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FOOTLIGHT NOTES
no. 365

updated
Saturday, 11 September 2004

THE STARS WILL SHINE FOR THIS NIGHT!
AT THE
'SIR JOHN FALSTAFF' MUSIC HALL,
OLD STREET, ST. LUKE'S.
A GRAND COMPLIMENTARY
BENEFIT
TO THE EVER COURTEOUS & WELL-KNOWN
'HARRY'
THE WAITER,
ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20TH. 1888.

Sir John Falstaff Music Hall, 20 February 1888

Handbill for the Benefit to 'Harry' the Waiter,
Sir John Falstaff Music Hall, Old Street, St. Luke's, London,
Monday, 20 February 1888

This handbill announces the Benefit held at the small Sir John Falstaff Music Hall, Old Street, on Monday, 20 February 1888, to 'Harry' the waiter. This was none other than John Wood (1848-1940), father of the then young music hall comedienne, Marie Lloyd (née Matilda Alice Victoria Wood, 1870-1922), whose first appearance is said to have taken place at the Eagle Tavern or the Grecian Theatre, London, as recently as Saturday, 9 May 1885.

By 20 February 1888 Marie Lloyd had already become a favourite among music hall audiences. Others due to appear at the Sir John Falstaff bill that evening were two of her sisters, billed as the Sisters Lloyd 'The Charming Duettists. Youngest & Prettiest of all'; George Belmont, comic (manager of Sebright's Music Hall, Coate Street, Hackney); Lillie Lee, a vocalist, billed as a 'Dashing Serio'; Millie Price, 'Tyrolean Artiste', sometimes billed as 'The Little Wonder', 'a young lady who has adopted the jodelling type of vocalism, and who is a smart and free dancer' (The Entr'acte, London, Saturday, 30 June 1888, p.11a); Patti Heywood, who lately had been appearing at the Philharmonic, Islington Green, and the Bermondsey Palace of Varieties; and Marie Lloyd's maternal aunt Louise (? Louisa) Archer, professionally known as Louise Patti, 'Characteristic Dancer'. Also on the Sir John Falstaff bill was Percy Courtney, 'Vocalist', who was actually Marie Lloyd's first husband; they had recently married at St. John the Baptist, Hoxton, on 12 November 1887.

Louise Patti


Louise Patti, music hall dancer
and Marie Lloyd's maternal aunt

(photo: J. Symonds, Portsmouth, probably late 1870s)

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