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Vesta Tilley – 1896 – 1919

Matilda Alice Powles (13 May 1864 – 16 September 1952) was an English music hall performer. She adopted the stage name Vesta Tilley and became one of the best-known male impersonators of her era. Her career lasted from 1869 until 1920. Starting in provincial theatres with her father as manager, she performed her first season in London in 1874. She typically performed as a dandy or fop, also playing other roles. She found additional success as a principal boy in pantomime.

By the 1890s, Tilley was England’s highest earning woman. She was also a star in the vaudeville circuit in the United States, touring a total of six times. She married Walter de Frece, a theatre impresario who became her new manager and songwriter. At a Royal Command Performance in 1912, she scandalised Queen Mary because she was wearing trousers. During the First World War she was known as “England’s greatest recruiting sergeant” since she sang patriotic songs dressed in khaki fatigues like a soldier and promoted enlistment drives.

Becoming Lady de Frece in 1919, she decided to retire and made a year-long farewell tour from which all profits went to children’s hospitals. Her last performance was in 1920 at the Coliseum Theatre, London. She then supported her husband when he became a Member of Parliament and later retired with him to Monte Carlo. She died in 1952 on a visit to London and is buried at Putney Vale Cemetery. Her life story was commemorated in the 1957 film After the Ball.

BritishMusicHallSoc

August 7, 2021 Posted by | Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jeanette Loff – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 17th August 1929

May 11, 2021 Posted by | Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iris Hoey & Pauline Chase – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 30th November 1912

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Iris Hoey – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 25th October 1930

February 8, 2021 Posted by | Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dorothy Ward – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 18th December 1909

 

Dorothy Ward born 26th April 1890, Aston, Birmingham.

W Macqueen-Pope, ‘The Melodies Linger On’ wrote; “Tights become her, they are second nature to her and she understands pantomime and its topsy-turviness.”

BritishMusicHallSoc

 

April 26, 2020 Posted by | Deltiology, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Marie Prevost – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 7th August 1926

November 17, 2019 Posted by | Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dairymaids – 1906

 

The Dairymaids is a farcical musical comedy in two acts by Alexander M. Thompson and Robert Courtneidge.

The music is by Paul A. Rubens and Frank E. Tours and lyrics by Paul A. Rubens and Arthur Wimperis.

It opened at the Apollo Theatre, London on 14 April 1906 where it ran for 239 performances.

July 21, 2019 Posted by | Deltiology, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rudge-Whitworth – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 13th May 1905

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Lily Elsie – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 25th November 1905

January 27, 2019 Posted by | Lily Elsie, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Billie Dove – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 1st February 1930

December 9, 2018 Posted by | Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment