Posts Tagged ‘The Babes in the Wood (pantomime)’

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Louie Freear as Reggie in The Babes in the Wood, Theatre Royal, Manchester, Christmas 1898

January 10, 2015

Louie Freear (1871-1939), English actress and singer, as she appeared as Reggie the boy babe in The Babes in the Wood, the pantomime produced at the Theatre Royal, Manchester, on 24 December 1898.
(photo: Lafayette, Manchester, 1898/99; for another pose from this sitting, see The Sketch, London, Wednesday, 15 March 1899, p. 330)

‘A curious and interesting experiment will be tried in Manchester at Christmas [1898]. When the Drury-lane Babes in the Wood is reproduced at the Theatre Royal. Mr Dan Leon’s part will be played by Miss Louie Freear, who is to have the noble salary of £110 a-week. The girl babe [Chrissie] will be Mr [John] Brabourne.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 7 May 1898, p. 12a)

‘The pantomime of The Babes in the Wood, which was produced at Drury-lane last year with Mr Dan Leno as a central figure, has been transplanted to the Theatre Royal, Manchester. With its adornment of local allusions and up-to-date matter of general interest, and the inevitable fun which must ever attend the efforts of such favourites as Miss Maggie Duggan [Prince Paragon], Miss Louie Freear, and Mr Thomas E. Murray [the Baron], the revivified Babes in the Wood promises to have a most successful run. One scene which promised to develop as a mirth-provoking incident of the pantomime is a schoolroom episode which even at this early period provides a fund of irresistible merriment. Another novelty of the pantomime, s those who saw it in London well know, is that the babes, Miss Louie Freear and Mr Brabourne, are not the usual innocent victims of a designing baron. They are real, live babes with a penchant for mischief which provokes merriment all round, and Miss Louie Freear’s dry humour, which takes the form of a quiet, spontaneous wit, rather than vivacious liveliness, is droll and invigorating in the extreme… .’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 31 December 1898, p. 24d)

* * * * *

Louie Freear (real name Louisa Freear), one of the children of Henry Butler Freear (1840/41-1879), an actor, and his wife Mary (née Burke, 1835-), was baptised at St. John’s, Waterloo Road, Lambeth, Surrey, on 17 December 1871. Both her parents were born in Ireland, where they were married in 1860. She was married in 1912 to Charles Shepherd (who is thought to have died in 1963) and died in 1939.

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Florrie Forde

July 4, 2013

Florrie Forde (1876-1940), Australian-born British music hall singer and pantomime principal boy, takes her benefit during the run of the pantomime Red Riding Hood, Prince’s Theatre, Bradford, Tuesday, 2 March 1909
(photo: J.P. Bamber Galleries, Blackpool, England, circa 1912)

‘FLORRIE FORDE’S BENEFIT.
‘GREAT ENTHUSIASM AT THE PRINCE’S.
‘BOUQUETS AND PRESENT GALORE.
‘The popularity of Miss Florrie Forde was never so manifest as it was last night, when, on the occasion of her benefit performance, a crowd that thronged every part of the Prince’s Theatre cheered her every song and greeted her every appearance with boisterous applause. At the end of almost every act there were bouquets to hand up from the orchestra. There were large bouquets, small bouquets, spray bouquets, and shower bouquets of every description, but all showing the admiration in which she is held. Nor was she alone favoured, for there were also gifts for many of the other artists.
‘The performance itself was specially attractive. James Elivo was given a well-deserved rest, his place being taken for the occasion by Mr. Nathaniel Hepworth, the genial acting-manager, who is shortly leaving to take up the managership of the Leeds Royal Theatre. In addition, a large number of artists had come from the music halls in Bradford, Leeds, and Halifax to add to the evening’s enjoyment.
‘The more serious and, from some aspects, the most pleasing, portion of the entertainment was during the seventh scene, when a number of interesting presentations were made. Mr. Francis Laidler, the proprietor-manager, stepped on to the stage and delivered a happy little speech. He commenced by saying that, as was well known, the pantomime had been a record so far as the Prince’s Theatre was concerned. They had still to run one week, making eleven and a half weeks in all, which, so far as he was able to gather, was the longest run of any pantomime in the kingdom, with the exception of Drury Lane. Every member of the company would agree with him when he said that much of the success was due to his principal boy, Miss Florrie Forde. Not only was she an able artist, but her personal charm had endeared her to all. She was held in the highest esteem by every member of the company, and was simply worshipped by the children. ”It is artists of the character and disposition of Miss Florrie Forde,” he concluded, ”who have raised the tone of the theatre and the music halls to such a high level as it is to-day.”
‘With a few appropriate words, Mr. James Elvio, on behalf of the company, then presented Miss Forde with a handsome silver eclectic centre lamp, suitably inscribed; and Mr. Bert Byrne was chosen to give her a fine picture of herself by a local artist from an anonymous donor. Many other gifts were then presented from private friends.
‘Miss Forde was loudly cheered on coming forward to respond. She thanks the company and the public generally for the kind way they had treated her. As regarded any work she might have been able to do for the charities, she was glad to say that next year she was to be in pantomime not far from Bradford, and she would no doubt be able to continue the work which had made her so happy.
‘At the request of Mr. Laidler, the audience sang ”For she’s a jolly good fellow,” which he said was quite in keeping, as she was principal boy.
‘Mr. H.T. Butler, the stage-manager, and Mr. Henry Rushworth, the musical-director, were the recipients of a gold pencil-case and a box of silver-backed brushes respectively, the gifts of Miss Forde.
‘Both replied happily, Mr. Rushworth mentioning the interesting fact that he would also be connected with Miss Forde during the next pantomime season as musical-director. This was afterwards explained by Mr. Laidler. Miss Forde is to be his principal boy in The Babes in the Wood at the Leeds Royal, which he has lately acquired, and where Mr. H. Rushworth is to go as musical-director in a week or so.
‘After the performance the presents and bouquets were shown on the stage. They completely covered the tops of two large tables.’
(Daily Telegraph, Bradford, Yorkshire, Wednesday, 3 March 1909)

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Rose Newham

February 16, 2013

Rose Newham (née Rose May Newman, b. 1862),
acrobatic and skirt dancer in characteristic pose.
She was a younger sister of Amelia Newham (née Amelia Augusta Newman, b. 1845), otherwise known as Mlle. Colonna, who had caused a sensation in the late 1860s/early 1870s with her troupe of can can dancers.
(photo: Sarony, New York, late 1880s)

Rose Newham appearing on tour in the United States in Lydia Thompson’s Penelope Company, 1888
‘A VERY SENSATIONAL DANCE.
‘But High Kicking Which Does Not Offend Good Taste.
‘The startling and sensational dance and high kicking of Miss Rose Newham, of the Lydia Thompson Company, in the burlesque of Penelope, which is the opening performance of the company this evening at the New Park theatre, has been the talk of every city in which the dance has been witnessed.
‘Miss Newham kicks and points her toes to the flies, with quite as much ease apparently and quite as perpendicularly as a flagpole pointing its nob [sic] to the heavens. The dance is executed in the costume which was known in the Elizabethan period as a doublet and hose, but which has been considerably modified for the purposes of burlesque.
‘There is nothing at all suggestive in the highest of the high kicking and nothing to offend the most correct taste. The dance is simply graceful, fanciful, eccentric, sensational and entirely startling.
‘It is during the second act that a chord from the orchestra bring the dancer down to the footlights; here she stands for an instant until a measure in the music is reached that suits her, and her feet start into motion. The rapidity of her movements are well nigh inconceivable, and cannot be followed by the eye. Before one position can be flashed to the retina the nimble limbs have cleaved the circumambient air in a wholly different direction. The result is confusing and bewildering in the extreme, and yet not unpleasing. When Miss Newham kicks there is a perpendicular line that flashes from her hip upward past her shoulder, past her shell-like ear, and terminated by a green slipper waving triumphantly above her golden hair. For a moment she looks like a human being with one leg. The other leg has disappeared entirely from the place where it is usually found, and then as the dancing becomes more fast and furious, and it is impossible to follow her movements with any degree of accuracy, she seems to have two limbs on one side of her body – one over her head and the other with the foot still resting on the floor. The optical delusion is complete. The press throughout the country have been loud in their praise of the very remarkable dancing of this young lady; and one and all confess it to be the most graceful and the highest kick ever seen on the stage.
‘Miss Lydia Thompson and her famous burlesque company open this evening in Stephens’ and Solomon’s satirical burlesque Penelope. The company numbers fifty-five people and is the largest and most complete organization ever seen in Portland. The advance sale of seats have been remarkably large, and prospects point to a successful week’s engagement.’
(The Morning Oregonian, Portland, Oregon, Friday, 22 February 1889, p.5b)

Lydia Thompson’s production of Henry Pottinger Stephens and Edward Solomon’s burlesque, Penelope, opened at the Star Theatre, New York, on 15 October 1888, with herself playing Ulysses and Aida Jenoure in the title role.

Rose Newham
Rose Newham
(photo: unknown, late 1880s/early 1890s)

The People’s Theatre, 199 Bowery, New York City, week beginning Monday, 2 February 1891
‘The People’s has reproduced the striking situations and sensational effects of After Dark, a play that appeals very strongly to the tastes of this theatre’s patrons. Edmund Kean Collier, a vigorous and admirable actor when the conditions favor, is now the impersonator of the heroic Old Tom, and the Eaza is that careful and occasionally powerful actress, Stella Rees. Among the vaudevilliers [sic] who appeard in the concert hall scene was Rose Newham, who, though not named on the programme, gave a capital interlude of dancing.’
(The Sun, New York, Thursday, 5 February 1891, p. 3b)

Cinderella, Academy of Music, East 14th Street and Irving Place, New York City, November 1891
‘there was a sort of mortuary jollity about the production of Cinderella at the Academy of Music, a suggestion of the dear, dead ago. As an English pantomime it is a very, very long way off, and as an American entertainment it is lacking in many essential qualities. The costumes, ballets and ballet music all brought back memories of The Babes in the Wood at Niblo’s – to which, by the bye, Cinderella cannot hold a candle – then there was deal of Bertha Ricci, of comic opera memory, and other souvenirs… . Miss Fannie Ward, the Cinderella, has the ghost of a voice… . The best member of the company if Rose Newham, the skirt dancer, who did a conventional pas seul with her best Drury Lane smile.’
(Alan Dale, The Evening World, New York, Wednesday, 25 November 1891, p 2e)

‘Rose Newham, the skirt dancer, will, it is said, star in a new comedy next season, backed by a Chicagoan.’
(Dunkirk Evening Observer, Dunkirk, New York, Tuesday, 10 February 1891, p.2b)

Rose Newham is including in a long list of ‘ACTRESSES – SHOWING BUST’ in ‘New Cabinet Photographs,’ available from ‘RICHARD K. FOX, Publisher, Franklin Square, N.Y.’
(advertisement, <I.>Life and Battles of James J. Corbett The Champion Pugilist of the World, published by Richard K. Fox, New York, 1892)

‘PROFESSIONAL CARDS.
‘Rose Newham
‘At Liberty. 325 West 34th Street.’
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 8 February 1896, p. 27d)

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Rose Newham, acrobatic and skirt dancer, New York City, late 1880s

February 16, 2013

Rose Newham (née Rose May Newman, b. 1862),
acrobatic and skirt dancer in characteristic pose.
She was a younger sister of Amelia Newham (née Amelia Augusta Newman, b. 1845), otherwise known as Mlle. Colonna, who had caused a sensation in the late 1860s/early 1870s with her troupe of can can dancers.
(photo: Sarony, New York, late 1880s)

Rose Newham appearing on tour in the United States in Lydia Thompson’s Penelope Company, 1888
‘A VERY SENSATIONAL DANCE.
‘But High Kicking Which Does Not Offend Good Taste.
‘The startling and sensational dance and high kicking of Miss Rose Newham, of the Lydia Thompson Company, in the burlesque of Penelope, which is the opening performance of the company this evening at the New Park theatre, has been the talk of every city in which the dance has been witnessed.
‘Miss Newham kicks and points her toes to the flies, with quite as much ease apparently and quite as perpendicularly as a flagpole pointing its nob [sic] to the heavens. The dance is executed in the costume which was known in the Elizabethan period as a doublet and hose, but which has been considerably modified for the purposes of burlesque.
‘There is nothing at all suggestive in the highest of the high kicking and nothing to offend the most correct taste. The dance is simply graceful, fanciful, eccentric, sensational and entirely startling.
‘It is during the second act that a chord from the orchestra bring the dancer down to the footlights; here she stands for an instant until a measure in the music is reached that suits her, and her feet start into motion. The rapidity of her movements are well nigh inconceivable, and cannot be followed by the eye. Before one position can be flashed to the retina the nimble limbs have cleaved the circumambient air in a wholly different direction. The result is confusing and bewildering in the extreme, and yet not unpleasing. When Miss Newham kicks there is a perpendicular line that flashes from her hip upward past her shoulder, past her shell-like ear, and terminated by a green slipper waving triumphantly above her golden hair. For a moment she looks like a human being with one leg. The other leg has disappeared entirely from the place where it is usually found, and then as the dancing becomes more fast and furious, and it is impossible to follow her movements with any degree of accuracy, she seems to have two limbs on one side of her body – one over her head and the other with the foot still resting on the floor. The optical delusion is complete. The press throughout the country have been loud in their praise of the very remarkable dancing of this young lady; and one and all confess it to be the most graceful and the highest kick ever seen on the stage.
‘Miss Lydia Thompson and her famous burlesque company open this evening in Stephens’ and Solomon’s satirical burlesque Penelope. The company numbers fifty-five people and is the largest and most complete organization ever seen in Portland. The advance sale of seats have been remarkably large, and prospects point to a successful week’s engagement.’
(The Morning Oregonian, Portland, Oregon, Friday, 22 February 1889, p.5b)

Lydia Thompson’s production of Henry Pottinger Stephens and Edward Solomon’s burlesque, Penelope, opened at the Star Theatre, New York, on 15 October 1888, with herself playing Ulysses and Aida Jenoure in the title role.

Rose Newham
Rose Newham
(photo: unknown, late 1880s/early 1890s)

The People’s Theatre, 199 Bowery, New York City, week beginning Monday, 2 February 1891
‘The People’s has reproduced the striking situations and sensational effects of After Dark, a play that appeals very strongly to the tastes of this theatre’s patrons. Edmund Kean Collier, a vigorous and admirable actor when the conditions favor, is now the impersonator of the heroic Old Tom, and the Eaza is that careful and occasionally powerful actress, Stella Rees. Among the vaudevilliers [sic] who appeard in the concert hall scene was Rose Newham, who, though not named on the programme, gave a capital interlude of dancing.’
(The Sun, New York, Thursday, 5 February 1891, p. 3b)

Cinderella, Academy of Music, East 14th Street and Irving Place, New York City, November 1891
‘there was a sort of mortuary jollity about the production of Cinderella at the Academy of Music, a suggestion of the dear, dead ago. As an English pantomime it is a very, very long way off, and as an American entertainment it is lacking in many essential qualities. The costumes, ballets and ballet music all brought back memories of The Babes in the Wood at Niblo’s – to which, by the bye, Cinderella cannot hold a candle – then there was deal of Bertha Ricci, of comic opera memory, and other souvenirs… . Miss Fannie Ward, the Cinderella, has the ghost of a voice… . The best member of the company if Rose Newham, the skirt dancer, who did a conventional pas seul with her best Drury Lane smile.’
(Alan Dale, The Evening World, New York, Wednesday, 25 November 1891, p 2e)

‘Rose Newham, the skirt dancer, will, it is said, star in a new comedy next season, backed by a Chicagoan.’
(Dunkirk Evening Observer, Dunkirk, New York, Tuesday, 10 February 1891, p.2b)

Rose Newham is including in a long list of ‘ACTRESSES – SHOWING BUST’ in ‘New Cabinet Photographs,’ available from ‘RICHARD K. FOX, Publisher, Franklin Square, N.Y.’
(advertisement, <I.>Life and Battles of James J. Corbett The Champion Pugilist of the World, published by Richard K. Fox, New York, 1892)

‘PROFESSIONAL CARDS.
‘Rose Newham
‘At Liberty. 325 West 34th Street.’
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 8 February 1896, p. 27d)

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Rose Newham, acrobatic and skirt dancer, New York, late 1880s

February 16, 2013

Rose Newham (née Rose May Newman, b. 1862),
acrobatic and skirt dancer in characteristic pose.
She was a younger sister of Amelia Newham (née Amelia Augusta Newman, b. 1845), otherwise known as Mlle. Colonna, who had caused a sensation in the late 1860s/early 1870s with her troupe of can can dancers.
(photo: Sarony, New York, late 1880s)

Rose Newham appearing on tour in the United States in Lydia Thompson’s Penelope Company, 1888
‘A VERY SENSATIONAL DANCE.
‘But High Kicking Which Does Not Offend Good Taste.
‘The startling and sensational dance and high kicking of Miss Rose Newham, of the Lydia Thompson Company, in the burlesque of Penelope, which is the opening performance of the company this evening at the New Park theatre, has been the talk of every city in which the dance has been witnessed.
‘Miss Newham kicks and points her toes to the flies, with quite as much ease apparently and quite as perpendicularly as a flagpole pointing its nob [sic] to the heavens. The dance is executed in the costume which was known in the Elizabethan period as a doublet and hose, but which has been considerably modified for the purposes of burlesque.
‘There is nothing at all suggestive in the highest of the high kicking and nothing to offend the most correct taste. The dance is simply graceful, fanciful, eccentric, sensational and entirely startling.
‘It is during the second act that a chord from the orchestra bring the dancer down to the footlights; here she stands for an instant until a measure in the music is reached that suits her, and her feet start into motion. The rapidity of her movements are well nigh inconceivable, and cannot be followed by the eye. Before one position can be flashed to the retina the nimble limbs have cleaved the circumambient air in a wholly different direction. The result is confusing and bewildering in the extreme, and yet not unpleasing. When Miss Newham kicks there is a perpendicular line that flashes from her hip upward past her shoulder, past her shell-like ear, and terminated by a green slipper waving triumphantly above her golden hair. For a moment she looks like a human being with one leg. The other leg has disappeared entirely from the place where it is usually found, and then as the dancing becomes more fast and furious, and it is impossible to follow her movements with any degree of accuracy, she seems to have two limbs on one side of her body – one over her head and the other with the foot still resting on the floor. The optical delusion is complete. The press throughout the country have been loud in their praise of the very remarkable dancing of this young lady; and one and all confess it to be the most graceful and the highest kick ever seen on the stage.
‘Miss Lydia Thompson and her famous burlesque company open this evening in Stephens’ and Solomon’s satirical burlesque Penelope. The company numbers fifty-five people and is the largest and most complete organization ever seen in Portland. The advance sale of seats have been remarkably large, and prospects point to a successful week’s engagement.’
(The Morning Oregonian, Portland, Oregon, Friday, 22 February 1889, p.5b)

Lydia Thompson’s production of Henry Pottinger Stephens and Edward Solomon’s burlesque, Penelope, opened at the Star Theatre, New York, on 15 October 1888, with herself playing Ulysses and Aida Jenoure in the title role.

Rose Newham
Rose Newham
(photo: unknown, late 1880s/early 1890s)

The People’s Theatre, 199 Bowery, New York City, week beginning Monday, 2 February 1891
‘The People’s has reproduced the striking situations and sensational effects of After Dark, a play that appeals very strongly to the tastes of this theatre’s patrons. Edmund Kean Collier, a vigorous and admirable actor when the conditions favor, is now the impersonator of the heroic Old Tom, and the Eaza is that careful and occasionally powerful actress, Stella Rees. Among the vaudevilliers [sic] who appeard in the concert hall scene was Rose Newham, who, though not named on the programme, gave a capital interlude of dancing.’
(The Sun, New York, Thursday, 5 February 1891, p. 3b)

Cinderella, Academy of Music, East 14th Street and Irving Place, New York City, November 1891
‘there was a sort of mortuary jollity about the production of Cinderella at the Academy of Music, a suggestion of the dear, dead ago. As an English pantomime it is a very, very long way off, and as an American entertainment it is lacking in many essential qualities. The costumes, ballets and ballet music all brought back memories of The Babes in the Wood at Niblo’s – to which, by the bye, Cinderella cannot hold a candle – then there was deal of Bertha Ricci, of comic opera memory, and other souvenirs… . Miss Fannie Ward, the Cinderella, has the ghost of a voice… . The best member of the company if Rose Newham, the skirt dancer, who did a conventional pas seul with her best Drury Lane smile.’
(Alan Dale, The Evening World, New York, Wednesday, 25 November 1891, p 2e)

‘Rose Newham, the skirt dancer, will, it is said, star in a new comedy next season, backed by a Chicagoan.’
(Dunkirk Evening Observer, Dunkirk, New York, Tuesday, 10 February 1891, p.2b)

Rose Newham is including in a long list of ‘ACTRESSES – SHOWING BUST’ in ‘New Cabinet Photographs,’ available from ‘RICHARD K. FOX, Publisher, Franklin Square, N.Y.’
(advertisement, <I.>Life and Battles of James J. Corbett The Champion Pugilist of the World, published by Richard K. Fox, New York, 1892)

‘PROFESSIONAL CARDS.
‘Rose Newham
‘At Liberty. 325 West 34th Street.’
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 8 February 1896, p. 27d)

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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).