Cigarette card for the week ending
Saturday, 13 December 2008

Chummie La Mara (d. 1945),
British music hall comedienne, billed as a 'burlesque artiste,'
and pantomime principal boy

Chummie La Mara

Chummie La Mara

(photo: Hana, London, late 1890s)

This real photograph cigarette card of Chummie La Mara was issued about 1900 in England in one of Ogden's Guinea Gold series.

The Oxford music hall, London
'I don't think I had seen Miss Chummie La Mara before, thought a name like that is attractive enough for anything, and the young lady herself is quite up to sample and a bit over. owing to the fact that she didn't wear skirts, Miss La Mara was very much in evidence to the naked eye, so to speak, and as I imagine that it is all her own, she is to be congratulated on it. There was a dash about her song which was very agreeable, and I think she is clever enough to become very popular, especially as she can act as well as sing, which is rather a rare qualification just now with the serio-comic artiste. Miss La Mara's song was about a young lady whose golden hair was reported to be hanging down her back. The young man appears to have found the object of his search in considerable variety, and under circumstances which it is well worth your while to hear detailed.

To find a girl with golden hair
Who's chic and likewise charming,
Is not a task that anywhere
Should prove to be alarming.
Take any sweet young thing in frocks
Who's never perfection's border -
And there you are - the golden locks
Can be supplied to order.'

(Jingle, Pick-Me-Up, London, Saturday, 2 January 1897, p. 215a/b)

'I notice that Miss Chummie La Mara, who so aroused the enthusiasm of my friend ''Jingle'' at the Oxford the other day, is now playing principal boy in Mr. Mulholland's pantomime at the Grand, Croydon. Report speaks very highly of Miss La Mara's capabilities, and I mean to try and run down to Croydon one evening, and judge her performance for myself.'
(Whizz, Pick-Me-Up, London, Saturday, 16 January 1897, p. 251a)

Gatti's Palace of Varieties, 214 Westminster Bridge Road, London, July 1899.
'It would require too great a knowledge of the vernacular of the modiste for the mere man to attempt to describe the charming costumes worn by Miss Chummie La Mara, who sings with any amount of go a lilt laudatory of Bacchus. "She hasn't been the same girl since" tells of the alteration in a damsel's way of conducting herself since her residence in Pimlico - favoured locale of the music hall song writer - and, clad in handsome principal boy's costume, which displays her fine proportions to the utmost advantage, she has the vigorous assistance of the gods to help her trill "Meet me, love." Miss La Mara's is a very pleasing and popular turn.'
(The Era, London, Saturday, 29 July 1899, p.16a)

* * * * * * * *

Return to home page

© John Culme, 2008