Posts Tagged ‘Tivoli Theatre (Adelaide)’

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Cissie Curlette, English music hall singer and mimic

October 22, 2014

Cissie Curlette (active 1905-1917), English music hall vocalist and mimic, in costume for her song, ‘What You Never Had,You Never Miss.’
(postcard photo: Schmidt, Manchester, circa 1909)

Tivoli Theatre, Adelaide, Australia, August 1909
‘Cissie Curlette, who is a clever, dainty, and refined comedienne, scored another success. The little lady is popular with all parts of the house, and she knows how to make very point tell with the audience. Miss Curlette will close her season at the Tivoli on Wednesday evening, as she sails for Europe by the Orsova on Thursday.
(The Register, Adelaide, Australia, Monday, 23 August 1909, p. 5c)

‘MORRIS’ PERSONAL PICKING.
‘Monday at the American, New York, Cissie Curlette, personally selected by William Morris in England, will be present as a feature of the vaudeville program for the week.
‘It will be Miss Curlette’s first American appearance. Mr. Morris is willing to gamble on her success. The outcome of the English woman’s debut will be watched with much interest by the vaudeville people. Mr. Morris saw her at the Holborn, Empire, London, immediately booking her twenty weeks yearly for the next three seasons. She was also among the acts last listed by VARIETY’S London correspondent as suitable for America.
‘Miss Curlette is on the style of Vesta Victoria. Miss Victoria claims to ”have but Cissie Curlette in the business.” Among Cissie’s songs are ”What I Never Had, I Will Never Miss,” ”Yea, Verily, Yea,” and a new ”Chantecler” number.
‘The accompanying photograph of Miss Curlette [similar to the postcard photograph, above] resembles somewhat Cissie Loftus in looks. The costume is worn singing ”What I Never Had”.’
(Variety, New York, Saturday, 7 May 1910, p. 11d)

American Music Hall, week beginning Monday, 23 May 1910
‘Daintiest of All English Comediennes CISSIE CURLETTE Direct from a Remarkably Successful Engagement in New York, where Press and Public Proclaimed Her the Best English Artist Ever Seen in America.’
‘Cissie Curlette, the latest importation from Europe, who has been winning a remarkable success for the past two weeks in New York will be the big feature at the American Music Hall this week. Miss Curlette is so different from the average run of English music hall artists that her success in this country was instantaneous. She has been likened to Vesta Victoria, Lucy Weston and Yvette Guilbert, but just where the similarity lies would be hard to say. She in an incarnation of dainty demureness and is gifted with a personal magnetism which fairly electrifies her audience.’
(The Boston Sunday Post, Boston, Massachusetts, Sunday, 22 May 1910, pp. 39b and 40d)

‘CISSIE CURLETTE, CHARACTER SINGER.
‘American Music Hall, No. 4. In one; thirteen minutes. Seen matinee, June 7 [1910]
‘What You Never Had You Never Miss, Chantecler and Toodle-I-Oodle-I-Oo was the repertoire which the much-heralded Cissie Curlette offered to the unsuspecting, but the eternal question, Who is Cissie Curlette? had been answered, and that was satisfactory. She acts her numbers cleverly, even to the lusty crow of a male rooster in her Chantecler number, and has a modest bearing, that won a place for her in the hears of the Music Hall patrons on short notice. Miss Curlette will never rival Halley’s comet, however, for sensational honors, her offering being a plain and ordinary singing act, with in its class, if it will be allowed to remain there, it is good with no moment of exception, and that much is enthusiastically shown by warm applause.’
(The Billboard, Cincinnati, New York, Chicago, Saturday, 18 June 1910, p. 11b)

‘Cissie Curlette was tremendously boomed by William Morris ere her American appearance. She scarcely lived up to the advertisement, but was reckoned a fair success.’
(The Newsletter, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Saturday, 23 July 1910, p. 3d)

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Cissie Curlette was born, probably in Liverpool, about 1876. She was one of the 11 children of John Leary (1832/35-1910), an undertaker of funerals, formerly a mariner, and his wife, Elizabeth (née Leary, 1844-1935). She was living in the early 1920s in the Hampstead area of London but further details of her life are at present uncertain.

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Madeleine Rossiter

October 5, 2013

Madeline Rossiter (1888?-1964), English actress, singer, dancer and entertainer
(photo: Arthur Squibbs, Tenby, South Wales, circa 1910)

Madelaine Rossiter (Mrs William Henry Olley) is at present first recorded during 1905 as a dancer in C. St. John Denton’s UK touring company of the musical comedy, Kitty Grey, with Hilda Guiver in the title role. She afterwards had a varied career on the music hall and variety theatre stage, in pantomimes and concert parties. In addition to her work in the United Kingdom she was also a favourite in Australia and the Far East. During 1928 she was with Daniel Mayer’s company on a UK tour of Rose Marie, in the part of Wanda, in which she scored a success with the ‘Totem Tom-tom‘ number, in which she danced and was accompanied by the chorus; with Nancie Lovat in the title role.

* * * * *

The Bedford music hall, London, week beginning Monday, ‘Miss Madeline Rossiter, a clever and pretty Creole, is loudly applauded for a couple of songs and a particularly graceful dance.’
(The Stage, London, Thursday, 28 November 1907, p. 18b)

The Tivoli Theatre, Adelaide, South Australia, Thursday, 29 March 1917.
‘Madeline Rossiter, the swarthy dancer and singer of the Strollers Company appearing at the Tivoli Theatre, again scored the biggest hit in the new programme staged on Thursday evening last. Her chief contribution was a dainty little song, ”Why do you keep laughing at me with those big brown eyes?” with a particularly sharp pronunciation of ”Laughing,” turning it into the accepted Americanism ”Laffing.” The artist followed this up with a rhythmic dance to the melody of the same tune, throwing in a little suggestion of the spring song dance as well. The big audience was not slow to appreciate it, and insisted on Miss Rossiter coming back for an encore. Her response was a brilliant effort in foot and toe work. She is without doubt one of the finest dancers seen in this city for many years.’
(The Mail, Adelaide, Saturday, 31 March 1917, p. 13c)

Madeline Rossiter eventually retired to Scarborough, Yorkshire, where she died at the age of 76 in 1964.

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J.W. Rickaby

July 25, 2013

J.W. Rickaby (1870-1929), English music hall character comedian and singer
(photo: unknown, probably UK, circa 1912)

J.W. Rickaby was born James (Emanuel) Platt in 1870, the son of Adam Platt, sometime colour sergeant in the 7th Lancashire Militia, and his wife, Hannah. He died at his house in Brixton on 1 October 1929, leaving a widow, Margaret Alston (? Martha Ann) Platt, whom he had married about 1891.

‘In answer to a correspondent, Mr. J.W. Rickaby, we believe, claims to be the original singer of ”What ho! she bumps.”’
(The Stage, London, Thursday, 25 January 1900, p. 17b)

Tivoli Theatre, Sydney, Australia, Saturday, 31 October 1908
‘At Saturday’s performances at the Tivoli Theatre, Mr. J.W. Rickaby, who arrived lately from London, made his first appearance before Sydney audiences. He is a comedian with a good deal of genuine humor, which he exhibited in amusing burlesques of various types of character, such as a British soldier with a capacity for enjoyment, a sailor, and a policeman. These were hit off in such a manner as to keep the audience laughing heartily during his turns.’
(The Evening News, Sydney, Monday, 2 November 1908, p. 2f)

‘J.W. RICKABY’S START
‘A FAMOUS COMEDIAN AT THE TIVOLI [ADELAIDE] TO-DAY [26 December 1914].
‘J.W. Rickaby, the famous comedian appearing at the New Tivoli Theatre, started his stage career as a baritone.
”’I used to work in the day,” he said, ”and do concerts at night, and I got on very well. I used to sing ‘Queen of My Heart’ all all songs of that class. But I saw the people wanted to be made to laugh, so I tried a comic song. After that they would not have me in anything else.
‘I shall never forget when my father first heard me. I had gone to Manchester, so he came to the hall. I got on very quickly – at least, I did not exactly got on; I mean I did not earn big money quickly, but I became popular and had a good place on the bill, and felt very satisfied and proud. I saw my father going to the front, so I said, ‘Don’t go out there, dad: stay here and watch me from this corner,’ and I settled him there. Well, I had never seen my father afraid or nervous. He was a soldier, and did not know what fear meant, but that night he was white and shaking with fear and nervousness. I could see him sitting there and twisting his hands and looking so anxious.
”’When I cam off he said, ‘You’ll never be any good at it, Jim; never be able to do anything’ ‘Why not?’ I asked.
””Why, boy, they were laughing at you all through those first two songs; you’ll never do anything at it.”You see, he did not realise I was trying to make them laugh. He was so used to me singing the sentimental songs.
”’that time I was singing two humorous songs, and then a sentimental ballad. I wanted to be versatile. But, strange to say, in England versatility does not succeed. They do not want you to be versatile. At least, it succeeds, but the one who wants to be versatile never gets into the big and secure position. To go on and do a song in a comedian make-up and then appear in evening dress to do a straight song is not what they want; they will not accept you as a sentimental ballad singer, and they try to laugh, thinking it should be funny, so I gave up trying to be versatile.
””One of my best turns is a soldier song, and I have all their little ways for it – the way they hold the cigarette, inhale and smoke, then blow it out, and their movements. I meant it to be one of my principal numbers here, but I would not sing it now on principle.
”’For stage purposes one of my brothers is known as Rhodes, and the other as Waite. My own name is Platt – J.W. Platt, an old Lancashire name, and there are a good many Platts there. In fact, I do not know how many nephews and nieces and relatives I have there. I have given up counting them. They have big families in Lancashire. Why, one connection of mine has 17 children. I never know which is which and which is the baby. They are all steps and stairs. As for how many nephews and cousins I have at the war I have not the least idea. Why, there are four nephews out of one family.
”’And if you want to see bonnie, healthy children you cans see them in Lancashire. This connection of mine with the 17, how much do you think he has a week? Between two and three pounds. Yes, he has been able to bring all up healthy and well. They run about barefooted – he cannot run to boots and stockings – but some of them would have clogs for special occasions. You can get them for about eighteen pence per pair. They have fine homemade bread in Lancashire, and good butter, too, and the children live and thrive principally on this. They would have a bowl of stew or soup for their dinner – nothing else. Yet they look well and are as happy as possible, rolling over one another. They are just growing up now, and are beginning to earn money, one or two bringing in 15/- a week, another 10 or 12 shilling, so they are getting quite rich.’
(The Daily Herald, Adelaide, Saturday, 26 December 1914, p. 6f)

‘J.W. Rickaby, who left these shores for Australia last September to fulfil an engagement for Mr. Hugh D. McIntosh with Rickard’s Theatres, arrived in London on Tuesday evening [25 May 1915]. Mr. Rickaby made the return journey per the s.s. ”Morea,” leaving the boat at Marseilles and travelling overland. He should open in Leeds on Monday, but as all his theatrical luggage and band pats are still on board, and the boat is not expected back in time, he will probably have to postpone his appearance until the following Monday, when he is due at Newcastle.’
(The Stage, London, Thursday, 27 May 1915, p. 14e)

Listen to J.W. Rickaby singing ‘I’m Always Thinking of Her,’ recorded for the Edison Bell Winner label (3498) in London in November 1920.

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July 25, 2013

J.W. Rickaby (1870-1929), English music hall character comedian and singer
(photo: unknown, probably UK, circa 1912)

J.W. Rickaby was born James (Emanuel) Platt in 1870, the son of Adam Platt, sometime colour sergeant in the 7th Lancashire Militia, and his wife, Hannah. He died at his house in Brixton on 1 October 1929, leaving a widow, Margaret Alston (? Martha Ann) Platt, whom he had married about 1891.

‘In answer to a correspondent, Mr. J.W. Rickaby, we believe, claims to be the original singer of “What ho! she bumps.”’
(The Stage, London, Thursday, 25 January 1900, p. 17b)

Tivoli Theatre, Sydney, Australia, Saturday, 31 October 1908
‘At Saturday’s performances at the Tivoli Theatre, Mr. J.W. Rickaby, who arrived lately from London, made his first appearance before Sydney audiences. He is a comedian with a good deal of genuine humor, which he exhibited in amusing burlesques of various types of character, such as a British soldier with a capacity for enjoyment, a sailor, and a policeman. These were hit off in such a manner as to keep the audience laughing heartily during his turns.’
(The Evening News, Sydney, Monday, 2 November 1908, p. 2f)

‘J.W. RICKABY’S START
‘A FAMOUS COMEDIAN AT THE TIVOLI [ADELAIDE] TO-DAY [26 December 1914].
‘J.W. Rickaby, the famous comedian appearing at the New Tivoli Theatre, started his stage career as a baritone.
“’I used to work in the day,” he said, “and do concerts at night, and I got on very well. I used to sing ’Queen of My Heart’ all all songs of that class. But I saw the people wanted to be made to laugh, so I tried a comic song. After that they would not have me in anything else.
‘I shall never forget when my father first heard me. I had gone to Manchester, so he came to the hall. I got on very quickly – at least, I did not exactly got on; I mean I did not earn big money quickly, but I became popular and had a good place on the bill, and felt very satisfied and proud. I saw my father going to the front, so I said, ‘Don’t go out there, dad: stay here and watch me from this corner,’ and I settled him there. Well, I had never seen my father afraid or nervous. He was a soldier, and did not know what fear meant, but that night he was white and shaking with fear and nervousness. I could see him sitting there and twisting his hands and looking so anxious.
”’When I cam off he said, ‘You’ll never be any good at it, Jim; never be able to do anything’ ‘Why not?’ I asked.
“’’Why, boy, they were laughing at you all through those first two songs; you’ll never do anything at it.’’You see, he did not realise I was trying to make them laugh. He was so used to me singing the sentimental songs.
”’that time I was singing two humorous songs, and then a sentimental ballad. I wanted to be versatile. But, strange to say, in England versatility does not succeed. They do not want you to be versatile. At least, it succeeds, but the one who wants to be versatile never gets into the big and secure position. To go on and do a song in a comedian make-up and then appear in evening dress to do a straight song is not what they want; they will not accept you as a sentimental ballad singer, and they try to laugh, thinking it should be funny, so I gave up trying to be versatile.
“’’One of my best turns is a soldier song, and I have all their little ways for it – the way they hold the cigarette, inhale and smoke, then blow it out, and their movements. I meant it to be one of my principal numbers here, but I would not sing it now on principle.
”’For stage purposes one of my brothers is known as Rhodes, and the other as Waite. My own name is Platt – J.W. Platt, an old Lancashire name, and there are a good many Platts there. In fact, I do not know how many nephews and nieces and relatives I have there. I have given up counting them. They have big families in Lancashire. Why, one connection of mine has 17 children. I never know which is which and which is the baby. They are all steps and stairs. As for how many nephews and cousins I have at the war I have not the least idea. Why, there are four nephews out of one family.
“’And if you want to see bonnie, healthy children you cans see them in Lancashire. This connection of mine with the 17, how much do you think he has a week? Between two and three pounds. Yes, he has been able to bring all up healthy and well. They run about barefooted – he cannot run to boots and stockings – but some of them would have clogs for special occasions. You can get them for about eighteen pence per pair. They have fine homemade bread in Lancashire, and good butter, too, and the children live and thrive principally on this. They would have a bowl of stew or soup for their dinner – nothing else. Yet they look well and are as happy as possible, rolling over one another. They are just growing up now, and are beginning to earn money, one or two bringing in 15/- a week, another 10 or 12 shilling, so they are getting quite rich.’
(The Daily Herald, Adelaide, Saturday, 26 December 1914, p. 6f)

‘J.W. Rickaby, who left these shores for Australia last September to fulfil an engagement for Mr. Hugh D. McIntosh with Rickard’s Theatres, arrived in London on Tuesday evening [25 May 1915]. Mr. Rickaby made the return journey per the s.s. ’’Morea,” leaving the boat at Marseilles and travelling overland. He should open in Leeds on Monday, but as all his theatrical luggage and band pats are still on board, and the boat is not expected back in time, he will probably have to postpone his appearance until the following Monday, when he is due at Newcastle.’
(The Stage, London, Thursday, 27 May 1915, p. 14e)

Listen to J.W. Rickaby singing ’I’m Always Thinking of Her,’ recorded for the Edison Bell Winner label (3498) in London in November 1920.