Press Clippings for the week ending
Saturday, 31 January 2009

A random selection of clippings
from newspapers and magazines

Lottie Collins, Addie Conyers and
Fred Eastman head the cast of
the pantomime Aladdin,
Prince of Wales Theatre, Liverpool,
Christmas 1896

Addie Conyers

a cabinet photograph of Addie Conyers (fl. late 19th/early 20th Century),
English actress and singer

(photo: Conly, Boston, USA, circa 1891)

'While the new version of old Arabian Nights story of Aladdin is splendidly illustrated at the Prince of Wales Theatre - some of the spectacular ensembles bringing down the house - the production is really notable from the acting, singing and dancing standpoints. Miss Lottie Collins (of 'Ta-ra-boom-de-ay' fame), Miss Addie Conyers, and Mr Fred Eastman are a trio clever enough to make everything 'go,' but the company is otherwise strong in entertaining elements, so that tumultuous applause and roars of laughter persistently mark the progress of Aladdin. Matinees are given on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.'
(The Liverpool Courier, Liverpool, England, Monday, 11 January 1897, p. 13i)

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Grace Hawthorne as Christian
in The Pilgrim's Progress,
Olympic Theatre, London, December 1896

Grace Hawthorne

a cabinet photograph of Grace Hawthorne (1860-1922),
American actress and manageress

(photo: Henry Van De Weyde, 182 Regent Street, London, circa 1895)

'The sudden withdrawal of The Pilgrim's Progress at the Olympic, after a run of only nine nights, is announced, owing it is alleged, to Miss Grace Hawthorne declining to surrender the part of Christian to Mr Ben Webster. As the lady refused to yield to argument, the management determined to close the theatre and the run of the piece, for which the artistes were nearly all engaged. Mr Leslie, the managing director, had stated that ''thousands of pounds'' have been spent upon this elaborate piece, with the net result that the management have determined for the future to eschew mystery plays. Miss Hawthorne is understood to be contemplating a provincial tour with The Pilgrim's Progress, during which she will repeat her impersonation of Christian.'
(The Liverpool Courier, Liverpool, England, Monday, 11 January 1897, p. 13j). This production of Pilgrim's Progress, a mystery play with music, by George C. Collingham, founded on John Bunyan, was first given in twelve performances with Miss Hawthorne as Christian at the Olympic, beginning on 24 December 1896. This was followed at the same theatre soon afterwards with a largely altered cast, with Miss Hawthorne again as Christian, for six performances beginning on 1 March 1897, presumably at the start of a UK provincial run.

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Frank Spissell & Co on the bill at
Hathaway's vaudeville theatre,
Lowell, Massachusetts, week beginning
Monday, 29 November 1909

Frank Spissell

Frank Spissell (fl. early 20th Century),

(photo: unknown, circa 1910)

'He who loves to laugh will find himself joyously entertained at Hathaway's theatre, next week, for one of the best laughing acts of the season is offered as a leading feature. This is the great comedy sketch ''Won By a Leg,'' played by Gordon Eldrid & Co. Mr. Eldrid assumes the role of the hero, Burt Flasher, a rich young bachelor, and Miss Annie Ashley plays the part of Kitty, a pretty girl whose aunt desires her to marry Burt. Emma Eldrid, as Aunt Harriet, and Sally McRae, as a colored servant, assist ably in the ludicrous developments of the plot. Frank Spissell & Co. start another avalanche of fun, in their unequalled comedy acrobatic number. The scene is laid in a cafe, where waiters and guests unite in a series of merry manifestations. The performers are all athletes of amazing skill, and their grotesque antics are the limit in the laugh-producing line. Kid Gabriel & Co. have a novel and beautiful scenic offering, introducing a series of poses representing Frederic Remington's pictures of the west. Cotter and Bouildon will please in a ''somewhat different'' singing and dancing act. Corinne Francis is a winsome and talented comedienne, who sings and dances with a vivacity and charm that insure her popularity wherever she appears. Dick Lynch is an agreeable entertainer in his original and witty monologue, and his eccentric dancing is worth going a long way to see. Good music is the forte of the Crown Musical Duo, whose offering is of the most tuneful and enjoyable quality. The program concludes with a series of the latest and most interesting moving pictures.'
(The Lowell Sun, Lowell, Massachusetts, Saturday, 27 November 1909, 7 o'clock edition, p. 8f/g)

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© John Culme, 2009