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FOOTLIGHT NOTES
no. 454

updated
Saturday, 27 May 2006

Flying Colours
London Hippodrome, 16 September 1916,
with Dorothy Ward and chorus singing 'Venus'
accompanied by the siffleuse, Marie Spink

Dorothy Ward

Dorothy Ward (1890-1987), English actress and singer

(photo: Wrather & Buys, London, circa 1916)

The London Hippodrome revue Flying Colours was produced on 16 September 1916 and ran for 203 performances. With a book and lyrics by Albert de Courville and Wal Pink and music by William F. Peters the piece was staged by William J. Wilson and produced by Albert de Courville. The cast included Little Tich, Dorothy Ward, Ray Cox, Gabrielle Ray, Bertram Wallis, Charles Berkeley, John Humphries, Melville Gideon, The Famous Hippodrome Beauty Chorus and The Hippodrome Babies.

For Scene 8, 'A Vision of Venus,' Dorothy Ward as a sculptress was accompanied by the whistler Marie Spink; they recorded the song for the Columbia label (no. L-1128, London, circa November 1916, 1.8MB wav file). The song 'I Didn't Believe You' sung by Little Tich and Gabrielle Ray in Scene 8, 'The Music Shop,' was written and composed by James Head and Melville Gideon.

'Flying Colours at the Hippodrome. The Hippodrome management has made a change in its chief comedian. In place of Mr. Harry Tate there comes Little Tich, figuring in a variety of disguises - now a jockey, now a toreador, now a Spanish dame - with plenty of occasions for drollery. Spain has its share in the scenario and a very beautiful background against which Mr. Bertram Wallis sings a ballad in his best style. A dancing carnival provides an even more picturesque spectacle, though for popularity it will be run close by a most humorous and realistic trench-sketch, invented by Captain Bairnsfather and Mr. Macdonald Hastings, and produced quite in the spirit of the soldier-artist's famous drawings. For the rest, we get an all-too-brief glimpse of Miss Gabrielle Ray, and some spirited dancing from Netta Rianza.'
(The Illustrated London News, Saturday 22 September 1916, p.272c)

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