You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘theatre’ tag.
Features / The Divine Feminine 30 October 2015 / Art Universe 4 October 2015 / Everyday Women 10 September 2015 / Layered Up 9 September 2015 / Take a black and white scan of actress Miss Lillah McCarthy (1875–1960) as Viola in Twelfth Night (1912) from an issue of Play Pictorial in my theatre collection. Throw on some magic with Photoshop in the form of textures by 2 Lil’ Owls along with a Cretan seascape photograph shot from on board a fishing boat, plus a texture from Angie Makes, and Viola is transformed, translated. I’m thinking of Quince to Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (’Thou art translated’, Act 3, Scene 1) when I use this word in the title. • Also buy this artwork on stationery, apparel, stickers, and more.
Take care and keep laughing!
Halloween may be over for another year but it didn’t stop one of my customers from buying this card. Thank you, stranger!
Halloween, Black Cat, The Haunting, Vintage Theatre card. Personalise any greeting card for no additional cost! Cards are shipped the Next Business Day.
Take care and keep laughing!
Those of you who know I’m having trouble with my eyes will have realised that I’ve been cheating when it comes to liking posts in the last few days. In other words, I’m still not able to read through screeds of text but I’m clicking ‘like’ since it’s important to me to show my support.
As it’s easy to reblog a product or two from my galleries without worrying about reading or writing text, that’s what I’m going to do for a while. After all, a girl’s gotta earn a living so I need to promote my work.
The Criterion Theatre Greeting Card for Sale by Sarah Vernon. Our premium-stock greeting cards are 5″ x 7″ in size and can be personalised with a custom message on the inside of the card. All cards are available for worldwide shipping and include a money-back guarantee.
FROM THE ARCHIVE 27th March 2011
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 Gil…
This is an adaptation of an original 1890s Criterion Theatre programme in my collection. I confess to being potty about it. The original image is the central strip which I copied, pasted and extended to form a background so that it was a classic card-shaped design. The Art Nouveau shapes and swirls are a treat and enable one to breathe in the theatrical atmosphere of late 19th century London.
This small, Grade II* listed theatre in Piccadilly Circus — it has an official capacity of 588 — opened on the site of an old hunting inn, the White Bear, in 1874. It has played host to some notable performances and productions, not least Charles Wyndham as David Garrick (1888), John Gielgud in Musical Chairs (1932), Terence Rattigan’s French Without Tears (1936-1939), Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (1955), which transferred from the Arts Theatre with Peter Woodthorpe, Hugh Burden, Timothy Bateson, and Peter Bull, and Joe Orton’s Loot (1966) with Michael Bates and Kenneth Cranham.
Did you know that one has been able to hear the underground rumble of Piccadilly Line trains since 1906 when the station and line originally opened? It gives productions a certain something! To read more about the Criterion’s history, click here.
I’ve just discovered that John Gielgud’s performance in the above-mentioned Musical Chairs was criticised by Noël Coward. Gielgud wrote to him thus:
To Noël Coward
May 1932, London
Thank you very much for writing as you did. I was very upset at the time, because as you know I had always admired you and your work so very much and also because in a way I have always thought my success in the theatre only began after the Vortex time – this play was my own discovery and I had much to do with the casting and getting it produced, so naturally I was very anxious you of all people should like it. But you are quite right, of course. I act very badly in it sometimes, more especially I think when I know people who matter are in front. And such a small theatre as the Criterion is difficult for me, who am used to the wastes of the Old Vic and His Majesty’s. If I play down, they write and say I’m inaudible and if I act too much, the effect is dire. Now and again one can strike the happy mien and give a good performance. But then, it is no use trying to excuse oneself. I played ever so much better today after reading your letter, and I am really glad when I get honest criticism, though sometimes it’s a bit hard to decide whom to listen to and whom to ignore…
[Daily Telegraph – Gielgud’s Letters, introduced and edited by Richard Mangan, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson]
And here are Sir Charles Wyndham (1837-1919) as Garrick and Miss Mary Moore aka Lady Wyndham (1861-1931) as Ada Ingot in David Garrick at the Criterion Theatre in 1886, which is available as a greeting card.
Take care and keep laughing!
I defy you not to be captivated by Gigi’s writing. Her short stories delight me and in an ideal world, I’d have one for breakfast every day.
Originally posted on Rethinking Life.
The Mason children weren’t like other children. They were quiet and well-behaved, of course, but Gerald, Ethel, Pearl and William were theater kids and that put them into a different category entirely. They wrote songs and plays, danced, sang, played instruments and put on grand productions, making their own costumes and performing their own stunts.Harold and Jean Mason were busy parents and thought that anything that amused their children and kept them busy was something to be applauded. While they never missed show, they skipped their rehearsals and any number of other things in which their children were involved.Pearl was a beauty and boys were starting to notice her. She shunned them unless they were interested in reading and the theater, which effectively eliminated ninety percent of the males who tried to speak to her. Harold and Jean were happy about that and, unlike other parents, they were in no rush to…
Source: The Masons… | Rethinking Life
Take a black and white scan of actress Miss Lillah McCarthy (1875–1960) as Viola in Twelfth Night (1912) from an issue of Play Pictorial in my theatre collection. Throw on some magic in the form of textures by 2 Lil’ Owls (Owls Beguiling-18, 2LO – Crackle 11, and 2LO Confetti 6 along with a Cretan seascape photograph shot from on board a fishing boat, plus a texture from Angie Makes (bluewatercolor), and Viola is transformed, translated. I’m thinking of Quince to Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (’Thou art translated’, Act 3, Scene 1) when I use this word in the title.
Miss Lillah McCarthy was the first wife of the playwright Harley Granville Barker, thrown over for a rich second wife. She created the role of Ann in George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman, among much else.
‘And let me see thee in thy women’s weeds.’
Orsino to Viola in Twelfth Night, Act 5, Scene 1
Take care and keep laughing!
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.
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.”‘
Take care and keep laughing!
ONE FROM THE ARCHIVE. In view of my recent posts about Maude Fealy, I thought it was time to reblog this article from 2012, partly because I have nothing else prepared!
As I have recently said on Facebook, whenever I sell a theatre-related design on whatever product, my heart leaps. Theatre is in my blood, partly because I spent over 30 years as an actress and partly because I was, as the saying goes, ‘born in a trunk’. This theatre term used to mean that you were born on tour of theatrical parents and that while other babies spent their days and nights in cribs and prams, you spent yours sustained by the smell of greasepaint and curled up in the theatre’s wardrobe skip, either in the wings or one of the dressing rooms. Now it has the more general meaning of having theatrical parentage. I am reminded of another phrase, which was coined by the playwright Tom Robertson, as revealed by Clement Scott in The Drama of Yesterday and Today [Vol. I] (pub. Macmillan & Co, 1899), and of…
View original post 335 more words
The American actress Maude Fealy was an exquisite beauty whose career encompassed everything from stage performances in the US, Canada and Britain, as well as silent movies and talking pictures.
She was born in 1883 in Tennessee and died in Los Angeles in 1971. Her mother, Margaret, was an actress and drama teacher so it comes as no surprise to learn that Maude made her stage debut at the age of three in her mother’s production of Faust.
She married an English drama critic in 1907, Louis Sherwin, who wrote for a newspaper in Denver. Her parents were not fans of their daughter’s husband and did everything they could to ruin the marriage; the result was successful and the pair divorced in 1909.
Her second marriage to actor James Durkin sparked the formation of a travelling theatre troupe called the Fealy-Durkin Stock Company. This marriage did not last the course and in 1920 she wed John Cort Jr but this marriage was annulled in 1923.
She continued to divide her time between stage and screen. Her work in Hollywood was helped immeasurably by her friendship with Cecil B DeMille with whom she had appeared on stage. She appeared in almost every one of DeMille’s films, among them The Buccaneer  and The Ten Commandments .
Returning to Denver in the 1940s, she founded a drama school, later going back to Hollywood to do the same.
It is a measure of her friendship with DeMille, who died in 1959, that it was he who left money in his will to pay her funeral expenses when she died in 1971.
— Adapted from the mini-biography on IMDb.
Take care and keep laughing!
FROM THE ARCHIVE
Originally posted on First Night Design.
Although this engraving by Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Charles Pugin is available online in the public domain, mine is actually a scan from an original print published as Plate 69 of Microcosm of London (1810) which my parents had bought from a local antique dealer in the 1960s.
I have not been able to discover what’s being performed but it looks something of a spectacular production what with the horse and carriage, the Boadicea-like figure and gigantic pillars! If anyone has any ideas, let me know.
While the following quote is not from the early 19th century, it describes what Sadler’s Wells had become by the 1840s:
‘Without, the theatre, by night, was like the worst part of the worst kind of Fair in the worst kind of town. Within, it was a bear-garden, resounding with foul language, oaths, catcalls, shrieks, yells, blasphemy, obscenity – a truly diabolical clamour. Fights took place anywhere, at any period of the performance… Sickly children in arms were squeezed…
Originally posted on First Night Design
Forget Ancient Rome, often cited as the origin of circus entertainment. A certain Englishman, Philip Astley (1742 – 1814), who had been a sergeant major in the Cavalry, was responsible for the entertainment we know today. It was Astley who found that if he galloped in circles he could produce such a centrifugal force that it enabled him to perform extraordinary stunts upon the horse and thus outdo other trick riders of the day.
Astley performed in public for the first time on 9th January, 1768. He was so successful that he gathered other equestrians to him and, later, acrobats, musicians…
It is such a treat to have sold a greeting card of Ellen Terry as Beatrice in Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing alongside a matching cushion. I have lived with this theatrical postcard all my life. It was given to my mother by an actress friend and my mother handed it on to me.
In her memoir, The Story of My Life: Recollections and Reflections, Dame Ellen writes:
‘When Henry Irving put on “Much Ado About Nothing”—a play which he may be said to have done for me, as he never really liked the part of Benedick—I was not the same Beatrice at all. A great actor can do nothing badly, and there was so very much to admire in Henry Irving’s Benedick. But he gave me little help. Beatrice must be swift, swift, swift! Owing to Henry’s rather finicking, deliberate method as Benedick, I could never put the right pace into my part. I was also feeling unhappy about it, because I had been compelled to give way about a traditional “gag” in the church scene, with which we ended the fourth act. In my own production we had scorned this gag, and let the curtain come down on Benedick’s line: “Go, comfort your cousin; I must say she is dead, and so farewell.” When I was told that we were to descend to the buffoonery of:
Beatrice: Benedick, kill him—kill him if you can.
Benedick: As sure as I’m alive, I will!
I protested, and implored Henry not to do it. He said that it was necessary: otherwise the “curtain” would be received in dead silence. I assured him that we had often had seven and eight calls without it. I used every argument, artistic and otherwise. Henry, according to his custom, was gentle, would not discuss it much, but remained obdurate. After holding out for a week, I gave in. “It’s my duty to obey your orders, and do it,” I said, “but I do it under protest.” Then I burst into tears. It was really for his sake just as much as for mine. I thought it must bring such disgrace on him! Looking back on the incident, I find that the most humorous thing in connection with it was that the critics, never reluctant to accuse Henry of “monkeying” with Shakespeare if they could find cause, never noticed the gag at all!
“This mutable woman, all instinct, sympathy and sensation, is as painstaking a student and as careful of the dignity of her art as Flaubert himself.” Virginia Woolf
“[Her name] rings like a chime through the last quarter of the 19th century.” George Bernard Shaw
“Blow that word charm! There is more to my acting than charm!” Ellen Terry
These three quotes are taken from a Lynne Truss article in The Guardian.
Take care and keep laughing!
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
View original post 493 more words