Introduction to


Theatre - Variety
Music Hall - Vaudeville
Musical Comedy
and other popular entertainment

portraits - biographies



lithograph scrap of acrobats
probably printed in Germany for the English or American market, circa 1885

Footlight Notes is an electronic 'zine about popular entertainment during a period of extraordinary activity in the history of the theatre: the 1850s to the 1920s. It explores the lives and careers of performers and others - both celebrated and obscure - whose names are associated with live performances on stages across the United Kingdom, Europe, North America and many parts of the former British Empire. Those of you who find your way to these pages are positively encouraged to participate with your own comments, requests and suggestions for content.

The first and only paper edition of Footlight Notes
November 1994

Footlight Notes began in paper form in London in November 1994. Received moderately well, but by very few, it soon became just a modest collectors' item - in fact, there are just a few copies still available. This original edition looked like a newsletter and proudly announced itself as if it were to be followed by subsequent issues. The latter, of course, was the intention, but in the event so much happened in my life that Footlight Notes languished for a while in abeyance.

Footlight Notes has now been revived in Internet form. From the end of July 1997 I have published a changing gallery of photographs of personalities ranging from dancers and singers to classical actors and acrobats who were more or less familiar to audiences before the 1920s. Their names do not deserve to be forgotten! In publishing Footlight Notes I am giving myself the opportunity to share with you my interest in theatre research and theatrical history. Please join me in this journey of discovery; Footlight Notes is as much for your amusement as it is for mine

John Culme

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With special thanks to William N. Bonilla.

John Culme, 1994-2001