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First Night Design

To see a fine lady upon a white horse © First Night DesignTo see a fine lady upon a white horse © First Night Design

Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
She shall have music wherever she goes.
by Mother Goose

I used a background from Kerstin Frank, one from EKDuncan, and the image of a beautifully embroidered costume from the Rijksmuseum. The fine lady on her white horse is from a scrapbook made for me when I was a child.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
She shall have music wherever she goes.
by Mother Goose

I used a background from Kerstin Frank, one from EKDuncan, and the image of a beautifully embroidered costume from the Rijksmuseum. The fine lady on her white horse is from a scrapbook made for me when I was a child.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


‘By the time this post appears I’ll be in Italy preparing to direct Jack & the Beanstalk for the biennial Venice pantomime, so it seems an appropriate time to write about the man who shaped the pantomime dame as we know her today: the great Dan Leno.

Dan started life as George Galvin, the child of two struggling music hall performers and if he wasn’t quite born in a trunk in the Princess Theatre, he was certainly soon a part of his parents’ endlessly travelling, bread-line existence. At the age of three he made his stage début as Little George, the Infant Wonder Contortionist and Posturer.

In the 1860s childhood was a brief affair in even the most comfortable of families. In show-business it was over as soon as a child could walk onto a stage ….’

via The History Girls: There is Nothing Like a Dame, says Laurie Graham.

******

For fans of vintage theatre, visit my First Night Vintage store for Dan Leno and many more performers.

See also Dan Leno in Mother Goose at Drury Lane in 1902.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Dan Leno

Mr Dan Leno Cards
Mr Dan Leno Cards by FirstNightVintage

Dan Leno was one of the most famous music hall comedians of his time (1860–1904) and was the forerunner of them all, the inspiration for many comedians and actors since.

This image comes from an original theatrical postcard in my collection which shows him playing pantomime dame in a 1902 production of Mother Goose at Drury Lane under the management of Augustus Harris.

A friend of mine, the actor and playwright Stewart Permutt, who has written a play about Leno, said to me in a 2003 interview  for my theatre site Rogues & Vagabonds that Leno “just played [his Dames] terribly truthfully and if you hear recordings of him, it sounds like a little lady.”  “He wasn’t gay, he wasn’t camp, he wasn’t Danny La Rue,’ added Stewart, stressing that Leno played his women, his dames, “absolutely for real”.  “He didn’t put on a silly voice or anything like that.”

Leno’s contemporary, the actor-manager Herbert Beerbohm-Tree, once said to one of his leading ladies, Constance Collier, that if Dan Leno had played Richard III, he would have been the greatest Richard ever.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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