Posts Tagged ‘Vokes Family’

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February 2, 2013

Louie Sherrington (fl. 1860S/1870s)
English music hall singer and serio-comic
as she sang ‘The Dancing Belle’,
also sung by Kate Garstone, Harriett Coveney and Emma Alford.

‘Yes! They call me the dancing belle,
A fact you may all see well,
The way I now dance, you’ll see at a glance
That I am the dancing belle.’

(song sheet cover with lithograph portrait of Miss Sherrington
by Alfred Concanen, probably after a photograph,
printed by Siere & Burnitt, published by C. Sheard, London, mid 1860s)

‘Of the tavern concert-rooms [in London], one of the earliest to burst its chrysalis state, and emerge into the full-grown music hall, was the Grapes, in the Southwark Bridge Road. This establishment was also one of the first to style itself a music hall in the modern sense of the term, and under the description of the Surrey Music Hall was well known to pleasure-seekers early in the [eighteen] forties. The hall, which was prettily decorated, was capable to seating as many as a thousand persons, and in the upper hall might be seen a valuable collection of pictures, which the enterprising proprietor, Mr. Richard Preece, had secured from M. Phillips, a French artist whom he was instrumental into introducing to the British public. The hall was provided with an excellent orchestra under the direction of Mr Zéluti, while the arduous position of manage was filled with great credit by Mr T. Norris. The clever Vokes Family were among the many well-known entertainers who appeared here. The company here used on an average to cost about £30 a week. Louie Sherrington sang here on many occasions, and Willie and Emma Warde were very successful in their song “The Gingham Umbrella,” besides whom Pat P. Fannin, a smart dancer, and Mr and Mrs Jack Carroll, negro banjoists and dancers, were rare favourites with its patrons.’
(Charles Douglas Stewart and A.J. Park, The Variety Stage, T. Fisher Unwin, London, 1895, pp. 47 and 48)

* * * * * * * *

‘Early women stars were Georgina Smithson, Louie Sherrington and Annie Adams. The last two were contemporaries and mostly sang versions of the songs of Vance and Leybourne, adapted for women. For instance, “Up In A Balloon, Boys,” became “Up In A Balloon, Girls.” Louie Sherrington was a very lovely women with a delightful voice; a predecessor of Florrie Forde, Annie Adams was of the majestic type then so admired, she was “a fine woman” – there was a lot of her, with a bust to match. With her very powerful voice, rich personality, a jolly, laughing face and manner, she banged her songs across the footlights and made the house rise at her.’
(W. Macqueen Pope, The Melodies Linger On, W.H. Allen, London, 1950, p. 314)

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February 2, 2013

Louie Sherrington (fl. 1860S/1870s)
English music hall singer and serio-comic
as she sang ‘The Dancing Belle’,
also sung by Kate Garstone, Harriett Coveney and Emma Alford.

‘Yes! They call me the dancing belle,
A fact you may all see well,
The way I now dance, you’ll see at a glance
That I am the dancing belle.’

(song sheet cover with lithograph portrait of Miss Sherrington
by Alfred Concanen, probably after a photograph,
printed by Siere & Burnitt, published by C. Sheard, London, mid 1860s)

‘Of the tavern concert-rooms [in London], one of the earliest to burst its chrysalis state, and emerge into the full-grown music hall, was the Grapes, in the Southwark Bridge Road. This establishment was also one of the first to style itself a music hall in the modern sense of the term, and under the description of the Surrey Music Hall was well known to pleasure-seekers early in the [eighteen] forties. The hall, which was prettily decorated, was capable to seating as many as a thousand persons, and in the upper hall might be seen a valuable collection of pictures, which the enterprising proprietor, Mr. Richard Preece, had secured from M. Phillips, a French artist whom he was instrumental into introducing to the British public. The hall was provided with an excellent orchestra under the direction of Mr Zéluti, while the arduous position of manage was filled with great credit by Mr T. Norris. The clever Vokes Family were among the many well-known entertainers who appeared here. The company here used on an average to cost about £30 a week. Louie Sherrington sang here on many occasions, and Willie and Emma Warde were very successful in their song “The Gingham Umbrella,” besides whom Pat P. Fannin, a smart dancer, and Mr and Mrs Jack Carroll, negro banjoists and dancers, were rare favourites with its patrons.’
(Charles Douglas Stewart and A.J. Park, The Variety Stage, T. Fisher Unwin, London, 1895, pp. 47 and 48)

* * * * * * * *

‘Early women stars were Georgina Smithson, Louie Sherrington and Annie Adams. The last two were contemporaries and mostly sang versions of the songs of Vance and Leybourne, adapted for women. For instance, “Up In A Balloon, Boys,” became “Up In A Balloon, Girls.” Louie Sherrington was a very lovely women with a delightful voice; a predecessor of Florrie Forde, Annie Adams was of the majestic type then so admired, she was “a fine woman” – there was a lot of her, with a bust to match. With her very powerful voice, rich personality, a jolly, laughing face and manner, she banged her songs across the footlights and made the house rise at her.’
(W. Macqueen Pope, The Melodies Linger On, W.H. Allen, London, 1950, p. 314)

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Jessie Vokes dead, 1884

January 9, 2013

Jessie Vokes (1851-1884), Victoria Vokes (1853-1894)
and Rosina Vokes (1854-1894), English actresses and dancers
(photo: Mora, New York, circa 1880)

‘JESSIE VOKES DEAD.
‘THE FIRST ONE TO DIE OF THE FAMOUS FAMILY OF COMEDIANS.
‘Miss Jessie Vokes, the actress, a member of the well-known Vokes family, died yesterday in London. She was educated to the stage from a tender age, and when only 4 years old appeared at the Surrey Theatre, where she played in children’s characters. In the early part of her career she played Mamillius in The Winter’s Tale; Prince Arthur in King John, and the Prince of Wales in Richard III. She attracted special notice first as one of the children in [Charles Reade and Tom Taylor’s comedy] Masks and Faces, dancing, with her sister, a jig, when old Benjamin Webster played Triplet at the London Standard Theatre. With her brothers and sisters, Fred and Fawdon and Victoria and Rosina, she began began her career as ”The Vokes Children,” which was afterward changed to ”The Vokes Family,” at the Operetta House in Edinburgh. Their success was pronounced and continuous. Their debut was made in London at the Lyceum Theatre on Dec. 26, 1868, in the pantomime of Humpty Dumpty, and they traveled through a great part of the civilized world. Jessie Vokes, the eldest of the sisters, was educated in the ”business” of the stage by Mr. Cheswick, and in dancing, in which she excelled, by Mr. Flexmore. The piece that most successfully carried an audience by storm was The Belles of the Kitchen, in which the ”family” made its debut in this country at the Union-Square Theatre on April 15, 1872. Jessie’s clever recitations and dancing were appreciated, but she was not so prominent in the cast as Victoria and Fred, who were especially happy in their rendering of the tower scene from Il Trovatore, or as Miss Rosina, who was regarded by the young men as the flower of the family.’
(The New York Times, New York, Friday, 8 August 1884, p. 5b)