Press Clippings for the week ending
Saturday, 16 May 2009

A random selection of clippings
from newspapers and magazines

a chat with Lelia Roze, London, 1908

Lelia Roze

Lelia Roze (fl. 1890s-1920s),
Irish-born actress, singer and entertainer,
and pantomime principal boy

(photo: Károly, Budapest, circa 1905)

'Miss Roze, the Prince Charming of Frank Parker's Honeyland at the Hippodrome, won her laurels in pantomime at Bristol as Dick Whittington, and since then she has appeared with the greatest success in Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester, and Birmingham. An advocate of the strenuous life, Miss Roze is crazy on yachting, can scull with any man, swims, fishes, shoots, rides, cycles, has a delightful country residence at Shriegley Hall, Killyleagh, County Down, Ireland, where she spends all summer with ''hubby,'' thereby getting her face and arms ''shockingly brown,'' as she says, with constant sunbaths.
'The Hippo's principal boy is a good ''anecdotist,'' and recounts that her first motto drive was taken alone, after half an hour's lesson with a chauffeur in Hyde Park. It was a bit risky taking the car though Battersea's busy streets but there were no accidents - so all's well that ends well. Still, one trembles to think what might have happened.
'''I am Irish and superstitious,'' confessed Miss Roze. ''I won't walk under a latter, I feel like crying when I upset salt, I never wear green, I adore topaz rings, and my greatest luck-bringer has been my little daughter, who is just two years old - at least, I must not boast, that is bad!'' And just to show she really is superstitious, Miss Roze touched the nearest piece of wood, and seemed much relieved in her mind.
'Few know that Miss Roze composes all the songs she sings so delightfully in the quietude of a little desert island on the Irish coast, of which she is the owner, and on which a handsome bungalow has been erected. Although she has played Robinson Crusoe in pantomime, she has no desire to set up as one in real life, and her visits to this retreat are of a week-end nature only.
'One year when playing as Jack in Jack the Giant-Killer, Miss Roze was within an ace of being not killer - but the killed. a pretty effect was striven at by the producer just after the ogre had ordered Jack to be baked in a pie, with twenty-four blackbirds as ''trimmings.'' The idea was that when the pie was opened by the monster, a couple of dozen pretty girls attached to the necessary wires should, dressed as birds, fly out of the pie, taking Jack up with them, singing a paean of triumph as they went. At the dress rehearsal the wire that suspended Miss Roze snapped when she was a dozen feet or so in the air, and but for the actor who took the part of the giant she must have been seriously hurt. As it was, the giant sustained all the damage, and Miss Roze, except for a fright, was none the worse for the accident.
'Her career has carried Miss Roze all over the world; the Transvaal and Cape go frantic about her, and her welcome leaves nothing to be desired in the lands of the Southern Cross and of frozen mutton.
'It was in New South Wales that Miss Roze learned to ride, and the first time she went out alone the gee-gee ran away with her. She clung on like grim death, and, as luck would have it, she was taken right past a coaching party, many of the members of which were the principals in her own company.
'''Don't ride so recklessly again, please,'' said the manager that night. ''You know, it was a fine exhibition of horsemanship, but there might have been an accident - and we can't spare you!''
'''Fancy him thinking,'' said Miss Roze, ''that I was showing off!''
'The heroine of this sketch is justly proud that, although a woman, she can keep a secret. Once a producer told her the exact length a piece would run. And she never told even her dearest friend. There!'
(PIP: Penny Illustrated Paper and Illustrated Times, London, Saturday, 18 January 1908, p. 40e)

* * * * * * * *

Nita Clavering returns to the stage, 1909

Nita Clavering

Nita Clavering (fl. 1893-1909),
English musical comedy actress and singer,
and music hall and drawing room entertainer

(photo: Elliott & Fry, London, circa 1895)

'Miss Nita Clavering, who achieved so much popularity in musical comedy and comic opera during her engagements in principal parts at the Gaiety, Savoy, and criterion, has deserted this branch of the profession for the last few years, and has been devoting her time to drawing-room engagements. She is now returning to her former love and in August will start on a Canadian tour as leading lady in Sergeant Brue and The Girl from Kay's. Priot to this venture, however, she is making a short provincial tour, featuring her own popular quick-change vocal entertainment - ''National Songs'' - which was so successful when produced at the London Syndicate halls.'
(The Era, London, Saturday, 17 April 1909, p. 22a)

* * * * * * * *

the 'amazing weirdness' of
Mlle. Roshanara's dancing,
Tivoli music hall, London,
week beginning Monday, 29 September 1913

Mlle. Roshanara

Mlle. Roshanara (Olive Craddock, 1894-1926),
Anglo-Indian dancer, in her snake dance

(photo: Bassano, London, 1913)

'At the Tivoli on Monday evening Mlle. Roshanara, the celebrated white Indian dancer, made her first appearance in London, after her successful tour through India. It is interesting to note that this English lady is the first white woman who has been allowed to perform her own dances before the natives of our Indian Empire. We have had so much of Russian dancing that it is refreshing to watch the lithe and sinuous movements of this attractive woman, whose grace and charm have been everywhere lauded and admired. Their amazing weirdness brings an atmosphere of wonderful India into a modern Western setting. The realism is gained by an intimate knowledge of the habits and customs of the Indian people which she has acquired by associating with the villagers in their native surroundings and by conforming to their rites and native dress. Perhaps the most insinuating of all Mlle. Roshanara's achievements is the snake dance, a truly remarkable representation of a serpent's movements.'
(The Era, London, Wednesday, 1 October 1913, p. 22a)

* * * * * * * *

Return to home page

© John Culme, 2009