Signor Trippello (active about 1900-1917), English musician, ‘and his Famous Troupe of Juvenile Virtuoso Musicians & Brilliant Vocalists’
(promotional postcard, printed by J. Richardson, 61 Wade Lane, Leeds, circa 1910)
Signor Trippello, whose real name was John Herbert Goodliffe, was born in Nottingham in 1873, a son of Edwin Daniel Goodliffe (1848-1909) and his wife, Elizabeth (née Clarke, 1851-1900). He was married to Elizabeth Glover in Nottingham in 1897, by whom he had two sons, John Alfred and Archibald, and died on the 18 December 1917.
Signor Trippello (active about 1900-1917), English musician, ‘and his Famous Troupe of Juvenile Virtuoso Musicians & Brilliant Vocalists’
Marguerite Debreux (active 1868-1883), French actress and singer, in the role of Cupidon in La Poudre de Perlimpinpin at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, autumn 1869 (Le Gaulois, Paris, Tuesday, 21 September 1869, p. 4)
(carte de visite photo: Disdéri, Paris, 1869)
‘THE NUDITARIAN RAGE ON THE PARIS STAGE. - The Paris correspondent of the New York Herald, describing the grand rehearsal of ”Poudre de Perlimpinpin,” at the Chatelet, observes:- There is a certain negligé about costume I will not dwell on. Some come in every day clothes, some in splendid costume; some, the ballet dancers, are in white muslin reminiscences, but that is not much. Then 260 women! For the real performance 2000 costumes! On the occasion of the rehearsals I had witnesses a few little whiffs of passion about costume, and I was anxious to see who had gained his or her point, the manager or the actress. One of the prettiest threatened to throw herself into the Seine if she had to put that ”bag” on, in which not a bit of her arms could be seen; another meant to cut the tailor’s throat if he insisted on making her unmentionables more than three inches below the knee; a third would twist the tenor’s neck round if the colour of her tights did not harmonise with that of her hair, and the manager told me that the whole army of men employed – gaslighters, choruses, mechanics, decorators, singers, in all 1200 – were easier to lead than these terrible women. The ”ugly” ones, he said, are as mild as lambs – they put on anything; but it is the pretty ones, with fine legs and tempers to match! Oh! -.-. The way he turned up the whites of his eyes at this is till present to my memory.’
(The Dundee Courier & Argus, Dundee, Scotland, Tuesday, 2 November 1869, p. 3d)
* * * * *
On 18 April 1870 Marguerite Debreux appeared as Mephisto at the Lyceum Theatre, London, in H.B. Farnie’s adaptation of Le Petit Faust (Little Faust), an opera bouffe with music by Hervé. Other members of the cast included Lennox Grey, Jennie Lee, and Ada Luxmore, with Emily Soldene as Marguerite, M. Marius as Siebel, Aynsley Cook as Valentine and Tom Maclagan as Faust.
‘… But if our Faust [Tom Maclagan] was awkward, the public were more than compensated by our Mephisto, our specially imported Mephisto, the beauteous Mdlle. Debreux. Chic and shapely, full of brand-new bouffeisms, she brought the air of the Boulevards with her, and came on tiny, tripping toes, armed with diabolical devices to break up all the women and capture all the men, with a perfect figure, no corsets, and a svelte waist that waved and swayed with every movement; with manicured pink nails an inch long, with a voice that cracked and creaked like a rusty signboard in half a gale of wine, and was never exactly there when wanted. But these vocal eccentricities were accompanied by such grace and gesture and perfect insinuation that a little thing like C sharp for D natural was considered quite the finest art. She was an immense success, and made us English girls just ”sit up,” and we felt very sick indeed… .’
(Emily Soldene, ‘My Theatrical and Musical Recollections,’ Chapter X, The Evening News Supplement, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Saturday, 20 March 1897, p. 2d)
Edward Trevanion’s pupils, Tell and Tell (active 1876-1879), ‘Trevanion’s Wonders,’ briefly known in 1876 as Sillo and Vertie, English juvenile gymnasts and trapezists
(carte de visite photo: T. Pope, 36 New Street, Birmingham, 1876-1879)
Edward Trevanion (a pseudonym) was born in Bolton, Lancashire, about 1846. He is recorded in the 1871 Census as a lodger at The Lord Nelson public house, Smithfield Street, Coventry, with his wife, Cerissa Trevanion (a pseudonym), who was born in Middlesborough, Yorkshire, about 1851. Both were described as gymnasts. Cerissa (or Mdlle. Cerissa as she was known professionally) died in childbirth on 19 June 1871 following an accident at the Alhambra music hall, Nottingham, a few days earlier on 8 June. (The Era, London, Sunday, 3 July 1871, p. 6d) During the next decade Edward Trevanion trained several pairs of young boys as acrobats and trapeze performers, including Tell and Tell. There is reason to believe that Trevanion subsequently changed his professional name to Tom Rezene (not to be confused with Charles F. Rezene, who was born about 1870, of Rezene and Robini, comic acrobats), who was responsible for training and exhibiting Lillo and Zetti, ‘Rezene’s Wonders,’ another pair of boy acrobats.
‘CAMBRIDGE … … . 9.15
‘ROYAL, HOLBORN . . 10.25
‘TELL and TELL.
‘Innumerable inquiries have been made to ascertain Mr Trevanion’s reasons for changing the celebrated names of his celebrated pupils to the novel and mysterious titles of TELL and TELL.
‘All who are acquainted with Edward Trevanion, his habits, nature, and history, can understand his determination not to be classed with a would-be Comic Song Singer, who has hesitated at nothing to achieve mercenary ends. The most daring and desperate rapacity of the Bashi Bazouks, was preceded by the kidnapping violence of the liquor vault fellow alluded to; he who, as for mercy, implored the aid of the law, that children might be taken from the lawful and loving care of their legal and experienced master, to become his victims – victims of his glaring and deplorable incapacity to ensure their safety. The ignorant abuse of such an unnatural creature will never again be notices.
‘Agent, Charles Roberts.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 27 August 1876, p. 13d)
The Cambridge music hall, London, week beginning Monday, 28 August 1876
‘The flying children Tell and Tell meet with remarkable success. They succeed better without artificial aid then some who attempt flying do with all the resources of science.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 3 September 1876, p. 5a)
The Cambridge music hall, London, week beginning, Monday, 4 September 1876
‘The wonderful juvenile gymnasts Tell and Tell went through their aerial trapeze performance with their accustomed intrepidity and neatness.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 10 September 1876, p. 4d)
J.S. Sweasey’s Benefit, The Royal music hall, London, Wednesday evening, 1 November 1876
‘… the youthful trapeze performers Tell and Tell one of whom was on this occasion presented with a silver medal at the hands of Mr. Sweasey, jun.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 5 November 1876, p. 5a)
‘PRESENTATION. Tell and Tell, the wonderfully clever youthful gymnasts, have been presented by Mr and Mrs Johnson, of the ”Alexandra,” Wigan, with handsome gold rings, set with rubies, in recognition of their ability, and as memorials of their great success at the establishment named.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 18 February 1877, p. 7c)
The Sun music hall, Knightsbridge, London, week beginning Monday, 23 April 1877
‘The daring youths Tell and Tell keep the spectators in a state of breathless excitement by their marvellous flights through space from bar to bar, a huge net precluding all sense of peril.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 29 April 1877, p. 4a)
Royal Alhambra music hall, Barrow-in-Furness, week beginning Monday, 17 July 1877
‘Trevanion’s pupils, Tell and Tell are the principal attractions, and their marvellous performance on the lofty trapeze is both graceful, daring, and clever, bringing down the house with thunders of applause.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 22 July 1877, p. 6a)
The Royal music hall, London, week beginning Monday, 6 January 1879
‘the first name on the list of those who appear on the stage is that of Mr Cavendish, whose buffo songs never fail to find deserved favour. We are sorry to learn that this gentleman has recently suffered to some considerable extent by reason of an accident, in which he was the victim of somebody’s carelessness in connection with a gymnastic entertainment which just now forms one of the main features of the programme. We may as well say at once that it is provided by the marvellously clever and daring children Tell and Tell, who are very properly described as flying trapeze wonders. Their extraordinary feats, performed on the high swinging bar, are positively astounding. They are characterised by an amount of neatness, precision, grace, and rapidity that we have never seen excelled even by gymnasts of more extended experience and of less tender years. The flights through space taken by the more youthful of the pair are watched with breathless interest and excitement, and call forth the most vociferous plaudits, no small share of the honours going, of course, to the plucky youngster, who, hanging head downwards, never fails to catch his flying confrère, who once at least makes his seemingly perilous journey while enveloped in a sack. We say ”seemingly” perilous because in reality danger is precluded by the presence beneath the performers of a huge net, and, indeed, by their own coolness and skill.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 12 January 1879, p. 7c)
C.H. Bartell (active late 1860s-1898), English blind vocalist and composer, sometimes billed as ‘The Great Blind Bartell’ and the ‘naval Crimean hero, with his flag entertainment’
(carte de visite photo: A.R. MacWilliams, 16 South Hanover Street, Glasgow, circa 1875)
Bartell, whose real name was Charles Henry Huntley, was born in London on 14 July 1835, the son of Henry Huntley, a brewer (later licensed victualler) and his wife, Elizabeth, and baptized at St. Matthew, Bethnal Green on 28 June 1837. He joined the navy at an early age but was blinded in an accident during the Crimean War (1853-1856). Twice married and father to a number of children, he died at home on 7 Sept 1901 at 18 Dudley Road, Sale, Cheshire.
The Middlesex music hall, Edgware Road, London, week beginning Monday, 30 December 1867
‘Mr. Bartell, a blind vocalist, sang several songs, the words of which are written by himself. One of these effusions related to ”What we want to know.” Another, which he called ”The Flags of all Nations,” glances at prominent tropics connected with different European states, and in a third Mr. Bartell recapitulated the achievements of 1867, and concluded by reciting some lines composed by himself, in which he described how he lost his sight when he was present as a sailor at the taking of Sebastopol. He has a powerful voice, and sings very forcibly. The audience heartily cheered him.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 5 January 1868, p. 6d)
Alhambra music hall, Worcester, week beginning Monday, 11 January 1869
‘Mr. C.H. Bartell, the blind descriptive vocalist and author, from the Crystal Palace, London, whose great international song, ”The Flags of All Nations,” has been received with much applause. Mr Bartell is one of the Crimean heroes, and he recites some verses relating to that dreadful contest, in which he gives an account of his life, and touchingly alludes to the loss of his sight.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 17 January 1869, p. 13d)
People’s Concert Hall, Stockport, Cheshire, week beginning Monday, 4 March 1872
‘We have this week to report the great success of the De Castro Troupe (gymnast and acrobats); also Le Petit Tom and Young England in their daring performance on the high trapeze. Mr. C.H. Hartell (blind descriptive vocalist) sings several songs of his own composing in a manner which elicits frequent applause. Mr. H. Beresford (comic), and Miss Bartell (serio-comic and dancer), with Mr and Mrs J. Whittingham (Negroists), complete the company.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 10 March 1872, p. 7b)
‘Charles Huntley Bartell, a Crimean veteran, who lost his sight in action, has died at his home in Sale, Manchester. ”Blind Bartell,” as he was known, gained quite a local reputation as a vocalist and entertainer, and some of his verses so impressed Queen Victoria that she made him a money grant. He was the oldest naval pensioner in Manchester, and possessed medals for Alma, Sebastopol and Inkerman. When Lord Roberts last visited Manchester he responded at the dinner given on behalf of the naval section of the Crimean veterans.’
(The Teedsale Mercury, Barnard Castle, Wednesday, 18 September 1901, p. 6f)
Maud Middleton (active 1871/72), English actress, at about the time of her appearance as ‘the comely chambermaid’ of the Great White Horse in James Albery’s dramatization of Charles Dickens’s Pickwick Papers, produced at the Lyceum Theatre, London, on 23 October 1871.
(carte de visite photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, early 1870s)
Pickwick, Lyceum Theatre, 1871
‘… But of characters, male and female, there are so many that it is impossible to enumerate them. When we mention among the ladies the names of Miss Marion Hill, Miss Minnie Sidney, Miss Kate Manor, and Miss Maude [sic] Middleton, we are not even half-way through the list of beauties… .’
(The Standard, London, Wednesday, 25 October 1871, p. 3d)
Lewis Waller (1860-1915), English actor manager, as he appeared in the title role of his production of Henry V at the Lyceum Theatre, London, the first night of which was on Saturday, 22 December 1900.
(photo: Langfier Ltd, London, 1900)
‘Mr. Lewis Waller and Mr. William Mollison are sparing no effort in preparing for their production of Henry V., due to take place at the Lyceum on the evening of Saturday, December 22. The King Henry the Fifth of the occasion will be Mr. Lewis Waller; the Fluellen, Mr. E.M. Robson; Michael Williams will be Mr. J.H. Barnes, and Mr. William Mollison will play Ancient Pistol. The part of Princess Katherine of France will be taken by Miss Sarah Brooke, and Miss Lily Hanbury will impersonate the Chorus.’
(The Sunday Times, London, Sunday, 9 December 1900, p. 6a)
‘At the Lyceum Theatre, last Wednesday night [20 February 1901], the fiftieth performance of Henry V., was celebrated by the presentation to each member of the audience of a souvenir, which took the form of a series of a dozen full-length portraits of the chief members of the cast, admirably produced by Messrs. Langfier and Co. in a form which suggests finely-finished mezzotint engraving. These are in all cases admirable examples of the process of photogravure, the two portraits of Miss Hanbury as the Chorus being especially remarkable. As time goes on these records of memorable productions – permanent, artistic, and photographically accurate – will come to have a high value for the historian of the drama.
‘Henry V., I found, was going splendidly on Wednesday night; in conception the main impersonations could hardly be improved upon from what they were upon the occasion of the firt performance. But they had matured since then, and had acquired greater completeness in detail, and the general business of the drama played more closely.
‘The finest battle-piece ever painted! That is now one’s predominating impression of Henry V., as rendered at the Lyceum. It opens with a challenge scornfully proffered and nobly accepted; it proceeds to indicate the details of invasion as they appear to those engaged with them, from the prince to the camp-follower; it culminates in a crucial conflict and the victory of Agincourt. And, finally, as in old legends, the hand of a princess is the reward of the victor.
‘Mr. Lewis Waller’s Henry V. remains a magnificent impersonation, manly, vigorous and genial, Mr. Waller excelled himself, I thought, last Wednesday night, in his delivery of ”One more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,” and the demeanour of the soldiers that he was addressing struck me as being more natural and spontaneous there than it was upon the earlier occasion.
‘Mr. William Mollison’s Ancient Pistol is a masterpiece also, Mr. Mollison has divined a temperament for the unfortunate contemner of leeks, and has made a quite convincing human being of him as well as an infinitely diverting one. His apprehensive countenance, at the first appearance of the French soldier, and then, when he perceived that the poor fugitive was too disheartened to dream of resistance, the infinite swagger of his ”Yield, cur!” were delightful touches of comedy. The scene between Pistol and Fluellen was excellently played on both side, and Mr. J.H. Barnes’ Williams was throughout and admirable piece of work, the speech to the King, when the soldier discovers that it is he that he has unwittingly defied and criticised, was an especially fine piece of blunt, manly frankness. The ”dramatis personæ” upon the French side have lesser opportunities afforded them, but the Charles VI. of Mr. Bassett Roe, the Constable of Mr. William Devereux, and the Dauphin of Mr. Gerald Lawrence are all performances of great merit. The Princess Katherine of Miss Sarah Brooke is full of regal and maidenly charm, and Miss Lily Hanbury remains a most statuesque and impressive Chorus.’
(H.A.K. ‘Plays and Players,’ The Sunday Times, London, Sunday, 24 February 1901, p. 6a)