Posts Tagged ‘The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd (photographers)’

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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.

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Martin Harvey and cast in a scene from Don Juan’s Last Wager, Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, 1900

January 24, 2015

John Martin Harvey (1863-1944), English actor-manager, as Don Juan Tenorio, and members of the cast in the supper scene in Mrs Cunningham Graham’s romantic play, Don Juan’s Last Wager (based on José Zorrilla’s 1844 play, Don Juan Tenorio), which was first produced at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, on 27 February 1900. The piece was not a success and was withdrawn after 30 performances.
(photo: London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1900)

‘GREEN ROOM GOSSIP… .
‘Mr. Martin Harvey, acting on the advice of his doctor, will conclude from run of ”Don Juan’s Last Wager” at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre on Saturday next [31 March 1900]. Mr Harvey continues to be the tenant of the theatre until the end of July at least, and he hopes to produce towards the middle of May the ”triple bill” of which we have spoken. Meanwhile, at Easter, Mr. Harvey will revive a comedy not quite fresh to the theatre, in which he himself will not appear.’
(Daily Mail, London, Wednesday, 28 March 1900, p. 8a)

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Mdlle. Sylvia as Serpolette in Les Cloches de Corneville upon its reopening, Globe Theatre, London, 4 September 1880

November 30, 2014

Mdlle. Sylvia (active late 1870s/early 1880s), Swedish soprano, as she appeared as Serpolette in Les Cloches de Corneville upon its reopening, Globe Theatre, Newcastle Street, London on Saturday, 4 September 1880. The part of Serpolette had been first played in London by he American soprano, Kate Munroe.
(cabinet photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1880)

‘Mdlle. Sylvia, a young vocalist of Swedish extraction, made her first appearance in England on Wednesday last as the heroine of Offenbach’s Madame Favart, which still retains its popularity after nearly 500 continuous repetitions. Mdlle. Sylvia is young, graceful, and prepossessing. Her voice is a soprano of good quality and ample compass, and she sang with taste and expression, although at times so nervous that her intonation became unsatisfactory. She was heartily applauded, and will probably prove a valuable addition to the excellent company at the Strand Theatre.’
(The Observer, London, Sunday, 1 August 1880, p. 7d)

Globe Theatre, London, Saturday, 4 September 1880
‘On Saturday, September 4, the Globe Theatre, which has been newly decorated, will reopen for the regular season with Les Cloches de Corneville, the reproduction of which will derive additional interest from the engagement of Mr. [Frank H. ] Celli, who will personate the Marquis; and Mesdames Sylvia and D’Algua, who will respectively sustain the parts of Serpolette and Germaine. Mdlle. Sylvia is already known to the London public as having successfully impersonated Madame Favart at the Strand Theatre, during the absence of Miss [Florence] St. John. Mdlle. D’Algua will make her first appearance on the London stage, and Messrs. [Harry] Paulton, [Charles] Ashford, and Shiel Barry will reappear as the Bailie, Gobo, and the Miser. Les Coches will only be played for a limited number of nights, pending the production of a new comic opera from the pen of Offenbach.’
(The Observer, London, Sunday, 29 August 1880, p. 3f)

‘After a short recess, during which the auditorium has undergone a complete renovation, the Globe Theatre reopened on Saturday evening with the familiar but by no means unwelcome Cloches de Corneville as the staple entertainment. M. Planquette’s charming opera has not yet outlived its popularity, and no doubt it will attract the music-loving public while Mr. Alexander Henderson is getting ready the promised Offenbach novelty. The present cast is in many respects an excellent one. Mr. Shiel Barry, of course, retains his part of the miser, Gaspard, and plays it with the same intensity as heretofore; while Mr. Harry Paulton and Mr. Charles Ashford continue to impersonate the Bailie and his factotum, Gobo, in a manner which is well known. With these three exceptions the characters have changed hands. Mdlle. D’Algua is now the Germaine, Mdlle. Sylvia the Serpolette, Mr. [Henry] Bracy the Grenicheux, and Mr. F.H. Celli the Marquis. Unfortunately both Mdlle. D’Algua and Mdlle. Sylvia have but an imperfect acquaintance with the English tongue, and their speeches are therefore not readily comprehensible. Perhaps practice, in each case, may make perfect, but at present a little judicious ”coaching” would make an improvement. Mdlle. D’Algua sings her music efficiently, and with some degree of artistic feeling; while Mdlle. Sylvia acts with plenty of vivacity throughout, and proves herself an accomplished vocalist. Mr. Bracy has a pleasant tenor voice, which he used fairly well, and Mr. F.H. Celli brings his ripe experience in opera to bear upon the part of the Marquis – a character usually assigned to a tenor, if our memory serve us right. The work is placed on the stage with all due regard for picturesqueness of effect, there is a capital chorus, and Mr. Edward Solomon has his orchestra thoroughly well in hand. So wholesome and refreshing is M. Planquette’s work that playgoers may perhaps disregard the oppressive head, which renders indoor amusements all but intolerable, and take the opportunity of renewing their acquaintance with the chiming of the Corneville bells. The opera is preceded by a farce.’
(The Standard, London, Monday, 6 September 1880, p. 3d)

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Mdlle. Sylvia, Swedish soprano, as she appeared as Serpolette in Les Cloches de Corneville, Globe Theatre, London, 1880.

November 30, 2014

Mdlle. Sylvia (active late 1870s/early 1880s), Swedish soprano, as she appeared as Serpolette in Les Cloches de Corneville upon its reopening, Globe Theatre, Newcastle Street, London on Saturday, 4 September 1880. The part of Serpolette had been first played in London by he American soprano, Kate Munroe.
(cabinet photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1880)

‘Mdlle. Sylvia, a young vocalist of Swedish extraction, made her first appearance in England on Wednesday last as the heroine of Offenbach’s Madame Favart, which still retains its popularity after nearly 500 continuous repetitions. Mdlle. Sylvia is young, graceful, and prepossessing. Her voice is a soprano of good quality and ample compass, and she sang with taste and expression, although at times so nervous that her intonation became unsatisfactory. She was heartily applauded, and will probably prove a valuable addition to the excellent company at the Strand Theatre.’
(The Observer, London, Sunday, 1 August 1880, p. 7d)

Globe Theatre, London, Saturday, 4 September 1880
‘On Saturday, September 4, the Globe Theatre, which has been newly decorated, will reopen for the regular season with Les Cloches de Corneville, the reproduction of which will derive additional interest from the engagement of Mr. [Frank H. ] Celli, who will personate the Marquis; and Mesdames Sylvia and D’Algua, who will respectively sustain the parts of Serpolette and Germaine. Mdlle. Sylvia is already known to the London public as having successfully impersonated Madame Favart at the Strand Theatre, during the absence of Miss [Florence] St. John. Mdlle. D’Algua will make her first appearance on the London stage, and Messrs. [Harry] Paulton, [Charles] Ashford, and Shiel Barry will reappear as the Bailie, Gobo, and the Miser. Les Coches will only be played for a limited number of nights, pending the production of a new comic opera from the pen of Offenbach.’
(The Observer, London, Sunday, 29 August 1880, p. 3f)

‘After a short recess, during which the auditorium has undergone a complete renovation, the Globe Theatre reopened on Saturday evening with the familiar but by no means unwelcome Cloches de Corneville as the staple entertainment. M. Planquette’s charming opera has not yet outlived its popularity, and no doubt it will attract the music-loving public while Mr. Alexander Henderson is getting ready the promised Offenbach novelty. The present cast is in many respects an excellent one. Mr. Shiel Barry, of course, retains his part of the miser, Gaspard, and plays it with the same intensity as heretofore; while Mr. Harry Paulton and Mr. Charles Ashford continue to impersonate the Bailie and his factotum, Gobo, in a manner which is well known. With these three exceptions the characters have changed hands. Mdlle. D’Algua is now the Germaine, Mdlle. Sylvia the Serpolette, Mr. [Henry] Bracy the Grenicheux, and Mr. F.H. Celli the Marquis. Unfortunately both Mdlle. D’Algua and Mdlle. Sylvia have but an imperfect acquaintance with the English tongue, and their speeches are therefore not readily comprehensible. Perhaps practice, in each case, may make perfect, but at present a little judicious “coaching” would make an improvement. Mdlle. D’Algua sings her music efficiently, and with some degree of artistic feeling; while Mdlle. Sylvia acts with plenty of vivacity throughout, and proves herself an accomplished vocalist. Mr. Bracy has a pleasant tenor voice, which he used fairly well, and Mr. F.H. Celli brings his ripe experience in opera to bear upon the part of the Marquis – a character usually assigned to a tenor, if our memory serve us right. The work is placed on the stage with all due regard for picturesqueness of effect, there is a capital chorus, and Mr. Edward Solomon has his orchestra thoroughly well in hand. So wholesome and refreshing is M. Planquette’s work that playgoers may perhaps disregard the oppressive head, which renders indoor amusements all but intolerable, and take the opportunity of renewing their acquaintance with the chiming of the Corneville bells. The opera is preceded by a farce.’
(The Standard, London, Monday, 6 September 1880, p. 3d)

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Maud Middleton, the ‘comely chambermaid’ of the Great White Horse in James Albery’s dramatization of Dicken’s Pickwick Papers, Lyceum Theatre, London, 1871

July 13, 2014

Maud Middleton (active 1871/72), English actress, at about the time of her appearance as ‘the comely chambermaid’ of the Great White Horse in James Albery’s dramatization of Charles Dickens’s Pickwick Papers, produced at the Lyceum Theatre, London, on 23 October 1871.
(carte de visite photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, early 1870s)

Pickwick, Lyceum Theatre, 1871
‘… But of characters, male and female, there are so many that it is impossible to enumerate them. When we mention among the ladies the names of Miss Marion Hill, Miss Minnie Sidney, Miss Kate Manor, and Miss Maude [sic] Middleton, we are not even half-way through the list of beauties… .’
(The Standard, London, Wednesday, 25 October 1871, p. 3d)

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July 13, 2014

Maud Middleton (active 1871/72), English actress, at about the time of her appearance as ‘the comely chambermaid’ of the Great White Horse in James Albery’s dramatization of Charles Dickens’s Pickwick Papers, produced at the Lyceum Theatre, London, on 23 October 1871.
(carte de visite photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, early 1870s)

Pickwick, Lyceum Theatre, 1871
’… But of characters, male and female, there are so many that it is impossible to enumerate them. When we mention among the ladies the names of Miss Marion Hill, Miss Minnie Sidney, Miss Kate Manor, and Miss Maude [sic] Middleton, we are not even half-way through the list of beauties… .’
(The Standard, London, Wednesday, 25 October 1871, p. 3d)

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Florence Dysart as Maid Marion in the pantomime, Babes in the Wood and Robin Hood and his Merry Men, produced at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, on 26 December 1888

May 3, 2014

Florence Dysart (active 1881-1897), English mezzo-soprano and actress, as she appeared as the principal girl, Maid Marion in the pantomime Babes in the Wood and Robin Hood and his Merry Men, which was produced at the Drury Lane Theatre, on Boxing night, 26 December 1888.
(cabinet photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1888)

‘MY NEW PANTOMIME.
‘TEN MINUTES’ CHAT WITH AUGUSTUS DRURIOLANUS [i.e. Augustus Harris, manager of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane].
‘I risked my life in order to catch Mr. Harris, for I arrived at the stage door in the middle of the great scene in The Armada, and when I reached the stage soon began to feel as helpless as a straw in a maelström. I was driven hither by perspiring men-at-arms, and thither by panting halberdiers, shoved here by the blowing scene-shifters and there by gallant knights, glared at by beetle-browed Spaniards, glowered at by Elizabethan jacks, nearly spitted by the professional rippers [a reference to Jack the Ripper]of the period, crushed by the tumbling masts, blinded by the flash of musketry, and deafened by the cannon’s roar. So I was glad to find myself in the Harrisian haven, a cosy little den, from which the great Druriolanus directs his many enterprises.
‘MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN EVER.
”’Well, Mr. Harris, how is the pantomime getting on, and what is it to be?”
”’Jack the Giant K——, Babes in the Wood, I mean, replied Druriolanus, who had forgotten for the moment.
”’Will the Babes beat the record?”
”’The Babes will beat the record.”
”In what way, Mr. Harris? More money, more spectacle?”
”People seem to think that a successful pantomime is only a matter of money, It is a great mistake. You can’t make an omelette without eggs, of course, but many an omelette has been spoiled notwithstanding the sacrifice of a good many good eggs.”
‘MR. HARRIS SAYS, ”BRAINS, MY BOY.”
”’Your refer to brains, Mr. Harris?” Mr. Harris refused to answer; but a smile played about his swarthy countenance, and he, blushing in his confusion, began to take to pieces a little camera, with which he photographs designs and scenery.
”’There is no doubt that money spent on a pantomime without brains might as well be thrown into the gutter.”
”’Well, now, tell me, Mr. Harris, when do you begin to thank about pantomimes?”
”’Last January I fixed on the Babes, and began to make arrangements for my book, my business, my stars, my properties, and my sensations.”
”’Which are ——?”
”’My big scene will be the ‘Ballet of Birds,’ the most beautiful thing I have ever done. You smile. Ha! because I told you that last year, eh? You bow. But don’t I tell you that every year I try to beat the record? So it will be more beautiful than ever. The birds will be selected for their splendid plumage. Birds of Paradise, birds of Japan, birds of the East – but there, you can imagine the stage filled with hundreds of feathered things.” Without knowing, I should prophesy that Mr. Harris will invent a good many specimens unknown to ornithologists, such as birds with tails of diamond sprays, with golden beaks, silver legs, ruby eyes, and so on.
‘THE WOOD IN WHICH THE BABES ARE LOST.
”’Any other sensation, Mr. Harris?”
”’Well, I think I have got a novelty which will be very attractive. When the ‘Babes’ go into the wood, the wood will move with them. As they lose themselves the forest gets thicker, the scrub denser, until they reach the gloomiest glade of the forest, when they lie down and die. I have tried to get this effect for four years, but only now have I succeeded. The machinery is made abroad.”
”’Who are the ‘Babes’?”
Mr. Harry Nicholls and Mr. Herbert Campbell. Mdme. Ænea is Robin Redbreast, Miss Harriet Vernon is ‘the’ boy, and Miss Florence Dysart the leading lady.”
”’And your danseuse?”
”’Well, the pantomime public doesn’t care about the ballet in the sense that the word is used – I mean too much dancing.”
”’Nevertheless I suppose you will have a good many ladies on the stage?”
”’A few hundreds,” replied Mr. Harris, with nonchalance.
‘SQUINTERS AND ONE-EYED, THEY DON’T GET OVER ME.
”’I suppose you are overwhelmed with applications?”
”From all parts of the country, for months past. The process of selection takes some time and trouble, I can tell you. When a girl writes we ask her to send her photo and previous experience, and all the letters are carefully sifted. I need not tell you that all sorts of dodges are tried in order to secure an engagement. A young lady may squint, in which case she would probably send me the photo of her sister or her friend. Or she may have only one eye, and request the photographer to add the other. What I do is to sift the photos, and I have letters written to the likely ones requesting them to be at the theatre on a certain day. They come and are marched on to the stage. I then arrange them in regiments, putting them into little squadrons of all and small, and fair and dark, and comely and otherwise. With my secretary I then go through them, having already sampled them, so to speak. We have their letters, and as we pass each one I say to the secretary, ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C,’ ‘D,’ ‘E,’ &c., each of the letters having a special significance. This done, we then write to the selected ones. I need not tell you that this is a very important business which I always do myself.”
”’Have you many children in the pantomime this year?”
”’Not many. The children are a great deal of trouble.” The the joy bells began ringing, and Mr. Harris took me to see the grand procession in the Armada.’
(The Pall Mall Gazette, London, Tuesday, 4 December 1888, p. 6a)