Posts Tagged ‘Sam Emery’

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Kate Terry in Bel Demonio, 1863

July 28, 2013

carte de visite photograph of the English actress, Kate Terry (1844-1924), as Lena in Charles Fechter’s production of Bel Demonio (The Broken Vow: a Romance of the Times of Sixtus the Fifth), a drama by John Brougham based on Prosper Goubaux and Gustave Lemoine’s L’Abbaye de Castro, produced at the Lyceum Theatre, London, on 31 October 1863
(photo: Southwell Brothers, London, 1863)

‘The Lyceum will be re-opened by Mr. Fechter for the season on Saturday next, October 31 [1863], [with] a new four-act drama founded on a plot by Paul Feval, and entitled Bel Demonio, a Love Story, being produced on the occasion. An entirely new stage has been laid down, the interior of the Theatre has been re-embellished, nd the principal parts in the play will be sustained by Miss Elsworthy, Miss Kate Terry, Mr. John Brougham, Mr. [Sam] Emery, Mr. George Jordan, Mr. G.F. Neville, and Mr. Fechter.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 25 October 1863, p. 10a)

Lyceum Theatre, London, Saturday, 31 October 1863
‘Mr. Fechter inaugurated his second season on Saturday evening under the most flattering auspices, the house being attended by a numerous and enthusiastic audience… . A new stage, constructed upon a principle which has been found to work well in the Parisian theatres, has been laid down; and, when the audience shall have become accustomed to it, it will doubtless be recognised as an improvement. Without attempting to bore the reader with an infinity of technical details intelligible only to stage-carpenters, it will suffice to state in general terms that the chief objects of the new system are to abolish what are called the ”wings,” to do away with the visible functions of scene shifting, and to substitute a silent and unseen mechanism for many of the operations which have heretofore been executed by manual labour. This reform is but the natural development of that proficiency in the mechanical arts which is characteristic of the age, and the only wonder is that it has not been applied before now to the business of the theatre. In the days of Garrick, the candle-snuffer was an indispensable functionary of the playhouse. His abolition, inevitably consequent upon the introduction of gas, was felt to be a public benefit; and it is not improbable that the disappearance of other officials who were never ornamental, and who cannot now be said to be useful, will be regarded with equal favour. It will no longer be necessary that furniture and the requisite accessories of stage ”interiors” should be carried to and fro by footmen in obsolete liveries, not will the audience be again shocked with visions of stalwart mechanics in their shirt-sleeves pushing mountains with their shoulders, or shooting sections of scenery along wooden groves [sic] till the sundered landscapes are fitted together with a crash for which there is not more warranty in nature than for the severing of the scene. Rocks, grassy mounds, and garden seats will for the future be made to appear and disappear by some more artistic agency than either the corporeal intervention of an awkward servant coming in for the purpose, or the still more clumsy expedient of a rope pulled at the sides. The footlights, instead of being obtruded above the boards, with their unsightly tin-reflectors, are now sunk below the level of the stage, an arrangement which not only softens the tone of the light and prevents the wavering and flickering of shadows upon the faces of the actors, but also tends to the personal safety of the corps de ballet, whose dresses were formerly in continual danger of catching fire… . The piece called Bel Demonio, which was produced on Saturday is not so much a play as a series of splendid tableaux into which the actors are introduced like figures in a classic landscape rather for the purpose of improving the picturesqueness of the scene than for that of illustrating any actual or possible occurrence of real life. The story … is as intricate and bewildering piece of mechanism as ever taxed the ingenuity of novelist or playwright … Miss Kate Terry, as Lena, acted with a grace and tenderness that made the character exceedingly attractive… . The piece was received throughout with vehement acclamations, and the principal performers were summoned before the curtain, not only at the end of each act, but on the conclusion of every tableau – an insane proceeding, which, besides destroying whatever illusion the play might inspire, contributed to protract the performances long beyond midnight.’
(The Morning Post, London, Monday, 2 November 1863, p. 3a/b)

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Patti Josephs

December 28, 2012

a carte de visite photograph of Patti Josephs (1849?-1876), English actress (photo: Bassano, London, late 1860s)

‘MR CHARLES DICKENS is now well enough to take an active interest in the preparation of David Copperfield at the Olympic Theatre. The piece in its embryo state is exciting unusual interest. Mr [Sam] Emery has been engaged for the character of Peggotty, and Miss Patti Josephs for that of Emily. Mr Dickens is attending the rehearsals of David Copperfield, and Mr Halliday’s adaptation of the story will be produced with the full sanction and active co-operation of the author.’ (The Edinburgh Evening Courant, Edinburgh, Monday, 27 September 1869, p. 8f). Halliday’s adaptation of David Copperfield, entitled Little Em’ly, was produced at the Olympic, London, on 9 October 1869.

‘Miss Patti Josephs, a sister of Fanny Josephs, recently committed suicide by throwing herself from a window. She had been an inmate of the Philadelphia hospital. She was, some years back, at the Olympic and other London theatres, and in America married a Mr. Fitzpatrick.’ (Reynolds’s Newspaper, London, Sunday, 29 October 1876, p. 8b)

‘Death of Miss Patti Josephs.
‘London playgoers will deeply regret to hear of the death of this young and charming actress, who expired at Philadelphia on the 5th of October [1876], under circumstances of an exceedingly painful kind, which will be found detailed below by an American correspondent. Readily may be recalled a bright series of impersonations embodied during the last dozen years at the St. James’s, Olympic, Adelphi, and other Theatres. More especially will Miss Eliza Stuart Patti Josephs be remembered as the representative of Cupid in
Cupid and Psyche at the Olympic, and afterwards at the same Theatre in Mr Halliday’s drama Little Em’ly, where she played Little Em’ly with a prettiness and pathos which won the warmest sympathy of the audience. After this most successful performance Miss Patti Josephs left these shores to fulfil an engagement in America, where she married Mr John Fitzpatrick, an actor well known in this country and much esteemed by all who enjoyed his friendship in America. Scarcely twenty-seven when she died, the young actress has prematurely closed a career which promised brilliant results.
‘Miss Patti Josephs had been confined to her residence for the past eight months with a complication of diseases, and on the evening of the 4th inst. she fell out of the third-story window of the building where she resided, at Eleventh and Locust-streets, Philadelphia, and, striking her head, sustained such severe injuries that she died shortly after being conveyed to the Pennsylvania Hospital. It is believed that, while temporarily insane from pain, she leaned out of the window, and,losing her balance, met with the sad accident that resulted in her death. She came of an old theatrical family, her father, the late Mr W.H. Josephs, having been a Manager of several Theatres in London and the Provinces, while her grandfather had managed a theatrical circuit in England. She was a sister of Mr Harry Josephs, the well-known comedian, and of the late Mr John H. Selwyn. Her sister Fanny is also an actress. Another one of her brothers is a well-known minister in Boston – the Rev. G.C. Lorimer of the Union Temple Church, in that city. Miss Patti Josephs made her first appearance in America at the Chestnut-street Theatre, Philadelphia, on the 14th of October, 1872, in Bronson Howard’s comedy of
Diamonds, and became a member of the stock company at that Theatre. Miss Josephs next played at Fox’s American Theatre, Philadelphia, with Colville’s burlesque troupe, which included Harry Beckett, Willie Edouin, and Eliza Weathersby, and which opened there May 19th, 1873. In December, 1874, Miss Josephs and her husband became members of the stock company at Fox’s American Theatre, where they have remained ever since. She last appeared at Fox’s in The Hidden Hand, about the 21st of February, 1876. The funeral took place on Sunday afternoon, October 8th, and the body was interred at Mount Moriah Cemetery, a large number of members of the dramatic profession attending the funeral.’ (The Era, London, Sunday, 29 October 1876, p. 13c)