On the right is one of my latest designs, There are No Small Parts, which features a couple of characters taken from an original programme for the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers at the Savoy Theatre in London in 1889. Accompanying the illustration is a classic theatrical saying: “There are no small parts, only small actors.”
Theatrical expressions are legion and, while many are merely superstitious, some of them, like this one, contain valuable nuggets of advice. There are no small parts and while an actor may wish for a larger part to show off his or her talents, it is always worth remembering that with a small part one can give a performance that outshines all others on stage. My late mother, actress and writer Benedicta Leigh, once played a maid in the West End in the 1950s and ‘stole all the notices’, even though the production had two or three stars in its cast!
This next image, Ballet and Theatre, is of unknown origin, which I bought from my colleague Mindy Sommers of Vintage Art Download. At a guess, it dates from the late 1910s or early 1920s and was possibly the cover of a ballet and theatre periodical. It bears a stylistic resemblance to the posters and programmes for the Ballets Russes, including those illustrated by Leon Bakst. Perhaps one of you may be able to shed some light on it. The image is now available on all products at my gallery. While it is categorized under Good Luck, the image would be suitable for any occasion.
Take care and keep laughing!