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Using a personal photograph, I have added some of my textures along with one from Kerstin Frank.


“The man is not wholly evil – he has a Thesaurus in his cabin.” (Captain Hook as described by J. M. Barrie in Peter Pan)”
J.M. Barrie


 


“One could mention many lovable traits in Smee. For instance, after killing, it was his spectacles he wiped instead of his weapon.”
J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


My starting point for this piece was a divine original book-plate from 1899 of the British actress Miss Dorothea Baird (1875-1933), which I bought from collectors Vintage Views, along with a few other goodies which will be revealed in the weeks to come.

I will be posting the original on First Night Vintage at some point but here I have superimposed a vintage theatre programme from my archive for a production at the Lyric Theatre onto the curtains of the original. If I were to tell you the number of other images and textures I used, including Island in the Storm, you probably wouldn’t believe me!

Dorothea Baird first appeared on stage  in 1894 for the Oxford University Dramatic Society or OUDS as Iris in The Tempest. She performed in several Shakespeare productions in the following years, often with her husband, H. B. Irving, Sir Henry’s son. She also originated the part of Mrs Darling in Peter Pan (1904). It was a short but notable career, ending in 1913 when she retired and concentrated her energies on charitable causes.

Mr H B Irving Greeting Card

Mr. H. B. Irving (1870 – 1919) as Hamlet at the Adelphi Theatre 1904.

Mr H B Irving Greeting Card

The text below is an extract from what is printed on the reverse side of the book-plate and is an effusive, to say the least, appraisal of Miss Baird and her trumpeted performance in the title role of George du Maurier’s Trilby, produced at the Haymarket Theatre in 1895. You will not have read the like in the 20th or 21st century!

‘MISS DOROTHEA BAIRD made her first appearance on the stage in 1894, when she played Iris in “The Tempest,” and Galatea in “Pygmalion and Galatea,” at the performances of the Oxford University Dramatic Society. After that, Miss Baird went a-touring with Mr. Ben Greet’s company—whence we have derived so many stage recruits—and in her time played many parts. But to Londoners, Miss Dorothea Baird is Trilby; Trilby, in spite of her appearance as the heroine of Mr. Louis Parker’s play, The Happy Life,” at the Duke of York’s Theatre; in spite of her Phoebe in As You Like It,” at the St. James’s; in spite of her charming Diane in A Court Scandal,” at the Court Theatre. And, whatever may be the success in store for her, it is probable that it is of her Trilby we shall tell our grandchildren when we inform them in the usual way that acting was acting in our young days [….] From the above will be learned the impressions of the moment of a remarkable “first night.”‘

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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


First Night Design

This is the best film version of Charles Dickens’ classic tale bar none! Alastair Sim [1900–1976] was a sublime actor and farceur. I was lucky enough to see him on stage on several occasions including Peter Pan at the Scala Theatre, where he played Mr Darling and Captain Hook, and the title role in Arthur Wing Pinero’s farce, The Magistrate at the Criterion. Genius.

Director: Brian Desmond Hurst
Writing Credits: Charles Dickens … (adapted from A Christmas Carol)
Noel Langley: (adaptation and screenplay)

Cast (in credits order)

Alastair Sim …Ebenezer Scrooge

Kathleen Harrison …Mrs. Dilber

Mervyn Johns …Bob Cratchit

Hermione Baddeley …Mrs. Cratchit

Michael Hordern …Jacob Marley

George Cole …Young Ebenezer Scrooge

John Charlesworth …Peter Cratchit

Francis De Wolff …Spirit of Christmas Present (as Francis de Wolff)

Rona Anderson …Alice

Carol Marsh …Fan Scrooge

Brian Worth …Fred

Miles Malleson …Old Joe

Ernest Thesiger …The Undertaker

Glyn Dearman …Tiny Tim

Michael Dolan…

View original post 493 more words


I created this collage with a postcard of actress Pauline Chase [1885-1962] from my theatre collection. When I was in my early teens, if not younger, I was obsessed with spending my pocket money on vintage theatrical postcards and used to spend hours browsing round a magical second-hand bookshop on Richmond Hill in Richmond, Surrey, where I was brought up. The old gentleman who ran the shop was quite fierce or, perhaps, simply wary of children like me ruining his stock. For some reason, he had more postcards of Miss Chase than anyone else.

Pauline Chase was actually an American, born in Washington DC in 1885, but having begun as a child actress in her homeland, she ultimately settled in the UK. If she is known at all these days, it would be for her association with Peter Pan, in which she started in a lesser role for the first production in 1904, graduating to the title role in 1906 when that year’s Peter, Cissie Loftus, was taken ill. J M Barrie was so taken with her performance that she then played Peter until she retired from the stage in 1913. A contemporary review (Daily Mail) for the 1907 productions states that ‘Miss Pauline Chase has improved greatly in her acting…’!

The French script background is from 2 Lil’ Owls.

Related

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


This is the best film version of Charles Dickens’ classic tale bar none! Alastair Sim [1900–1976] was a sublime actor and farceur. I was lucky enough to see him on stage on several occasions including Peter Pan at the Scala Theatre, where he played Mr Darling and Captain Hook, and the title role in Arthur Wing Pinero’s farce, The Magistrate at the Criterion. Genius.

Director: Brian Desmond Hurst
Writing Credits: Charles Dickens … (adapted from A Christmas Carol)
Noel Langley: (adaptation and screenplay)

Cast (in credits order)

Alastair Sim …Ebenezer Scrooge

Kathleen Harrison …Mrs. Dilber

Mervyn Johns …Bob Cratchit

Hermione Baddeley …Mrs. Cratchit

Michael Hordern …Jacob Marley

George Cole …Young Ebenezer Scrooge

John Charlesworth …Peter Cratchit

Francis De Wolff …Spirit of Christmas Present (as Francis de Wolff)

Rona Anderson …Alice

Carol Marsh …Fan Scrooge

Brian Worth …Fred

Miles Malleson …Old Joe

Ernest Thesiger …The Undertaker

Glyn Dearman …Tiny Tim

Michael Dolan …Spirit of Christmas Past

Olga Edwardes …Fred’s Wife

Roddy Hughes …Fezziwig

Hattie Jacques …Mrs. Fezziwig

Eleanor Summerfield …Miss Flora

Louise Hampton …Laundress

C. Konarski …Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come

Eliot Makeham …Mr. Snedrig

Peter Bull …First Businessman, Narrator

Douglas Muir …Second Businessman

Noel Howlett …First Collector

Fred Johnson …Second Collector

Henry Hewitt …Mr. Rosehed

Hugh Dempster …Mr. Groper

David Hannaford

Maire O’Neill …Alice’s Patient

Richard Pearson …Mr. Tupper

Patrick Macnee …Young Jacob Marley (as Patrick MacNee)

Clifford Mollison …Samuel Wilkins

Jack Warner …Mr. Jorkin

Rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Theresa Derrington …Fred’s Maid

Vi Kaley …Old Lady Sitting By Stove At The Charity Hospital (uncredited)

Tony Wager …Fezziwig’s Lad (uncredited)

Produced by Brian Desmond Hurst

Stanley Haynes … associate producer (uncredited)

Music by Richard Addinsell … (musical score by)

Cinematography by C.M. Pennington-Richards … director of photography

Film Editing by Clive Donner … film editor

Casting By Maude Spector

Art Direction by Ralph W. Brinton

Set Decoration by Freda Pearson … (uncredited)

Costume Design by Doris Lee

Phyllis Dalton … (uncredited)  Makeup Department

Eric Carter … make-up artist

Betty Lee … hair stylist

Aldo Manganaro … assistant makeup artist (uncredited)

June Robinson … assistant hair stylist (uncredited)

Production Management

Stanley Couzins … production manager Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Denis O’Dell … first assistant director

Buddy Booth … third assistant director (uncredited)

Tony Harris … second assistant director (uncredited) Art Department

Chris Chapman … property buyer (uncredited)

T. Hopewell Ash … draughtsman (uncredited)

Ted Marshall … draughtsman (uncredited)

Patricia Neville … sketch artist (uncredited)

Freda Pearson … set dresser (uncredited)

Wallis Smith … construction manager (uncredited) Sound Department

W.H. Lindop … sound recordist

Charles Earl … sound camera operator (uncredited)

Fred Ryan … boom operator (uncredited)

Leonard Trumm … dubbing editor (uncredited) Camera and Electrical Department

Cecil Cooney … camera operator (as C. Cooney)

Richard Cantouris … still photographer (uncredited)

Tom Friswell … clapper loader (uncredited)

Gerry Turpin … focus puller (uncredited) Costume and Wardrobe Department

Constance Da Finna … costume designer: Mr. Sim, Mr. Hordern and Miss Edwardes

Phyllis Dalton … assistant costume designer (uncredited)

W. Walsh … wardrobe master (uncredited) Editorial Department

Anne Barker … assistant editor (uncredited)

Stan Hawkes … second assistant editor (uncredited)

Michael Johns … second assistant editor (uncredited)

Charles Squires … second assistant editor (uncredited) Music Department

Muir Mathieson … conductor Other crew

George Minter … presenter

Larry Edmonds … accountant (uncredited)

Hugh Findlay … publicity director (uncredited)

Elizabeth Montagu … dialogue director (uncredited)

Doris Prince … production secretary (uncredited)

Margaret Ryan … continuity (uncredited)

Jan Saunders … floor runner (uncredited) Thanks

M. Steiner … acknowledgment: mechanical Victorian dolls loaned by (as Mr. M. Steiner)

via A Christmas Carol (1951) – Full Cast & Crew – IMDb.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Straight On Till Morning Wrapped Canvas

When I was a child in the 1950s and ’60s, my parents took us every Christmas to the Scala Theatre in London to see Peter Pan.  It was an utter joy, whether the inimitable Alastair Sim was playing Mr Darling and Captain Hook or Sylvia Syms or Julia Lockwood was playing Peter.  Occasionally we were taken to see a pantomime but Peter Pan was always on the menu.

J M Barrie’s perennially young hero first appeared on stage in 1904 although the playwright did not put it into book form until 1911. Peter has now enchanted audiences and readers for over a hundred years.  Gerald du Maurier, son of George, the Punch cartoonist and author of Trilby, not to mention father of Daphne, whose classics include  Rebecca, Frenchman’s Creek and Jamaica Inn, was the actor who played Hook and Darling in the first production staged at the Duke of York’s in 1904.  Du Maurier could not have been a more appropriate choice to play the good father and the nasty Hook since his sister was Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, the mother whose five sons were those very ‘lost boys’ that had provided Barrie’s inspiration.

Sir Johnston Forbes Robertson Greeting Card

The first Peter was  Nina Boucicault who was the daughter of the actor and playwright Dion Boucicault.  Many actresses have taken the role of Peter over the years, including Zena Dare (1905-1906) and Pauline Chase (1906-1907 & 1914-1915).

Maude Adams played Peter on Broadway in 1905 and continued to play the role on various occasions  during the next decade or so.

Maude Adams as Peter Pan

Maude Adams as Peter Pan 1905 [photo: Wikimedia]

In 1929, J M Barrie donated the royalties accruing from Peter Pan to Great Ormond Street Hospital, Bloomsbury, in perpetuity. Barrie was a friend of the hospital’s Chairman, Lord Wemyss, and had already taken an interest in the work when the need for funds prompted him to hand over the royalties. This would have expired in 1987 but special provision was made in the 1988 Copyright Act which means the hospital continues to receive the royalties.  Barrie was adamant that the hospital should never let it be known how much money it received and they never have.

Straight On Till Morning Postage

To create the artwork, I combined a childhood drawing in coloured crayon, which was based on a black & white photograph of Jean Forbes-Robertson, daughter of Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson, as Peter, with various textures. (For British television buffs, she was the mother of actress Joanna van Gysegham.) Created in Photoshop, I made many adjustments by blending, layering and ‘painting’.  Miss Forbes-Robertson played Peter nine times between 1927 and 1938.

Straight On Till Morning iPhone 5 Case

Straight On Till Morning Plaque

Straight On Till Morning Clock

Have you ever tried to fly like The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up?  I used to clamber onto a chest of drawers and launch myself from there.  Sadly, it never worked except in my dreams.  J M Barrie reported that ‘…after the first production I had to add something to the play at the request of parents (who thus showed that they thought me the responsible person) about no one being able to fly until the fairy dust had been blown on him; so many children having gone home and tried it from their beds and needed surgical attention.’

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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