(9th year in cyberspace -
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Theatre -Variety
Music Hall -Vaudeville
Musical Comedy
Revue - Circus
Ballet - Opera
and other popular entertainment

portraits - biographies


Viola Tree

Viola Tree (1884-1938),
English actress
as Sleeping Beauty in
Pinkie and the Fairies,
His Majesty's Theatre, London,
19 December 1908

(photo: Dover Street Studios, London, 1908)

Footlight Notes no. 431

for the week ending
24 December 2005

Home - Christmas and New Year Greetings, 2005/2006

Celebrity of the Week - Ida Barr (1882-1967), English music hall comedienne and pantomime principal boy, raises a glass to her friends during the Christmas season of 1964 and again on the occasion of her final public appearance, on her 85th birthday, at the National Film Theatre, London, 17 January 1967

Postcard of the week - Phyllis Dare (1890-1975), English actress and singer, in the title role of the pantomime, Cinderella, King's Theatre, Edinburgh, 8 December 1906

Cigarette Card of the week - A group from the musical comedy, The Gay Parisienne, England, mid 1890s

Minor Player / Variety Act of the week - Peter Donald and Meta Carson (fl. early 20th Century), Scottish music hall and vaudeville entertainers

Press Clippings of the week - Florence Young, Olive Morrell, Celia Ghiloni et al in Mother Goose, J.C. Williamson's successful pantomime, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Westralia, Christmas 1906-07

Footlight Notes Weblog

Ella Retford

Ella Retford (1886-1962)
English music hall comedienne
pantomime principal girl
(photo: G. Langfier, Glasgow, circa 1907)

Sound file (RealAudio, 349kb) - Ella Retford here sings a popular ditty called ‘Over a Cup of Tea,’ a song also featured on the music hall stage by Ruby Verdi. Miss Retford’s version was recorded for Sterling (cylinder no.443) in London about April 1906. This recording is featured here by kind permission of Norman Bruderhofer whose Web site, The Cylinder Archive, includes information on cylinders, as well as an interesting archive of such recordings made between about 1900 and 1924.

Phyllis Dare

Phyllis Dare (1890-1975)
English musical comedy actress and singer
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, circa 1913)

Sound file (RealAudio, 161kb) - An extract of Phyllis Dare’s recording (HMV C-634, Hayes, Middlesex, 30 December 1915) of ‘I Come from Holland’ by Paul Rubens, who accompanies on celeste, from the musical play Tina that opened at the Adelphi, London, on 2 November 1915 and ran for 278 performances.

Grace La Rue

Grace La Rue (1882-1956)
American vocalist and actress
(photo: E.O. Hoppé, London, 1913/14)

Sound file (RealAudio, 422kb) - Grace La Rue singing the extraordinary ‘A Tango Dream,’ with words and music by Elsa Maxwell. Recorded 6 February 1914 for The Gramophone Company Ltd, Hayes, Middlesex, for its His Master’s Voice label (catalogue no.03373, issued April 1914). Miss La Rue featured this song as an interpolated number in the musical, The Girl Who Didn’t at the Lyric Theatre, London, which opened for a run of sixty-eight performances on 18 December 1913.

Lee White

Lee White (1886-1927)
American vocalist and actress
(photo: Wrather & Buys, London, 1915)

Sound file (RealAudio, 165kb) - An extract of Lee White’s recording (Columbia F-1021, London, 5 November 1919) of the delightfully silly song ‘The Wedding in Dollyland,’ featured by her in the ‘song show’ Back Again that opened at the Ambassadors Theatre, London, on 2 September 1919 and ran for 129 performances. The words are as follows:

Listen, children, in the follyland
Most bewild’ring known as Dollyland
The Glad-Eye doll, what do you think she did?
Went and gave the ‘glad’ to the Thumbs-Up Kid.
Master Thumbs was full of impudence.
Didn’t stop to woo:
He put his thumbs up twice times
Then put the banns up, too.

There’s to be a wedding down in Dollyland,
In Dollyland;
And the dolls will all be dolled up mighty grand,
In Dollyland.
When the little Glad-Eye doll
Comes to take a life control
Of the Thumbs-Up dolly,
Oh, golly!
Dollyland will be a jolly land.
Four wooden horses to church to carry them there;
A teddy bear growling a prayer will safely marry them.
Oh! You must be there
To see the Thumbs-Up baby with the thumbs-up smile
Lead that Glad-Eye dolly up the aisle
For the Thumbs-Up wedding down in Dollyland.

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About Footlight Notes

Footlight Notes Archive A - H (updated 16 April 2005)

Footlight Notes Archive I - P (updated 18 May 2003)

Footlight Notes Archive Q - Z (updated 27 April 2003)

Footlight Notes Press Clippings Archive, 2002

Footlight Notes Press Clippings Archive, 2003


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© John Culme, 2005