followed in his father’s footsteps as a penciller, and began at the early age of 14 years. At the age of 20 he was making books on the Melbourne Cup to the extent of £1,000. About the same time he married. His daughter Maie was trained as a dancer under her aunt, Mrs. [Julia] Green, the well-known teacher of dancing in Melbourne, who was originally a Miss Saqui. Maie was not intended for the stage, but when her father, a wealthy man, lost his money in the land boom, Mrs. Saqui brought her daughter to England, where her brilliant career is known to every one. During more recent years Miss Saqui retired, and left the stage, and although in delicate healthy for some time past, her death came as a great shock to her numerous friends and relatives, among whom is Miss Sadi Green, now married to a son of Mr. Purves, the Melbourne barrister, and residing in England.’
(The Register, Adelaide, South Australia, Saturday, 11 May 1907, p. 4e)

h1

Phyllis Dare as Peggy in The Dairymaids, 1907-1908

October 8, 2013

Phyllis Dare (1890-1975), English actress, singer and star of musical comedy as she appeared in The Dairymaids, a farcical musical play, with music by Paul Rubens and Frank E. Tours, 1907-1908
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1907/08)

The Dairymaids was first produced by Robert Courtneidge at the Apollo Theatre, London, on 14 April 1906, with Carrie Moore in the leading role of Peggy. The piece ran for 239 performances and closed on 8 December 1906. Courtneidge organized various tours of The Dairymaids, including one for the autumn of 1907 which began at the Gaiety Theatre, Douglas, Isle of Man, on Monday, 19 August, with Phyllis Dare playing Peggy. Miss Dare was obliged to abandon her appearances for two weeks (Belfast and Sheffield) because of laryngitis, when the part of Peggy was taken by Violet Lloyd.

After a break during the Christmas season of 1907/08, during which Phyllis Dare appeared with Carrie Moore, Gwennie Hasto, Esta Stella, Rosie Berganine, John Humphries, Dan Rolyat, Stephen Adeson and Fred Leslie junior in the pantomime Cinderella at the Theatre Royal, Birmingham, she was again seen as Peggy in The Dairymaids. The production opened at the Queen’s Theatre, London, on 5 May 1908 for a run of 83 performances and closed on 18 July 1908.

* * * * *

‘LONDON, May 13 [1908]… . Revival of The Dairymaids this week at the Queen’s, the newest of London theaters, brings up that precocious little actress, Phyllis Dare, who, although she has been an established London favorite for three years, is only 19 years old. She has more ”puppy” adorers than any other woman on the English stage. The junior ”Johnnydom” goes mad over her, assures her of a well-filled house whenever she appears, and buys her postcards in thousands. It was the fair haired Phyllis who was summoned back from boarding school in Belgium when only 17 years of age to assume Edna May’s part in The Belle of Mayfair, when that independent American actress threw up her part because of the importance given to Camille Clifford, the original ”original” Gibson girl. The papers made so much of the fact that the little Phyllis’s studies had been interrupted by the siren call of Thespis that she packed the playhouse for many weeks with a curious public, many of whom had never before heard her name. Now I hear that Miss Dare will shortly essay the role of Juliet at a special matinee to be arranged by Robert Courtneidge, her manager.’
(Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, 23 May 1908, p. 16c)

h1

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.

h1

Tessie Hackney

June 16, 2013

Tessie Hackney (née Jessie Lyza Bryer Hackney, 1885-1967), English musical comedy actress
(photo: Rita Martin, London, circa 1908)

Tessie Hackney was one of the daughters of Arthur Hackney, an Islington butcher, and his wife Eliza (née Bethell). She was married in 1913 to Claud Finlinson Allsup (1881-1976), a Commander in the Royal Navy.

Miss Hackney appeared in supernumerary parts in The New Aladdin (Gaiety Theatre, London, 29 September 1906); The Girls of Gottenberg (Gaiety, 15 may 1907); The Hon’ble Phil (Hicks Theatre, London, 3 October 1908); and A Persian Princess (Queen’s Theatre, London, 27 April 1909).

Her sister, May Hackney (1882-1967, née Eliza Annie May Hackney), also appeared in musical comedy.

h1

June 16, 2013

Tessie Hackney (née Jessie Lyza Bryer Hackney, 1885-1967), English musical comedy actress
(photo: Rita Martin, London, circa 1908)

Tessie Hackney was one of the daughters of Arthur Hackney, an Islington butcher, and his wife Eliza (née Bethell). She was married in 1913 to Claud Finlinson Allsup (1881-1976), a Commander in the Royal Navy.

Miss Hackney appeared in supernumerary parts in The New Aladdin (Gaiety Theatre, London, 29 September 1906); The Girls of Gottenberg (Gaiety, 15 may 1907); The Hon’ble Phil (Hicks Theatre, London, 3 October 1908); and A Persian Princess (Queen’s Theatre, London, 27 April 1909).

Her sister, May Hackney (1882-1967, née Eliza Annie May Hackney), also appeared in musical comedy.

h1

June 16, 2013

Tessie Hackney (née Jessie Lyza Bryer Hackney, 1885-1967), English musical comedy actress
(photo: Rita Martin, London, circa 1908)

Tessie Hackney was one of the daughters of Arthur Hackney, an Islington butcher, and his wife Eliza (née Bethell). She was married in 1913 to Claud Finlinson Allsup (1881-1976), a Commander in the Royal Navy.

Miss Hackney appeared in supernumerary parts in The New Aladdin (Gaiety Theatre, London, 29 September 1906); The Girls of Gottenberg (Gaiety, 15 may 1907); The Hon’ble Phil (Hicks Theatre, London, 3 October 1908); and A Persian Princess (Queen’s Theatre, London, 27 April 1909).

Her sister, May Hackney (1882-1967, née Eliza Annie May Hackney), also appeared in musical comedy.