Posts Tagged ‘Theatre Royal (Birmingham)’


Phyllis Dare in Edgar Wallace’s The Yellow Mask, London, 1928

October 6, 2014

Phyllis Dare (1890-1975), English star of musical comedy, as she appeared in EdgarWallace‘s musical comedy drama, The Yellow Mask, which was first seen at the Theatre Royal, Birmingham, 5 November 1927 before opening at the Carlton Theatre, London, on 8 February 1928. The production was subsequently transferred to His Majesty’s Theatre, London, 26 March 1928 and then to the London Palladium, 25 June 1928. Other leading members of the cast were Bobby Howes, Malcom Keen and Winnie Collins.
(photo: Stage Photo Co, London, 1928)

‘The ”leading lady” in The Yellow Mask is Miss Phyllis Dare and of its type her dancing is a joy to watch. Her movements are so controlled and graceful and there is such a wealth of meaning in the play of her hands and arms. I do not know at all where Miss Dare had her original dancing lessons, but I am confident that at some time or other she must have been well grounded in the simple technique of the ballet.’
(The Dancing Times, London, August 1928, pp. 487 and 488)

In 1930 The Yellow Mask was adapted for the cinema, starring Lupino Lane and Dorothy Seacombe, with Winnie Collins in her original part of Molly.


Phyllis Dare as Peggy in The Dairymaids, 1907-1908

October 8, 2013

Phyllis Dare (1890-1975), English actress, singer and star of musical comedy as she appeared in The Dairymaids, a farcical musical play, with music by Paul Rubens and Frank E. Tours, 1907-1908
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1907/08)

The Dairymaids was first produced by Robert Courtneidge at the Apollo Theatre, London, on 14 April 1906, with Carrie Moore in the leading role of Peggy. The piece ran for 239 performances and closed on 8 December 1906. Courtneidge organized various tours of The Dairymaids, including one for the autumn of 1907 which began at the Gaiety Theatre, Douglas, Isle of Man, on Monday, 19 August, with Phyllis Dare playing Peggy. Miss Dare was obliged to abandon her appearances for two weeks (Belfast and Sheffield) because of laryngitis, when the part of Peggy was taken by Violet Lloyd.

After a break during the Christmas season of 1907/08, during which Phyllis Dare appeared with Carrie Moore, Gwennie Hasto, Esta Stella, Rosie Berganine, John Humphries, Dan Rolyat, Stephen Adeson and Fred Leslie junior in the pantomime Cinderella at the Theatre Royal, Birmingham, she was again seen as Peggy in The Dairymaids. The production opened at the Queen’s Theatre, London, on 5 May 1908 for a run of 83 performances and closed on 18 July 1908.

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‘LONDON, May 13 [1908]… . Revival of The Dairymaids this week at the Queen’s, the newest of London theaters, brings up that precocious little actress, Phyllis Dare, who, although she has been an established London favorite for three years, is only 19 years old. She has more ”puppy” adorers than any other woman on the English stage. The junior ”Johnnydom” goes mad over her, assures her of a well-filled house whenever she appears, and buys her postcards in thousands. It was the fair haired Phyllis who was summoned back from boarding school in Belgium when only 17 years of age to assume Edna May’s part in The Belle of Mayfair, when that independent American actress threw up her part because of the importance given to Camille Clifford, the original ”original” Gibson girl. The papers made so much of the fact that the little Phyllis’s studies had been interrupted by the siren call of Thespis that she packed the playhouse for many weeks with a curious public, many of whom had never before heard her name. Now I hear that Miss Dare will shortly essay the role of Juliet at a special matinee to be arranged by Robert Courtneidge, her manager.’
(Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, 23 May 1908, p. 16c)


Kitty Loftus

February 8, 2013

Kitty Loftus (1867-1927), English actress, singer and dancer
in the title role of Aladdin,
the Theatre Royal, Brighton, pantomime, Christmas 1890,
with Edward Lauri jr as Snip-a-Snap.
(photo: W. & A.H. Fry, Brighton, Sussex, 1890/91, negative no.62519-3)

Kitty Loftus, appearing in the Crystal Palace pantomime, Christmas 1891/92, recalls a dramatic panic
‘Panics in places of amusement do not, happily, always end disastrously, as is shown by a singular and somewhat amusing mishap which occurred some time ago in a small town in North Wales, during a performance given by a theatrical company, which included Miss Kitty Loftus, at present appearing in the Crystal Palace pantomime. The stage was composed of long deal tables, the tops of which projected some distance over the supports, but was quite firm, so long as the weight upon it was evenly distributed. During the performance, however, several members of the company incautiously collected at the wings, and, the weight being suddenly removed from the centre of the stage by a general exit, up tilted the tables, depositing the group of actors in a heap on the ground, and bringing down at one fell swoop, in a wreck resembling very much the earthquake scene in Claudian, the entire proscenium and stage fittings. The sudden collapse naturally alarmed the audience very much, and a serious panic seemed imminent; but, happily, owing to the coolness and self-possession displayed by Miss Loftus and one or two other members of the company, the entire audience got safely out of the hall, suffering from nothing more serious than a slight fright and a little squeezing.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 9 January 1892, p. 10a)