Press Clippings for the week ending
Saturday, 15 November 2008

A random selection of clippings
from newspapers and magazines

Adeline Cotterell at
St. James's Theatre, London, 1863

Adeline Cotterell

Adeline Cotterell (fl. 1860s)
English actress

(photo: Alexander Bassano, 122 Regent Street, London, circa 1863)

St. James's Theatre, London, 4 May 1863
'It is difficult to find a single life in all Johnson's Lives of the Poets, in which it is not said of the subject that such and such a work ''sustained,'' rather than added to, his reputation. Now, as the doctor is less litigious than Mr. Boucicault, we have no hesitation in adopting that phrase to describe The Little Sentinel, a new comedietta, written by Mr. J.T. Williams. It is just ''up to the mark,'' and no more. And yet the story is simple and pretty. A young countryman has secretly engaged himself to a ''dashing'' widow, and during his absence he obtains the services of his sister to baffle all admirers. This is the little sentinel - Miss Marie Wilton; and much work is quickly cut out for her. A pair of town swells, old and young, tottering and lisping, assail the widow, and are discomfited. The little sentinel makes love to them herself, and interrupts their flirtations by flinging apples, dropping brooms on their toes, and even bestowing on them a liberal shower from a watering-pot. All this Miss Marie Wilton performs with much grace and vivacity, but countless times have we seen her to better advantage. Miss Adeline Cotterell made a most desirable widow, but the brace of coxcombs were decidedly over-acted by Mr. Johnson and Mr. Gaston Murray.'
(The Era, London, Sunday, 10 May 1863, p. 8b)

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The death of George Leybourne, London, 1884,
originator of 'Champagne Charlie'

George Leybourne

George Leybourne (1842-1884),
English music hall 'Lion Comique'

(photo: unknown, probably London, late 1870s)

'''Champagne Charlie.''
'(London Letter.)
'George Leybourne has just gone over to the majority, and his life well illustrates the ups and downs of a professional career. George Leybourne, the ''Lion Comique,'' as he was called, was well known as the originator of the famous ''Champagne Charlie'' song, as well as a hots of other of a similar type. Commencing life in a factory, he developed at an early age a taste for ''sing-song'' and ''free-and-easy'' entertainments. This led him on to the Music hall stage, until, step by step, he got to London, where ''Champagne Charlie'' made him famous, as much to his own as to others' surprise, probably.
'The song was about as silly a song as ever was sung; but as rendred [sic] by the ''Lion Comique'' it produced quite a furor [sic] among the many-headed, and the singer was in great request directly at all the leading music halls. He had so many ''engagements'' every evening that he had to arrange his ''turns'' with the nicety of a time-table, driving from one hall to another in his brougham, and singing at seven or eight different places every night. At one time he made 120 pounds sterling every week merely by singing his inane ditties; but he was a swell off as well as on the stage, and, lightly as the money came, it went still more lightly. He made no provision for a rainy day; and when he began to grown stale, when the Music hall public turned to newer and brighter stars, he soon fell into pecuniary difficulties. He managed to obtain engagements now and then, but his popularity diminished, and it is said that his last few months of life were passed in abject poverty. He died at last of consumption, and all the public of the future will know of him can be summed up in a line: ''He sang of Champagne Charlie.'''
(Newark Daily Advocate, Newark, Ohio, Monday, 27 October 1884, p. 3c)

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Julia Marlowe as Mary Tudor
in When Knighthood Was in Flower,
Criterion Theatre, New York, 14 January 1901,
and Effie Ellsler in the same part on
tour in the United States, September 1902

Julia Marlowe

Julia Marlowe (1866-1950),
English-born American actress,
as Mary Tudor in When Knighthood Was in Flower,
Criterion Theatre, New York, 14 January 1901

(photo: unknown, probably New York, 1901)

'Julia Marlowe, as dainty, as brilliant and as pretty as ever, is delighting large audiences at the Knickerbocker [sic] theater in the role of Mary Tudor in Paul Kester's dramatization of Charles Major's popular novel. When Knighthood Was in Flower. Of Miss Marlowe's acting nothing but praise can be expressed, and, inasmuch as it is a rather difficult matter to evolve a criticism from a long string of commendatory adjectives, it is better to let it go with the statement that no actress in the world could improve upon Miss Marlowe's interpretation of the role of the wilful but gentle hearted sister of Henry VIII.
'Mr. Kester's dramatization of When Knighthood Was in Flower has been well made, and it would seem that his really brilliant author is at last to receive recognition in dramatic palaces at the doors of which he has hitherto knocked in vain for admission. There are naturally some flaws, not the least of which is a lack of dignity in the treatment of several of the important personages, but nevertheless Mr. Kester's reputation as a playwright will be greatly enhances by this latest offering of Miss Julia Marlowe.'
'The cast of When Knighthood Was in Flower, while it cannot justly be called exceptionally bad, is at least not worthy of either star or play. With a couple of exceptions, not a person rose about the most insipid mediocrity. Henry VIII looked like the king of clubs, and his undignified buffoonery did not tent to mitigate the impression created by his appearance. However, the piece is a good one, and that, in combination with the superb work of Miss Marlowe, will be sufficient to insure for it a long life despite the utter commonplaceness of the supporting company.
(The Lincoln Evening News, Lincoln, Nebraska, Saturday, 9 February 1901, p. 3b/c)

'There is said to be a pronounced educational value in Julia Marlowe's production of When Knighthood Was in Flower wholly outside that drama's merits as a play. The costumes reflect the fashions of a time when the House of Tudor and the English court had reached a stage of amazing splendour. They were made after designs obtained from rare plates in the British museum and other treasure houses of English history. The scenery was painted after sketched prepared at Windsor Park, Greenwich Palace and Hampton Court.
'These sketches were then modified in such a manner as to make the scene reflect as accurately as investigation into books would make possible the appearance of the localities during the opening years of the sixteenth century. Much of the furniture was designed from models now on view in Hampton Court, that vast palace which Thomas Wolsey, who figures in Knighthood, built and presented to Henry VIII., brother of the Princess Mary Tudor, whom Miss [Effie] Ellsler portrays.'
(Waterloo Times-Tribune, Waterloo, Iowa, Tuesday, 23 September 1902, p. 4d)

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