Posts Tagged ‘St. James’s Theatre (London)’

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Julie Opp

April 16, 2013

Julie Opp (1871-1921), American actress
(photo: unknown, circa 1900)

OPP, Miss Julie (Mrs. William Faversham):
‘Actress, was born in New York in 1873, and was educated in a convent there. When she was twenty years old she began writing. As a reporter she went to Paris and interviewed [Emma] Calvé and Sarah Bernhardt. Both urged her to adopt the stage as a profession, offering their advice, influence and support. Returning to this country, Miss Opp made her first public appearance in the spring of 1896 at a recital given by Madame D’Hardelot at the Waldorf, New York. She recited “The Birth of the Opal,” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. The same year, returning to Paris, she made her first appearance on the legitimate stage, with Madame Bernhardt, in the ballroom scene in Camille. She then [in 1896/97] obtained a year’s engagement in the company of George Alexander at the St. James’s Theatre, London, during which she was understudy to Julia Neilson in The Prisoner of Zenda, and played Hymen in As You Like It. During the illness of Miss Neilson she played Rosalind and made her first big success. She was next seen in The Princess and the Butterfly in London, and in 1898 she appeared in this country in the same play, afterward being seen as Belle in The Tree of Knowledge. She then went back to London and played several leading parts at St. James’s Theatre there, where she created the rôle of Katherine de Vancelle in If I Were King. Returning to this country under engagement with Charles Frohman, Miss Opp played leading parts in the company supporting William Faversham, whose wife she became in 1902. She continued to play leads with her husband until 1905, on October 31 of which year a son was born to them. The Favershams have a farm in England. Their home in this country is at 214 East Seventeenth street, New York.’
(Walter Browne and E. De Roy Koch, editors, Who’s Who on the Stage, B.W. Dodge & Co, New York, 1908, pp.334 and 335)

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‘Curtain Falls for Julie Opp.
‘New York, Apr. 8 [1921]. – Mrs. William Faversham, who, while she was on the stage, was known as Julie Opp, died here today at the Post Graduate hospital after an operation.
‘Mrs. Faversham, who was born in New York City, January 25, 1871, was originally a journalist here and contributed articles to a number of magazines. She made her first appearance on the stage in London in 1896 as Hymen in As You Like It. In November, 1897, she came to America and made her debut in this city at the Lyceum theatre as Princess Pannonla in The Princess and the Butterfly.
‘She appeared with her husband in The Squaw Man in 1906. Later she played Portia in The Merchant of Venice and other leading roles.’
(Reno Evening Gazette, Reno, Nevada, Friday, 8 April 1921, p.1b)

‘Julie Opp.
‘The death of this actress is taken account of here, as all news concerning those eminent on the stage is sure to be. All of the greater performers sooner or later appear here, as it is the ultimate western goal of thespians. Julie Opp was recognized as a sterling actress, appearing with her husband, William Faversham, and with him, commanding unusual consideration. Though her great talents and remarkable beauty made an artistic impression in themselves, she may not have been taken to San Francisco’s heart in that intimate way in which some stage favorites have been. It may be that Sanfrancisco’s penchant this way has waned. Very long ago it ceased throwing coins on the stage, as in the case of Lotta. And later it ceased worshipping intensely at individual shrines, as in the case of Mrs. Judah. Perhaps in general it is now inclined to continue its approval of stage folk to unemotional judgment of their histrionic abilities. Mrs. Faversham’s death discloses two facts that may not have been generally known. She had been married before her union with Mr. Faversham. Early in her career she married Robert Loraine, but the union was not prosperous and did not last long. She is the mother of two sons. It is also of interest that she was once a newspaper reporter, and by her general aptitude attracted the attention of such a noted stage celebrity as [Sarah] Bernhardt, in whose company she served her novitiate.’
(The Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, 17 April 1921, Magazine Section, ‘The Knave’)

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‘Mother-in-Law Sues Faversham for Real Estate
‘Claims Actor Obtained Property from Her Through Misrepresentation.
‘New York, June 1 [1922]. – Court proceedings were begun today in an effort to force William Faversham, the actor, to return to Mrs. Julie Opp, mother of his late wife, Julie Opp Faversham rights to property which Mrs. Opp claims Mr. and Mrs. Faversham obtained through misrepresentation.
‘The petition alleges that besides obtaining the property by misrepresentation, Faversham obtained from her large sums of money which he never repaid.
‘The real estate in question, Mr. Opp alleged, was left her by her husband, John Opp, who died in 1898. Later, she charges, Faversham told her his wife was in need of funds with with which to meet obligations, and asked that Mrs. Opp sign papers for a loan to be secured on this property.
‘These papers, Mrs. Opp claims, were afterward discovered to be quit claim deeds, turning the property over to “Peter S. O’Hara” whom she characterizes as a “dummy.” The consideration was $24,000, but neither she nor any one representing the estate of her husband has received any of this sum, she says.
‘Mrs. Opp now declares herself to be without means of support by reason of her “scant business experience” and Mr. Faversham’s “knowledge of worldly affairs.”’
(The Bridgeport Telegram, Bridgeport, Connecticut, 2 June 1922, p.10c)

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Albina di Rhona

March 26, 2013

a carte de visite photograph of Albina di Rhona (fl. 1850s/1860s), the Servian actress, dancer and singer who arrived in London in 1860, in 1861 revived the fortunes of the Soho Theatre, which afterwards became the Royalty Theatre, and who the following year embarked on a brief tour of the United Kingdom
(photo: Mayer Brothers, 133 Regent Street, London, 1860 or 1861)

St. James’s Theatre, London, 26 November 1860
‘A young Servian lady, Mdlle. Albina di Rhona, who has made a great sensation in St. Petersburg, made her first appearance last night in a little sketch written for the display of her talent as a dancer. Very pretty, and with a little elegant figure, expressive face, and graceful action, Mdlle. di Rhona soon won the favour of the audience, and was greeted in each successive pas with thunders of applause. In the little skeleton of plot of the piece (which is called Smack for Smack) she personates a young French girl, who so captivates an English soldier that he foregoes for her sake a determination to avenge an insult offered by a Frenchman to his sister by boxing the ears of the French girl he encountered, and finally abstracts a kiss from the savage Briton. The Cracovienne, the Ecossaise (our old friend the Highland Fling, we thought, made fashionable for a St. James’s audience), and one or two other dances, were performed with great spirit and taste, and the young lady was well seconded by the blunt absurdities of Mr. Belmore.’
(Daily News, London, Tuesday, 27 November 1860, p. 3b)

‘St. James’s. – Mdlle. Albina di Rhona, the danseuse-sou-brette, whose performance, in private, at this theatre, we recorded a fortnight ago, made her first public appearance here on Monday evening in a semi-Anglicised version of the little vaudeville of which we spoke on that occasion. The piece, now entitled Smack for Smack, has thus the peculiar novelty of being played in French and English, for Madlle. Albina, as Fanchette, speaks only the former language, and Mr. George Belmore, who, as John Trott, takes the place of the original Prussian, supplies the other half of the dialogue with good honest Saxon vernacular. The latter individual (who during the farce attempts a comic song that might wisely be expunged), is supposed to be a soldier attached to the army of occupation in our last war with France, but he is here only used as the means of preventing the stage being wholly vacant, whilst the danseuse heightens her personal attractions by some becoming assumptions of various national costumes. The piquant style and expressive action, which we described as being the prominent characteristics of this young Servian artiste when seen by a select few, we found even more strong marked when the additional stimulus of a public performance was afforded. The sprightliness of her acting is accompanied by a dashing dexterity in her dancing, which, although not distinguished by any original features, will not be unlikely to attract the public on account of the novelty of the medium through which they are presented. At the end of the piece, which did not severely tax the patience of the auditory, Mdlle. di Rhona was called before the curtain, and, amidst a vehement expression of approval, received a further tributary acknowledgement of her success in the form of numerous bouquets from a friendly box. In fact, Mdlle. Albina di Rhona is not superior (if equal) to Miss Lydia Thompson as an actress or dancer, but dresses with similar indelicacy. The little vaudeville was preceded by the comedietta of A Loan of a Wife, and was followed by the petite drama of Mons. Jacques, and the farce of Next Door.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 2 December 1860, p. 10b)

‘Mdlle. Albina di Rhona, the ”dancing soubrette,” who first raised the Soho playhouse to the rank of a recognized theatre, and endowed it with its present title, the ”New Royalty,” has lately been exposed to serious peril. Her present calling, it seems, is that of a performer of legerdemain, and at the Salle de l’Orient, Brussels, she has been giving a series of performances, comprising the well-known trick of receiving uninjured the supposed contents of an apparently loaded pistol. One evening, when the weapon, after it had been handed round for the inspection of the public, was returned into her hands, she inserted her magic wand into the barrel, and felt it come into contact with an unexpected obstacle. She retired, and afterwards reappeared in a state of violent agitation. It subsequently transpired that some scoundrel among the spectators had slipped into the barrel a screw of about an inch in length, which, if it had not been discovered, would have killed or seriously wounded the fair enchantress.’
(The Pall Mall Gazette, London, Thursday, 29 October 1868, p. 7b)

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January 28, 2013

a scene from A.W. Pinero’s comedy, His House in Order,
produced at the St. James’s Theatre, London, on 1 February 1906,
with George Alexander and Irene Vanbrugh
(photo: unknown; printed by J. Miles & Co Ltd,
68 & 70 Wardour Street, London, W, 1906)

This halftone postcard flyer advertises A.W. Pinero’s comedy, His House in Order, produced by George Alexander at the St. James’s Theatre, London, on 1 February 1906. The reverse has printed details including prices of admission and directions to the theatre: ‘The St. James’s Theatre is situated in King Street, St. James’s, a few yard from St. James’s Street and Pall Mall. Piccadilly omnibuses pass within 150 yards of the theatre (alight at the top of St. James’s Street); Regent Street omnibuses proceeding South (alight Piccadilly Circus); those going North (alight at Waterloo Place).’ The production included George Alexander and Irene Vanbrugh in the leading roles, supported by Nigel Playfair, Herbert Waring, E. Lyall Swete, Bella Pateman, Beryl Faber, Marcelle Chevalier, Iris Hawkins and others.

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January 28, 2013

a scene from A.W. Pinero’s comedy, His House in Order,
produced at the St. James’s Theatre, London, on 1 February 1906,
with George Alexander and Irene Vanbrugh
(photo: unknown; printed by J. Miles & Co Ltd,
68 & 70 Wardour Street, London, W, 1906)

This halftone postcard flyer advertises A.W. Pinero’s comedy, His House in Order, produced by George Alexander at the St. James’s Theatre, London, on 1 February 1906. The reverse has printed details including prices of admission and directions to the theatre: ‘The St. James’s Theatre is situated in King Street, St. James’s, a few yard from St. James’s Street and Pall Mall. Piccadilly omnibuses pass within 150 yards of the theatre (alight at the top of St. James’s Street); Regent Street omnibuses proceeding South (alight Piccadilly Circus); those going North (alight at Waterloo Place).’ The production included George Alexander and Irene Vanbrugh in the leading roles, supported by Nigel Playfair, Herbert Waring, E. Lyall Swete, Bella Pateman, Beryl Faber, Marcelle Chevalier, Iris Hawkins and others.

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January 6, 2013

a scene from Pierre le Rouge,
St. James’s Theatre, London, January 1845,
‘in which Pierre tears the unmerited wreath from the head of Jeanneton.’
(from The Illustrated London News, London, Saturday, 1 February 1845, p. 73)

A season of French plays at the St. James’s Theatre, London, January, 1845
‘The season of these very attractive performances commenced on Monday [27 January 1845], having been postponed from the preceding week, at first announced in the programme. The opening of the French theatrical campaign is, in the dramatic world, what the first primrose is in the natural one – the sign that winter is on the turn, and that preparations are being made to herald in the spring. The migratory birds of fashion collect together again – some from the Continent, others from provincial hybernacula, and others from living through the winter at the backs of their houses, that the blinds might be down, and the shutter-knobs papered in the front, to gain at least the credit of being out of town. The occupants of the boxes at the French plays no longer wish their attendance to remain a secret to the world on account of the unfashionable period, but swell the lists of the distinguished personages reported as having visited the performances during the week.
‘The opening of the St. James’s Theatre is the avant courier of the Opera; and, simultaneously with it, the West-end begins to show signs of returning animation.
‘The house on Monday evening was excellently attended, every box being filled, and the other parts of the house showing few vacant places. Contrary to the usual custom of putting up some insignificant farce, supported by second-rate performers, to ”play the audience in,” M. Lafont, of the Variétés, and Mdlle. Nathalie both appeared in the first piece – a pleasant vaudeville, entitled Le Mari à la Ville et la Femme à la Campagne. The title of the play may suggest some of the incidents, which were exceedingly light, but sufficiently amusing to keep the audience in great good humour; at the same time it was admirably played throughout. The drama which followed, called Pierre le Rouge, is exceedingly interesting, embracing three epochs – before, during, and after the Revolution; and in this the capabilities of the new performers were admirably developed. They at once established themselves as favourites, and were warmly applauded, being called for at the end of the piece. With respect to M. Lafont, however, it was rather a reappearance than a débût. Some of our readers may remember to have seen him in the same piece at the Lyceum, some years back. Mdlle. Nathalei [sic], as Jeanneton, made a decided impression on the audience. She is a valuable actress.
‘The prospectus of the season looks well. Mr. Mitchell promises us many of our old favourites, including Achard, Madam Albert, and Mdlle. Plessy; together with Frederic Lemaitre, and M. Arnal. It is likewise stated that Alexander Dumas has written a comedy, expressly for the company, and will be over here to superintend its production.’
(The Illustrated London News, London, Saturday, 1 February 1845, p. 73)

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January 4, 2013

Adeline Cotterell (fl. 1860s)
English actress
St. James’s Theatre, London, 4 May 1863
(photo: Alexander Bassano, 122 Regent Street, London, circa 1863)

‘It is difficult to find a single life in all Johnson’s Lives of the Poets, in which it is not said of the subject that such and such a work ”sustained,” rather than added to, his reputation. Now, as the doctor is less litigious than Mr. Boucicault, we have no hesitation in adopting that phrase to describe The Little Sentinel, a new comedietta, written by Mr. J.T. Williams. It is just ”up to the mark,” and no more. And yet the story is simple and pretty. A young countryman has secretly engaged himself to a ”dashing” widow, and during his absence he obtains the services of his sister to baffle all admirers. This is the little sentinel – Miss Marie Wilton; and much work is quickly cut out for her. A pair of town swells, old and young, tottering and lisping, assail the widow, and are discomfited. The little sentinel makes love to them herself, and interrupts their flirtations by flinging apples, dropping brooms on their toes, and even bestowing on them a liberal shower from a watering-pot. All this Miss Marie Wilton performs with much grace and vivacity, but countless times have we seen her to better advantage. Miss Adeline Cotterell made a most desirable widow, but the brace of coxcombs were decidedly over-acted by Mr. Johnson and Mr. Gaston Murray.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 10 May 1863, p. 8b)

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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)