Footlight Notes banner with Doris Stocker, photo by Bassano, circa 1909


images of theatre and other popular entertainment

no. 676

Saturday, 28 August 2010

remembering Patrick O'Connor (1949-2010)

Lennox Grey

a photograph of Lennox Grey (fl. 1860s/1870s; died about 1908),
English singer and actress

(photo: Hills & Saunders, London, circa 1870)

'On Saturday afternoon the Royal Surrey Gardens were opened for the summer season with a very full and attractive programme. The late fine weather has greatly improved the aspect of the grounds, and filled as they were on Saturday with a holiday crowd, they presented a very gay appearance. At two o'clock the gates were opened for promenade, and at three the military band, conducted by Mr. H. Sprake, played a selection of music. The programme, which however was not strictly adhered to, announced a performance on the high rope by Madame Spelterini, and an entertainment by the Schmidt Family, entitled ''Incarian Games.'' The performances of the Surrey Choral Society in the large music tent in front of the lake was unquestionably good. The chorus consisted of some three hundred voices, and sang together without accompaniment, to the great credit of their conductor, Mr. Herring. Such well-known songs as ''All among the barley,'' and ''The men of Harlech,'' are pretty fair tests of the powers of a chorus, and it is but just to say that the applause of the audience was fully merited. The singing of Mendelssohn's ''Fairwell ye woods and forests,'' was especially good. After thise there was another performance by the band, and a ballad concert, in which Miss Russell, Miss Franklein, Mr. Denbigh Newton, Mr. Heywood, and Mr. James Hillier were the artists. At dusk the gardens were illuminated with thousands of gas jets. Indeed, the enterprising proprietor, Mr. F[rederick]. Strange, seems to have spared neither pains or money to give his guests the most complete welcome, for when the coolness of the evening rendered an indoor entertainment preferable, the theatre was opened, and the entire strength of the company performed Offenbach's Eurydice in a very creditable style. The manner in which the opera bouffe was put upon the stage reminded one of the gorgeous spectacles so much in vogue in another house not far from Leicester-square. The performances went off without a hitch, the dresses were exceedingly pretty, and the dancing not worse than that of other corps de ballet. The first scene represented the dwelling of Orpheus, ''professor of poetry, music, and dancing, bands provided'' and of Aristaeus, ''dealer in honey and other sweets,'' which characters were respectfully sustained by Miss Lennox Grey and Mr. James Hillier. The second scene represents the entrance to Hades, whither Eurydice (Miss Russell) is carried away by Pluto disguised as Aristaeus, who get escorted across the river by John Styx (Mr. Heywood). The third scene representing Hades itself was well conceived, and painted with such good effect that Mr. Grieve was loudly called for an applauded. Jupiter (Mr. Newton), Juno (Miss Gray [sic]), and the other gods, goddesses, and mortals, of course danced in the most approved fashion, and finished up with a capital chorus. A grand display of fireworks by Brock and Co. wound up the entertainment. There were perhaps no actually new features in this display, but the fountains and the ''Wheel of Ixion,''were quite up to the high standard which Mr. Brock has so long maintained.'
(The Daily News, London, Monday, 5 May 1873, p. 2d)

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