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Footlight Notes Collection Picture Archive - request for use of images

no. 420

Saturday, 1 October 2005

May Moore Duprez, Joe & Betty Binns,
Alcide Capitaine, Harry Leybourne,
Lockhart's Elephants and others at the
Shepherd's Bush Empire, West London,
week beginning Monday, 10 January 1916

Shepherd's Bush Empire, week of 10 January 1916

Celebrities on the bill at the Shepherd's Bush Empire,
week beginning Monday, 10 January 1916.

clockwise from top left: Margaret Stuart, May Moore Duprez, Cooper Mitchell,
Dan O. Scott, Joe & Betty Binns, David Baird and Beaumont Collins in the sketch, Bedfellows,
Alcide Capitaine, Lockhart's Elephants, Harry Leybourne, and Madame Glinka.

(caricature by Vic, The Encore, London, Thursday, 13 January 1916, p.17)

'Oswald Stoll's beautiful house in the outer west of London, the Shepherd's Bush Empire, has been doing big business of late, helped thereto by excellent programmes and the unflagging energy of Bertram Iles, the resident acting manager. The show this week is an all-Variety one of a well varied and attractive character.
'May Moore Duprez is the bright particular single turn on the programme. May requires no introduction to Encore readers nowadays nor to British audiences. She opens with one of her typical Dutch girl songs. The song may be about Hans or some other swain by the Zuyder Zee, but M.M.D. soon forgets about him and cheers up her audience with witty stories well told and quaintly–turned remarks. Her second song, "Somebody's Baby Girl," is a departure from the Dutch girl act, and is sung in a pink and white frock with the usual abbreviated skirt. May will never take herself seriously, however, and even after singing a line of undeniably good tone and melody banteringly asked an unspecified member of her audience if he could leave his happy home for a voice like that.'
'Sharing the top of the bill with Miss Duprez is that very contrasting act, Lockhart's Elephants, under the guidance of Captain Taylor, prince amongst animal trainers. This act is another that has become a classic of the Music Hall stage. Allusions to the famous elephants are amongst the common objects of comedians' patter and revue jokes, and are always sure to go well. The elephants themselves are a delight to young and old.
'Bedfellows is the comedy sketch on the bill, with Kathleen, the very Irish nurse, called to attend a serious fracture case after only a month's hospital training, played in a broadly and most successful comedy vein by Miss Beaumont Collins. She ably supports, and is in turn ably supported by David Baird, the man servant, masquerading as the man with the broken jaw. Effective help in this clever little farcical study is also given by Ivan Cleveland & Edward Thane.

Harry Leybourne

Harry Leybourne (fl. 1908-1921)
English music hall singer and female impersonator

(photo: Hirst & Co, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, England, circa 1915)

'Mdme. Glinka presents a dancing act assisted by Korsakoff and Mdme. Anakova. Half a dozen dancers figure in this act with pleasant lighting effects, special scenery and handsome costumes. Mdme. Glinka's solo dance was an outstanding feature. The act has a whirlwind finish.
'Cooper Mitchell, one of our best-known performers at the piano with song and story, is here. He always tells a few good new ones.
'Joe and Betty Binn [sic], who combine comedy and harmony, strike the right funny note immediately the act opens with Joe calls for a box of Dublin cigars and takes there from a short clay pipe.
'Alcide Capitaine gives her graceful and perfectly rendered trapeze act. This presentation of faultless feminine gymnastics is always welcome.
'Margaret Stuart is a good looker and fine dresser with a voice of splendid volume and tone. She only renders one song, "Bird of Love Divine," and the audience would clearly have liked to have heard more of her.
'Harry Leybourne gives us two parodies and a well-sentimental number, finishing with a quick-change to a feminine impersonation which was remarkably funny.
'Dan O. Scott opens the bill with a Scotch song in traditional Scotsman's make-up, and despite his early spot went well.'
(The Encore, London, Thursday, 13 January 1916, p.17)

May Moore Duprez

May Moore Duprez (1885-1946), American comedienne and dancer,
popular on the music hall stage in the United Kingdom

(photo: Dobson Studios, Liverpool, circa 1915)

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