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FOOTLIGHT NOTES
no. 328

updated
Saturday, 3 January 2004

Ada Reeve and Miss V. Campbell
in the title roles of the pantomime
Babes in the Wood
Pavilion Theatre, East London, 24 December 1888

Babes in the Wood programme, Pavilion, E, 1888

programme cover for the pantomime, Babes in the Wood,
written by Geoffrey Thorn and produced by Isaac Cohen at
Morris Abrahams's Pavilion Theatre, East London, Christmas Eve, 1888

'Mr. Morris Abrahams always does the pantomime trick very completely, and never is guilty of that policy described as spoiling the ship for a ha'porth of tar. The Babes in the Wood is the subject of the annual presented here, and admirably produced by Mr. Isaac Cohen, one of our masters of stage-management. Mr. Geoffrey Thorne [sic] is the author of this pantomime, which contains plenty of smart lines and effective topical allusions. Principal characters in this venture are played by Miss Louie Gilbert, a good-looking and altogether efficient Robin Hood; Mr. George English, a capital Baron Badlot; Mr. Arthur Alexander and Mr. F[red] Lay, respectively as Daniel the dotter and Simon the Scenter these do some capital fooling, as also do the Brothers Passmore, who play Friar Tuck and Allan-a-Dale. The "Babes" are played by Miss Ada Reeve and Miss V. Campbell; and Miss C[onnie] Melnotte makes a smart Little John. There is an abundance of good scenery in this pantomime, which will surely do well with such a lot of experienced and lively hands engaged in its performance. The Jackleys [i.e. The Celebrated Jackley Wonders] introduce a telling incidental acrobatic display; and Baby [Lillie] Langtry is well applauded.'
(The Entr'acte, London, Saturday, 29 December 1888, p.6b)

Other members of the cast included Harry St. Ives (Harlequin), Ruby Lovell (Harlequina), Rose Lovell (Columbine), Charles Stuart (Pantaloon), Tom Lovell (Clown); J.B. Westcott (The Demon Greed), Julia Kent (Maid Marion), Sadie Grossmith (The Fairy Queen of Woodbirds), Francis Campbell (Lovebird), Little Zetter, and Lizzie Elliott (principal dancer).

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John Culme, 2003