Postcard of the week ending
Saturday, 11 November 2008

Hilda Moody (fl. late 19th/early 20th Century),
English actress and singer,
as O Mimosa San in The Geisha
at Daly's Theatre, London,
and on tour in the United Kingdom, 1897/98

Hilda Moody

Hilda Moody as O Mimosa San in The Geisha

(photo: Kilpatrick, United Kingdom, probably 1897)

This real photograph postcard, published by the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd of London in its Rotary Photographic Series, no. 1514 D, was published about 1902. It shows Hilda Moody as O Mimosa San (a part created by Marie Tempest at Daly's Theatre, London, on 26 April 1896) in The Geisha at Daly's and on tour in the United Kingdom during 1897 and 1898.

Theatre Royal, Birmingham, September 1897
'The most popular of all comic operas, The Geisha, is playing this week its third visit to Birmingham, and has drawn larger audiences than ever. In fact, the Royal has been crowded to overflowing and would likely continue to be so if the company could stay longer. But like all good things, even this fascinating play must come to an end, and this is a farewell visit. The charm of its music, the interesting plot, and its picturesque surroundings are the great feature of attraction, but to these essential matters, the most essential of all, a capable and artistic company is the first consideration of all. Mr. [George] Edwardes has organised a splendid artistic personnel as everybody knows. One only important change has been made since The Geisha visited us the last time. Miss Mary [sic] Studholme is not here, and her part is represented by Miss Violet Lloyd. In replacing so charming an actress as Miss Studholme, Miss Lloyd had no easy task, but she fully realises her position and tives as piquant and charming an impersonation of Molly Seamore as can possibly be desired. Miss Hilda Moody is again a chief attraction, and sings with more charm than ever. How amusing and versatile Mr. Frederick Wright, Jun., can be need not be repeated here. He is the live and soul of the piece. Mr. W.H. Rawlins is capital as the Marquis Imari. Mr. John Coates still retains his part of Reginald Fairfax. The singing of the chorus and the playing of the orchestra added considerably to the success of the opera.'
(The Birmingham Pictorial and Dart, Birmingham, England, Friday, 3 September 1897, p. 13a)

'Mr. Dornton was on sure ground when he engaged Mr. George Edwardes's No. 1 Geisha company for the second visit during '97, and he will hardly deem us presumptuous if we suggest that a third visit between now and pantomime time would ensure the gratitude of the public, for whom the attractions of this delightful musical comedy appear likely to be perennial. At all events, there can be no doubt about the wonderful business which was done at the Theatre Royal in March last, and is being repeated if not exceeded during the present week. The company is much the same as before, with the notable exception that Miss Marie Studholme, for whom it did seem impossible to find a substitute, is out of the cast, and Miss Violet Lloyd, who has already made a nit in the part at Daly's Theatre [in London] during Miss Letty Lind's absence, is now the Molly Seamore, playing, singing and dancing in such a way as to reconcile everybody to the change, much as we all long to see Miss Studholme again. However, Miss Lloyd is an ideal Molly, and her career in performances of this description cannot fail to be brilliant.
'As O Mimosa San, the Geisha Girl, Miss Hilda Moody acts with all her old success, her ''Jewel of Asia'' song never failing to bring down the house. Miss Moody is fortunate in possessing one of the purest voices ever devoted to the service of musical comedy. Of Miss Andree Corday's impersonation of the part of the French girl, Juliette, it is sufficient to say that it is to the manner born, and it would be an excess of patriotism to admit the possibility of the part being equally well played by any English actress. Mr. Rawlin's broad comedy finds ample scope in the role of the Marquis Imari, and Mr. Fred Wright, Junr. continues to pile point upon point as the Chinaman, Wun Hi.'
(The Owl, Birmingham, England, Friday, 3 September 1897, p. 1a)

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© John Culme, 2008