Posts Tagged ‘Shakespeare Theatre (Liverpool)’


Ada Reeve

April 18, 2013

Ada Reeve as the principal boy in the pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool, Christmas 1908
(photo: C Co, Liverpool, 1908)

London Coliseum, 27 September 1915
‘Miss Ada Reeve has returned to the Coliseum – a fact that was intensified on Monday by two enthusiastic and crowded houses. One again the London public can enjoy the delightful experience of hearing a really gifted comedienne interpret a song so fully, completely, and with such an absolute command of every shade of expression that each phrase vividly stands out. In the case of the diseuse it often happens that the music is sacrificed to the words, and the art of the composer, which has been welded with that of the poet, loses its significance. But Ada Reeve has the gift – rare on any stage – of giving out the tune with a richness and volume of tone, and at the same time revealing the pathos or humour of the words. There was a touch of raillery in her opening number, “Ladies, beware” [from the musical comedy, Peggy, Gaiety, London, 4 March 1911, originally sung by Phyllis Dare; Miss Reeve recorded this song for HMV twice in 1915, but both versions were rejected and never issued], which hardly prepared her audience of Monday afternoon for the depth of pathos she revealed in “Lonely,” a song burdened with unavailing regret, and rendered with a sweet melancholy that touched all hearts. The dreaminess and charm of “My Oriental girl” were in vivid contrast to the banter and sarcasm of “Foolish questions” (HMV B-523, mx HO-1806ae, recorded Hayes, near London, 16 September 1915; 1.5mb mp3), which in its turn yielded pride of place to the domestic sentiment of “Jim,” the exquisite little monologue of a coster’s wife who talks to her baby. The cheering audience was too insistent to let Miss Reeve depart, even after five songs, and she obliged with a sixth, singing before the “tabs” “The girl I left behind,” which made a special appeal to the large number of Tommies in front. The distinguished artiste has returned to London in the full possession of her powers, and her popularity was never greater.’
(The Era, London, Wednesday, 29 September 1915, p.14d)

Ada Reeve
Ada Reeve as she appeared at the Alhambra, Leicester Square, London, December 1908
(caricature by Max Lowe, 1908)


January 24, 2013

Jenny Dawson (Mrs Clara Sharlach, d. 1936),
English actress and vocalist
(photo: London Stereoscopic Co, London, mid 1890s)

‘Dawson, Jenny. – Miss Jenny Dawson made her début at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, in a minor part, and shortly afterwards gained her first success as Pousette in the pantomime of Cinderella at the Prince’s Theatre, Manchester. In 1886 she came to London, and appeared as Jeames in Oliver Grumble at the Novelty Theatre [25 March 1886], under the management of Mr. Willie Edouin. An Autumn tour with Mr. G.P. Hawtrey, to play in The Pickpocket, was followed by her charming impersonation of Allan-a-Dale in the successful pantomime of The Babes in the Wood at the Prince of Wales’ Theatre, Liverpool. She remained in the provinces for a year, undertaking juvenile and leading parts, and principal burlesque. In September, 1887, she accepted an offer to join the Drury Lane Company, where she played Mrs. Egerton in Pleasure, and made an adorable Cupid in the pantomime of Puss in Boots. Mr. George Edwardes next engaged Miss Dawson for his provincial tour of Miss Esmeralda, and she then crossed the Atlantic solely to understudy Miss Nelly Farren in America, which brought her but barren honours. Returning to England in June, 1888, she appeared in Faust up to Date at the Gaiety during Mr. Van Bienne’s short autumnal season, to the success of which she very materially conduced. A pantomime engagement took her to Edinburgh for the winter, and in the spring of 1890 she was cast for Millie in The Bungalow at Toole’s [7 October 1889]. When Carmen up to Data was produced [Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool, 22 September 1890, transferred to the Gaiety, London, 4 October 1890], Miss Dawson created the rôle of Escamillo, but not liking the part, resigned it after the first week. Liverpool again claimed her for the winter pantomime, and in the spring of 1891 she was engaged by Mr. Thomas Thorne for Lady Franklin in the revival of Money, alternating the part with Miss Kate Phillips, after which she joined Mr. Charles Hawtrey’s Company at the Comedy, and besides creating the part of Rosabel in Houp La with unqualified success, filled the leading part in Husband and Wife with equal verve during Miss Lottie Venne’s absence.’
(Erskine Reid and Herbert Compton, The Dramatic Peerage, Raithby, Lawrence & Co Ltd, London, 1892, pp.67 and 68)

Jenny Dawson, whose husband was Robert E. Sharlach, was the mother of the actress, singer and mimic, Marie Dainton (1880-1938).