BL 15 December 2008 Guinea Golds Evie Greene, principal boy, Tyne Theatre, Newcastle-on-Tyne (no date) Winifred Hare, principal boy, Coronet Theatre, London (no date) (Dick Whittington) Dolly Harmer Gertrude Harrison (Loie Fuller type) (photo: Geo E Stone, New Swindon) Helene Sisters Florence Hemar The Henderson Sisters Sidney Hope (? principal boy) Millie Hylton, principal boy, Prince's Theatre, Bristol (photo: Bacon, Newcastle) Minnie Jeffs (? Robinson Crusoe) Royal Aquarium, Westminster, London, bill including the Sisters Helene, Duettists and Dancers (The Graphic, London, Saturday, 2 September 1899, p. 307b) The Acquariam, bill including the Sisters Helene, serios and dancers (The Era, London, Saturday, 16 September 1899, p. 18a) Theatre Royal, Darlington
'Comic opera is the bill of fare provided this week at the Darlington Theatre Royal. Mr Horace Lingard's company opening on Monday night with ''the very latest edition'' of Planquette's The Old Guard. The libretto and comic business has been brought thoroughly up to date, and the comic element is much more pronounced than is usually the case owing to the exceptionally laughable personation of Polydore, the Mayor and landlord of the village, by Mr Horace Lingard. Mr Fred. Parr is a powerful tenor, with very clear enunciation, and was deservedly encored for several of his numbers; and his representation of Gaston was highly creditable. Mr F. Sutton, too, gives a clever rendering of Captain Morcells, and sings acceptably. Miss May Roy is a very personable cantiniere, and dances very gracefully; Miss Sydney Hope gives an enjoyable personation of Bugler [Patatoute; Miss Vera Schlesinger sings sweetly but with a lack of power as Fraisette; and Miss Carrie Southall comes up to all expectations as Murielle D'Artmore. The mounting of the opera, costumes, &c., are of the best. The Old Guard will be repeated to-night and to-morrow, and Pepita will occupy the boards for the last three nights of the visit.'
(Northern Echo, Darlington, England, Tuesday, 15 December 1896, p. 3e) Grand Theatre, Birmingham
'If human intentions could always be carried out Mr Percy Milton would have taken part in the pantomime of Robinson Crusoe, which he wrote for Mr J.W. Turner [manager of the Grand, Birmingham], and which is to be the season's attraction at the Grand Theatre. Up to the very last the pantomime was in Mr Milton's thoughts, and it would have done his heard good to see with what perfect smoothness it was produced on Saturday night. Above all things it is a humorous pantomime, and could the famous Spotter have taken part the contentment of his innumerable admirers would have passed all bounds. Robinson Crusoe is the ''short title'' of the piece, to use Parliamentary language; its definite name is Funny Friday's Foolish Freaks and Famous Flighy Family. Mr Milton's book is an excellent one, written by one who, while brimming over with humour, never lost sight of the fact that he was writing for the stage. Most pantomime books are mere outlines, for the artists to fill out with such detail as seems to them most appropriate. Mr Milton's book may and ought to be adhered to, and in all probablility will. Messrs C.D. Leight, W.F. Robson, and William Wells are responsible for the scenic setting, and they ahve done their work capitally. Naturally the story opens at the port of Hull, and we are soon introduced to the Crusoe family. Robinson and his Polly lose no time in getting to the serious business of love-making. One of the first things they do is to sing a brightly written duet, ''Say yes.'' But it is not to be supposed that Will Atkins will let the course of true love depart from its ancient traditions. This, by the way, is the part Mr Milton would have filled. it is now entrusted to that capable actor, Mr John A. Warden, who bids fair to make a hit in it. Sir Reginal Reckless, Crusoe's piratical rival, is spiritedly impersonated by Miss Belle Reynolds. It is part of the plot to abduct Polly, and there is the natural translation of all the characters from Old England to an island in the South Seas. Here Mr W. J. Churchill appears as the mirth-provoking Man Friday, and right well does he realise the character. That accomplished actress Miss Minnie Jeffs is the Crusoe of the pantomime, and she plays the part with an abandon, a spritghliness, and ''go'' that carry the piece along swimmingly. In Miss Susie Beavan we have a Polly who is attractive and clver, a good dancer, and a vocalist of real talent. Of cours Mrs Crusoe looms large in the comic way. Mr John E. Coyle has a happy appreciation of the character, and his fun is always good. It is not very comedian who has the good sense to keep Mrs Crusoe within bounds. Here Mr Coyle, while infusing plenty of humour into the part showes a fine discretion. One of the most striking things in the pantomime in a spectacular way is the nondescript dance in the Island of Palms. Mr Arthur Milton is responsible for the many picturesque devices that are to be met with througout the pantomime, and they do him credit. Some capital work is done by the Floradors; their cab act is particularly effective and their ''musical garden'' is something quite out of the ordinary in is originality and cleverness. Then the Titania Troupe and the Shine Quartet are responsible for some clever ballets. There is any amount of good songs. Mr r.J. Hale, who plays Captain Kettle with rare spirit, sings a capital song ''A lot to do to-day,'' and Mr Warden's ''A little bit here and there'' cannot but become immensely popular. The same may also be said of his ''Quite a different way.'' Miss Jeffs is heard to great advantage in ''The coon that's got my heart,'' and Mr Coyle's parody of ''Little Dolly Daydream'' is sure to catch on. A duet for Mr Warden and Miss Daisy Davidson ''Woman's Little Ways'' has been received with marked favour. Mr F.E. Florador is very good as King Koko, and Miss Minnie E. Florador's impersonation of the amorous Cannibal Princess is equally satisfactory. In every respect the pantomime promises to be a marked success.'
(The Era, London, Saturday, 31 December 1898, p. 24b) 'THE SONGS IN THE BIRMINGHAM PANTOMIMES. . . .
'At the Grant Theatre, Mr. Robert Hale will sing ''A Terrible lot to Do to-day'' and ''What Ho!'' Mr. Bevan will sing ''The Coon Dat's Got my Heart,'' Mr. Coyle will sing ''I'll Give Him Dolly Day-Dream,'' Mr. Churchill will sing ''He Didn't go to Work Next Morning,'' and Miss Minnie Jeffs will sing ''The Midnight Son,'' ''Molly'' and ''I saw a Ship go Sailing By.'' Other songs will be ''Ambolena Snow,'' ''Cheer up and Never Say Die,'' ''In the Pale Moonlight,'' and ''I won't go to Sea any More.'' The cast is believed to be one of the first in the provinces.'
(The Owl, Birmingham, Friday, 23 December 1893, p. 1a) 'THE GRAND THEATRE.
'The pantomime opens with a prettily devised scene introducing the arrival and departure of the ship with a bevy of ballet girls singing a very catchy chorus. Advantage is taken here by the Floradors - a most accomplished set of acrobats who appear three or four different times during the evening - to introduce a very taking cab act. Then we have in a new scene the Deck of the Ship with a dance of sailors, the Wreck, immediatly followed by the Open Sea, the three together forming, as can be imagined, some most effective stage pictures, and plenty of work for the stage manager. By this time the Desert Island is reached, while the succeeding scenes depict On the Coast, and Interior of Crusoe's Hut, when again the Floradors mentioned above are largely in evidence. From thence we are taken to the Gallery of the King's Palace, while immediately following this, Sene X., is The Floradors' Musical Garden - which we certaily think will be perhaps the most popular part of the present pantomime. The last scene but one is also sure to be well favoured, for it is as novel as it is interest. It is called Britain's Defenders. The stage at this point is converted into a huge palace, and for some ten minutes it is gradually filled by a dozen or more different representations of the most prominent regimental uniforms of to-day. Miss Minnie Jeffs, who was principal boy at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Liverpool, last year, is in the titular part, and is as bright and vivacious as possible. The part of Willy Atkins, which Mr. Percy Milton wrote for himself, is in the safe hands of Mr. John A. Warden, a comedian of power and who scored so highly in the last Drury Lane panto. His humour is of that quiet, unctuous order that is irresistible. Mr. J. Robert Hale, who was so pupular here in Aladdin here last year is a capital Captain kettle, and songs and dances with all his wanton energy and style. Mr. John e. Coyle creates roars of laughter with his impersonation of Mrs. Crusoe. Miss Susie Beavan is very captivating as Polly. The other parts are wll placed. The dresses and scenery are bright and taking, the dancing is charming, the girls are pretty, the fun is abundant, and the songs chatchy and tuneful to a degree. The house has been crammed every night.'
(The Birmingham Pictorial and Dart, Birmingham, England, Friday, 30 December 1898, p. 5) 'MISS MINNIE JEFFS.
'This talented young lady, who takes the part of Robinson Crusoe at the Grand Theatre, is a daughter of one of the Sisters Jeffs, well known on the variety stage. She is a Londoner, and made her first appearance when only ten years old, at the Grand Theatre, islington, London, in Mr. Charles Willmott's pantomime of Blue Beard, and sang at that early age, ''Rule Britannia'' and the ''Powder monkey,'' in a style which attracted attention, and led to future promotion.
'Miss Jeffs has since been a great favourite with the public, and although very young (she does not look twenty,) has had a very successful tour in the United States with Tony Pastor's well-known variety company. Miss Jeffs was delighted with America, and is determined to go again.
'This is the third pantomime in which she has taken a leading part. In 1896-7 she was The Prince in The Sleeping Beauty at the Tyne Theatre, Newcastle-on-Tyne, in the cast being Mr. William Walton and Miss Ethel Earle.
'Last winter she was a fascinating Boy Blue at the Prince of Wales', Liverpool, when Eugene Stratton was one of the company, and the show beat record[s] with a splendid run. Miss Jeffs was also the original Madame Montresque in All Aboard.
'One of her most notable engagements was when se made a great success as Pllly Green in The Dandy Fifth, when it was produced last year at the Duke of York's Theatre, London, and subsequently on tour. This was a great part, requiring a fine presence, a good voice, and excellent acting, all of which qualifications Miss Jeffs is fortunate in possessing.
'As the fequenters of the Birmingham Grand Theatre know, Miss Jeffs is an ideal principal boy, and that she will be heard of yet in London, and in the very front rank, too, is not a rash thing to predict.'
(The Birmingham Pictorial and Dart, Birmingham, England, Friday, 13 January 1899, p. 11a) 'The Divorce Court has supplied its usual quiverful of infidelities, and more than the customary number of portraits for the P.I.P. Artist. The Drummond-Fox case has dragged its slow length along, The petition was that of the wife for a divorce by reason of the cruetly and misconduct of her husband, Mr. John Nelson Drummond, an artist. He denied the charges, and in a cross-suit he alleged misconduct on the part of his wife with Mr. Fox, a solicitor, against whom damages were claimed. The case of Cook v. Cook and Johnstone was the petition of Mr. William Austin Cook, an ironmaster, of Manchester, for a divorce by reason of the misconduct of his wife with the corespondent, a chartered accountatnt, living at Manchester, against whom danages were claimed. The peditioner gained the case, but only one farthing damages. On the other hand, Mr. Charles J. Moore, a Stoke schoolmaster, obtained a decree nisi and 250 damages against his cousin, Mr. Charles J. Harvey.' 'How the World Wags,' The Penny Illustrated paper and Illustrated Times, London, Saturday, 25 February 1895, p. 113