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The showman's daughter: Mary Effie Collette, actress.

The "Personal Card" pages of the Era theatrical newspaper of the late nineteenth century are testimony to the veritable armies of young aspiring actresses seeking fame through employment on the stage. However, with the exception of a tiny minority of the more eminent and successful, the careers of the vast majority await resurrection. It was into this increasingly competitive milieu that Mary Collette (1871-1961) was to enter in the late 1880s, and had she not the benefit of well-known theatrical parents then she too might have remained anonymous. Her mother was the actress Blanche Julia Wilton (1856-1934), well-known for her soubrette roles, and one of a number of acting sisters eclipsed by the eldest, Marie Wilton (1839-1921), the later Lady Bancroft (Ince "Charles Henry Collette"). (1) Mary's father was Charles Collette (1842-1924), a famous comedian who enjoyed a long and distinguished career (Ince "Natural Born Showman"). After she retired from the stage in 1903 Mary's run of "good connections" continued when she married into the Bryant family associated with the then Royal Household. Her husband, Ernest Widdows Bryant (1876-1913), formerly Third Clerk to the Prince of Wales (the later King Edward VII), was later Clerk to Queen Alexandra, a post he obtained just two months after the death of Queen Victoria in January 1901. Mary's brother-in-law (Ernest's older brother), Sir Francis Morgan Bryant (1859-1938), attended the funeral of Mary's father in 1924. He was Secretary of the King's Private Secretary's Office, and father of the historian and writer, Sir Arthur Wynne Morgan Bryant (1899-1985). (2) Following Mary's marriage in 1904 (at which Marie Bancroft was a witness) and the subsequent birth of two daughters, (3) Mary was thereafter to be a full-time nursemaid to her ailing husband who died of diabetes. (4) Mary Collette developed into an accomplished comedienne, musician and vocalist, talents reflected in the wide diversity of engagements she attracted during her professional career, and was on the whole treated paternalistically and affectionately by reviewers given the great popularity of her father and the gentle nature of his daughter. (5) Hers is the story of a rising young actress whose family connections contributed significantly to her career advancement. Although she attracted few leading roles her performance profile is far from insignificant for a relatively minor actress. A list of her roles is given at the end.

Mary Collette began her acting career in the child role of Wilkins Micawber junior in an adaptation of Charles Dickens' David Copperfield at the Southampton Theatre Royal in January 1883. At this time her parents were on tour in the Channel Islands in "The Colonel" Company of the actor-manager Edgar Bruce. Her father (known as "The Jersey Sunflower" to Lily Langtree's "The Jersey Lily") took the lead as Colonel Woottweell W. Woodd of the U.S. Cavalry, the role that made him famous. During such periods Mary was in the guardianship of her maternal aunts Ida Ann Fletcher nee Wilton, the later Mrs Fletcher-Elmes, and Georgina Wilton, both younger sisters of Marie Wilton. Immediately prior to her professional debut, a sixteen year-old Mary, in the care of the actress Kate Phillips (who was well known to Mary's father), attended an amateur performance of John Palgrave Simpson's comedy A Scrap of Paper at the Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal in December 1887 (Bury & Norwich Post, 27 Dec. 1887:5). The choice of play could not have been a coincidence because Mary would be acting in the very same play less than one year later. Her professional debut occurred under the tutelage of Madge Kendal and her husband W. H. Kendal during a farewell provincial tour following their famous years (from 1879) at the St James's Theatre, King's Street, (where Mary understudied) with the actor John Hare. This tour lasted four months starting at the Hull Theatre Royal in September 1888 with a revival of Arthur Wing Pinero's The Ironmaster (adapted from Georges Ohnet's drama Le Maitre de Forges) in which Mary played Suzannne, and Pinero's The Squire in which she played the ingenue role of Felicity Gunnion. (6) The tour concluded at the Prince's (Bristol) in November 1888 having visited en route Manchester, Dundee, Liverpool, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. The Manchester Times (22 Sep. 1888:8) remarked "Miss Collette in the part of Felicity Gunnion was an interesting debutante. She played it daintily, and won admiration for her pretty assumption of girlish vanity and caprice". Madge Kendal herself considered Mary's role as Felicity Gunnion "as the nearest approach to the ideal she had seen" (Hampshire Telegraph & Sussex Chronicle, 11 Oct. 1890:9). In its review of Mary's performance in The Squire, the Liverpool Mercury (4 Oct. 1888:6) commented "Miss Collette is a daughter of the popular comedian, Mr. Charles Collette, and this essay of hers, so bright and truthful as an exposition of the simplicity and innocence of a little maiden, gives abundant promise of a successful career on the stage". The Glasgow Herald (30 Oct. 1888) also stressed her paternal connection, remarking, "As the daughter of Mr Charles Collette, well known in Glasgow, we were especially interested in her impersonation, which was marked by naivete and coolness and promise ... her voice is sweet if not strong ... we felt that instruction in the art of singing would not be amiss". The tour earned Mary much valuable early publicity, the Dundee Courier & Argus (18 Sep. 1888) reminding readers that in addition to be being "the daughter of her father ... [she] is a niece of Mrs Bancroft" thus imbuing the psyche of the theatre going public that she was worthy of especial attention. At the end of the tour Mary enjoyed her earliest biographical review in the Bristol Mercury & Daily Post (24 Nov. 1888:6) which pointed to her indirect connections with the Bristol Theatre Royal through her mother, aunt (Mrs Bancroft), and maternal grandfather, the provincial actor Robert Pleydell Wilton (1799-1873) [Figure 1].

The Kendals' tour was a valuable prelude to Mary's first performance on the London stage. On Monday 21 January 1889 at the Opera Comique (East Strand) she played Rosie the dairymaid in Mrs Oscar Beringer's play Tares. This was a small part but she nevertheless made a favourable debut (Sportsman, 22 Jan. 1889; Daily Telegraph, 22 Jan. 1889). The Pall Mall Gazette (24 Jan. 1889:2) considered the piece "talky, tedious and inconsistent" saved only by "two strong scenes and three good actors", and the Sheffield & Rotherham Independent (28 Jan. 1889:5) that "sympathy is checked by the pervading unreality of a drama, which is false to nature--a radical defect which no art can hide or remedy". Mary was not entirely on her own at this time--her father was close at hand in John Maddison Morton's farce A Regular Fix which preceded Tares throughout the run up to 28 March. The reviewer of the Leicester Chronicle (9 Mar. 18891:1) happened to see A Regular Fix, commenting not only on the "good acting" of Charles Collette but also of "his charming daughter" who "in appearance ... resembles her father rather than her maternal relatives ... she is a bright brown-eyed brunette, whom one can hardly imagine to be the daughter of so youthful looking a father". During the run of Tares Mary also played Mildred Selwyn in Sydney Grundy's comedy A Fool's Paradise (formerly named The Mousetrap) which was produced by the actress Kate Rorke at the Gaiety (Aldwych) for a matinee on 12 February 1889. The Theatre (1 Mar. 1889:157-59) referred to Mary in her role as "a dear little girl", and of the play in general, the Morning Post (3 Feb. 1889:4) commented "the excellent acting and one or two admirable studies of character atoned for some grave defects ... A boy and girl lover were cleverly played by Miss Mary Collette and Mr. Saunders". (7)


Mary Collette was then to act with her father in the first performance of Alec Nelson's comedietta The Landlady for a matinee at the Shaftesbury Theatre (Shaftesbury Avenue) on 4 April 1889, a forepiece to Malcolm Watson's play Calumny. Mary played Nell to her father's Uncle Leonidas and Sydney Brough's Bob Bateman. The Era (6 Apr. 1889:10) considered the play "a slight but pleasing sketch of domestic life" and that Mary was "a charmingly natural and unaffected young actress, who gives promise of a successful future ... [she] made a great deal of the part of Nell". The Stage (12 Apr. 1889:10) considered the plot "thin and reminiscent of Caste ... Miss Mary Collette ... proved herself to have a pretty mezzo-soprano voice, [but] was not sufficiently animated in her acting as the serio-comic signer Nell". Reviews of William Sapte junior's comedy drama Marah played for a matinee at the Prince of Wales's (Charlotte Street) on 31 May 1889, in which Mary took the role of Winifred Grey, were mixed, and did not wholly align with audience responses. (8) The Era (1 Jun. 1889:9) concluded "There is some creditable matter in Marah but, in its present form at least, it is hardly likely to be seen again". The Pall Mall Gazette (1 Jun. 1889:4) similarly considered the play had a "good foundation gone wrong" and that it would require a rewrite. The Daily News (1 Jun. 1889:6) noted however that although the play "proved to be a rather tedious elaboration of a commonplace theme ... the performers and the author were alike rewarded with vociferous applause". The Morning Post (1 Jun. 1889:5) remarked on Mary's pleasant acting as a "very young lady in love" and that "admitting all drawbacks, it must be recorded that Marah pleased the audience, and the pit, frequently critical of first performances, was decidedly indulgent and even complimentary". The Theatre (1 Jul. 1889:36-37) remarked "Miss Mary Collette did very well, but unfortunately the same cannot be said of the representatives of the principal characters". Only the York Herald (8 Jun. 1889:5) was altogether positive considering "The play contains some neat writing ... and on the whole favourable, the author having to respond to a 'call'". In an attempt to bolster the play's credentials, an advertisement in the Era (8 Jun. 1889:5) chose extracts from reviews which put a positive spin on the matter (a common ploy) but the publicity apparently had little effect for there is no evidence the play was ever performed again, thus vindicating the more pessimistic predictions. In late 1889 came a brief tour, organised by the actress Henrietta Lindley, which revived F. C. Burnand's famous comedy The Colonel in which Mary played Nellie Forrester (with William Herbert and not her father as the Colonel). The tour started at Colchester in October 1889 and visited Crystal Palace, Brighton and the Comedy Theatre (Strand). The Colonel was by now considered rather antiquated (even by the author himself) but Mary in a small role nevertheless received good reviews. Her performance at Colchester was praised by the Essex Standard (12 Oct. 1889:5) for having "sustained the character of Nellie in a remarkably clever manner", and at the Crystal Palace by the Era (26 Oct. 1889:8) for having shown "clever appreciation of the whimsical scenes in which Nellie appears". At the Comedy the Morning Post (4 Dec. 1889:3) considered that Mary had "played the school-girl Nellie with much comic talent", and the Era (7 Dec.1889:10) that she was "delightfully bright and animated".

Five months at the Vaudeville (Strand) under the experienced actor manager Thomas Thorne (1841-1918), while her father was giving his famous "At Homes" in London, proved an important next step in Mary's stage novitiate. The first play was Robert Brindsley Sheridan's comedy School for Scandal performed on 11 January 1890 (following a matinee in December 1889 with her father as Moses) in which Mary played Maria in a cast of notables which included Cyril Maude and Winifred Emery. The Era (18 Jan. 1890:11) remarked "It is a severe ordeal to ask an inexperienced actress to play even an ingenue's part in company with such artists ... Miss Collette must rise to the occasion, now that she has obtained her chance". Reading between the lines of this review we find the suggestion that Mary needed to be more distinct in her delivery "and must study the art of deportment and the manner of making an effective exit". It concluded "Miss Collette has a pleasing appearance, intelligence, and a sweet voice. Her theatrical future is in her own hands". (9) School for Scandal however served merely as a stopgap (until February 1890 on account of Thorne's prolonged illness) for Robert Buchanan's comedy Clarissa (an adaptation of Samuel Richardson's Clarissa, or the History of a Young Lady). In Clarissa Mary played the role of Jennie (a country girl) with Oswald Yorke (1866-1943) as Captain Harlowe, a partnership continued in later roles. (10) The Era (8 Feb. 1890:10) reported a favourable response with "Miss Mary Collette ... appropriately simple and natural as Jenny", The Theatre (1 Mar. 1890:157-58) that she was one who deserved "very favourable mention", and the Daily News (7 Feb. 1890:2) that in a less prominent part she acted "carefully". (11) Once Clarissa had moved to the evening bill, a series of matinee performances of Robert Buchanan's burletta Miss Tomboy were introduced in March 1890 to general approval with Mary in the role of Dolly Primrose, another servant's part. (12) Such a minor role hardly bore mention by the critics yet the Era (22 Mar. 1890), encouragingly, considered Mary's interpretation a success, and Reynold's Newspaper (23 Mar. 1890:6) remarked that the minor parts "too frequently entrusted to inferior actors" were ably played. The dramatist E. L. Blanchard died 4 September 1889 and as part of a complimentary benefit to his widow, the second act of Miss Tomboy was staged at the National Standard (Shoreditch) on 2 June 1890 with Mary in her original role of Dolly (Scott and Howard, 2:680). Thorne's "Vaudeville Company" subsequently toured Miss Tomboy between September and November 1890 to somewhat greater acclaim than it had received in London with Mary's role gaining universal approval (Stage, 12 Sep. 1890:5; Blackburn Standard, 25 Oct. 1890:6; Essex Standard, 8 Nov. 1890:2). Prior to this period Mary stood out as Ethel Evergreen in John Aylmer's nondescript comedy Changes at Toole's (Strand) for a matinee in April 1890. The Athenaeum (3 May 1890:580) considered it a "slight and an amateurish piece with scarcely the pretence of a plot" but concluded that "In a very weak interpretation Miss Mary Collette was pleasantly conspicuous". The Era (26 Apr. 1890:15) similarly remarked "The piece is too feeble in plan, and too silly in dialogue to require elaborate analysis in order to expose its imperfections" but conceded, "Miss Mary Collette played the juvenile lead very prettily". Mary's role (in a cast of virtual unknowns) was also singled out by other reviewers for praise. The Daily News (26 Apr. 1890:6) remarked "Among the performers, Miss Mary Collette, a vivacious and intelligent young actress, alone succeeded in making favourable impression". The Pall Mall Gazette (26 Apr, 1890:2) pointed to Mary's acting as "the one bright ray of sunshine in a dull and wearisome performance," and the Glasgow Herald (28 Apr. 1890:13) that "Miss Mary Collette gave a charming impersonation of the part of the heroine". (13) In A Riverside Story, a two-act piece by her aunt Marie Bancroft, held for a benefit matinee at the Haymarket in May 1890, Mary played Kitty. Reviewers understandably wished to give credit to a former great actress's first effort as a dramatist. Some however struggled to do so although it was "marked by excellent workmanship" (Times, 23 May 1890:5) and "but for a certain redundancy of dialogue ... would have been completely enjoyable" (Era, 24 May 1890:8). Lloyd's Weekly (25 May 1890:6) considered the play "lacked stage tact and perception of theatrical effect" but that Mary "loyally did her best", and the Pall Mall Gazette (23 May 1890:2), although not wholly negative, remarked on the "well-worn but ever sympathetic theme ... the old, old story of a man who deceives and a women who trusts". Reynold's Newspaper (8 Jun. 1890:6) went further, being in no mood for condescension, considering it a "very dull and wearisome play ... [and] in all likelihood will never be more heard of", forgetting perhaps that it was primarily staged for charitable purposes.


The year 1890 heralded the beginning of a significantly higher profile for Mary Collette [Figure 2]. (14) Having successfully passed her professional initiation on the London stage, she became the subject of various mini biographies over the successive years. (15) There is little doubt that her time under the highly-respected (and respectable) Kendals, and subsequently under Thomas Thorne, proved extremely valuable career-wise, and notwithstanding her undoubted talent, being the daughter of Charles Collette played to her advantage as well.

In November 1891 Mary joined the committee of the Theatrical Ladies' Guild. Now named The Theatrical Guild, it was founded by Mrs Charles L. Carson in 1891 as a charitable concern to initially provide loans of clothing to actresses, choristers, extras, dressers and cleaners "during the period of their confinement" (Daily News, 16 Nov. 1891:3). (16) As the historian Christopher Kent has pointed out "In addition to [the] greatly increased level of professional participation and artistic responsibility among women in the theater, there was a growing sense of mutuality, reflected in organizations like the Theatrical Ladies Guild" (114-15). (17) In the following month Mary played Dorcas Brady in Haddon Chambers' successful domestic drama The Honourable Herbert which was staged at the Vaudeville up to January 1892. Mary's role, partnered by Sydney Brough as her young lover, although subsidiary to the main plot was nevertheless performed effectively within the limited scope offered by the character (Standard, 23 Dec. 1891:3; Pall Mall Gazette, 23 Dec. 1891:2; Morning Post, 23 Dec. 1891:5; Penny Illustrated, 2 Jan. 1892:3; Derby Mercury, 6 Jan. 1892:7). A matinee at the same venue in May 1892 of B. W. Findon's new four-act drama The Primrose Path saw Mary in the minor role of Jarvis. The play was considered so "weak" by the Era (14 May 1892:11) and "feeble" by the Morning Post (12 May 1892:3) that its choice as a stepping-stone towards greater theatrical ventures for a promising young actress of the calibre of Mary Collette must be questioned. However, a more substantial association was to follow with her father in various forepieces to Hayden Parry's successful comic opera Cigarette which the former both produced and took the role of Nicotine. Following an initial spell in Wales in August 1892, Charles Collette's "Cigarette Company" then came to the Lyric and Shaftesbury theatres (both on Shaftesbury Avenue) where it was played between September and December 1892 for 112 performances (Morning Post, 3 Dec. 1892:4). The forepieces involving Mary included the role of Clara Manners in W. R. Walkes' dramatic sketch A Pair of Lunatics (with Oswald Yorke), Effie in her own comedietta Cousin's Courtship (again with Oswald Yorke), and Kitty in S. T. Smith's famous comedietta Cut off with a Shilling (with Yorke and her father). The Bury and Norwich Post (27 Sep. 1892:3) considered A Pair of Lunatics "an amusing little trifle ... played with smartness by Mr. Oswald Yorke and Miss Mary Collette, it secured a due meed of applause". In its review of Mary's one and only piece A Cousin's Courtship, the Era (1 Oct. 1892:11) considered it "a 'slight pretty thing' without even the elementary construction necessary for a oneact piece, but brightly and pleasantly written. Miss Mary Collette was pleasing, bright and ingenuous as Effie". The Stage (29 Sep. 1892:12) remarked "It is one of those brightly written little half hour plays that pass away the time pleasantly ... the parts contain some light and amusing dialogue". Mary was on familiar ground again acting with her father in his famous role as Colonel Berners in Cut off with a Shilling at the Shaftesbury between October and December 1892. The Bury & Norwich Post (8 Nov. 1892:3) considered that both appeared with "conspicuous success" and considered it "hard to imagine a better rendering of Theyre's ever-popular little play than that of Mr. Charles Collette and his clever daughter". The Bristol Mercury and Daily Post (10 Dec. 1892) concurred observing that Mary "thoroughly understands her father's humour, and they play well together ... I expect she has been well trained to mark every expression of the fatherly eye with a view to her own benefit. I fancy he is very proud of her, and as sensitive to her proper rendering of any chosen part. She is a pretty, dark haired, bright eyed little girl, and will, I think, achieve success in her profession, such as one desires for the daughter of Charles Collette". (18)

The year 1894 marked the beginning of a significant phase in Mary Collette's career. In 1893 she had played Emma Merigold in Charles Mathews' comedy My Awful Dad (with her father) at Terry's (Strand) for a matinee in May, and the principal part in the domestic drama Mist written by her aunt Mrs Ida Fletcher-Elmes at the West Theatre (Albert Hall) in June (Era, 24 Jun. 1893:8; Lloyd's Weekly, 25 Jun. 1893:7). These however were but an undemanding prelude to working first with Beerbohm Tree's principal company and then devoting the best part of her last ten years on the stage to the musical and variety theatre. Also characteristic of this period was a somewhat greater independence from her father. Tree's Number One Company toured A Bunch of Violets, Sydney Grundy's adaptation of Octave Feuillet's Mountjoys, a society drama with a political theme. This ran for four months in the provinces following its initial success at the Haymarket (Stage, 2 Aug. 1894:9). The tour commenced at the Opera House, Scarborough, on 6 August 1894, and concluded at the Torquay Theatre Royal on 23 November 1894 having in the meanwhile visited seventeen venues across the country. In the role of Violet Marchant, Mary attracted many good reviews indicative of a considerable enhancement in her maturity as an actress (Era, 27 Oct. 1894:12). Of her performance at the Huddersfield Theatre Royal, the Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (21Aug.1894:3) considered she had played the role of Violet "with much grace and ability ... giving much promise for her future dramatic career". The North-Eastern Daily Gazette (28 Aug. 1894) remarked similarly of the performance at Middlesbrough, "Miss Mary Collette, as might be expected from the daughter of a talented comedian, is all that could be desired. She is pretty in her young womanhood even beside pretty women". In a rare allusion to the artistic, technical and interpretative challenges of what was no more than a supporting role the Glasgow Herald (23 Oct. 1894:7) remarked "Miss Mary Collette gave a good account of the somewhat difficult part of Violet". After the four-month tour of A Bunch of Violets Mary was effectively "disengaged" by January 1895 (Era, 5 Jan. 1895:4). In the same issue of the Era (p. 13) appeared a long "interview" with her father about his career up to that point, a milestone which heralded his transition to the music halls. The next milestone in Mary's career was reached at precisely this time also, when the genre of musical comedy was at the threshold of its ascendency as a medium for popular entertainment. Father (aged fifty-four) and daughter (aged twenty-four), although pursuing separate career paths, nevertheless began to co-advertise their theatrical wares, not only indicating their strong familial ties, but also their daughter's heightened profile [Figure 3].


Mary's first experience of musical comedy was at the Lyric under George Edwardes in Owen Hall's An Artist's Model. In this she played the role of Claire between July and September 1895, following its initial spell at Daly's (Leicester Square) from February 1895 (Ganzl 1:541-7, 562-3). The so-called "2nd edition" version of the musical was then performed at Daly's between September 1895 and March 1896, and a further two performances staged at the Grand (Islington) in April 1896. During this run Mary was in the company of famous principals such as Marie Tempest, Marie Studholme, Lettie Lind and Hayden Coffin. As noted by Ganzl (1:571), the year 1896 "brought a veritable explosion of new British musicals onto both the West End and provincial scenes" and into this mix came the Japanese musical play The Geisha: A Story of a Tea House, one of the biggest hits of all time, from the same team that had created An Artist's Model. In The Geisha Mary Collette played the original role of O Komurasaki San (Little Violet) at Daly's between April 1896 and May 1898 (joining up once more with Kate Phillips) with the prima donna Marie Tempest as the Chief Geisha O Mimosa San. (19) The Era (2 May 1896:8) remarked "Miss Mary Collette was conspicuous amongst the geishas", and the Stage (21 Jan. 1904:17), in a report of a Playgoer's Club lecture on "Japan and the stage", that Mary's performance in The Geisha was only surpassed by that of (the American actress) Eleanor Calhoun. The 500th performance of The Geisha took place on Monday 6 September 1897 with Mary still in her original role (Era,11 Sep. 1897:12), and in this respect it is fortuitous that a beautiful portrait of Mary dressed as a geisha survives [Figure 4].

Immediately prior to Mary's second season in The Geisha she enjoyed a brief spell at the Garrick (Charing Cross Road) in G. D. Lynch's operetta The Lady Lawyer, a forepiece to J. H. McCarthy's farcical My Friend the Prince (in which Mary played Bennet the pert waiting-maid). For once in a title role, Mary played Mrs Justitia Temple, the Era (13 Mar. 1897:10) commenting "Miss Mary Collette cleverly assumes a business-like manner as the smart lady lawyer". (20) Mary's versatility was further evident in a number of successful performances on the variety concert circuit as a vocalist and accompanist (with her father and Albert Chevalier) which followed in the 1898/9 season. Of Mary's contribution to the Robert Newman Variety Concert Company at the Queen's Hall (Langham Place) as a vocalist over the Christmas period of December 1898 to January 1899, the Morning Post (29 Dec. 1898:3) commented "Miss Mary Collette has more to command her to the good graces of the public than her being the daughter of the well-known comedian already mentioned, for she has a very sweet and sympathetic voice, and an intelligent and attractive way of using it. She will doubtless be heard of again". In addition to contributing a short story illustrated by photograph and autograph in the Era Almanack (1899:38), Mary also scored a significant hit as an accompanist in the dialect sketches ("Costume Duologues") and recitals of William Parkyn held at St. George's Hall (Regent Street) between January and May 1899, and later at the Brighton Pavilion and the St. James's Hall (Morning Post, 24 Apr. 1899:3; Era, 3 Jun. 1899:14). She was by now being referred to as "the well-known comedienne and vocalist of Daly's Theatre" (Morning Post, 10 Jul. 1899:6), an association of continuing significance. On her return to musicals Mary performed in a further huge hit, this being Edward Morton's Chinese musical comedy San Toy, or, The Emperor's Own at Daly's, again under the management of George Edwardes. In this she played the original role of Hu Yu, one of the Mandarin's six wives, between October 1899 and December 1901, with Marie Tempest (and later, Ada Reeve) as lead soubrette (Ganzl 1:706-11, 726). Although this was another largely inconspicuous role for Mary she did not go entirely unnoticed, the Era (28 Oct. 1899:13) remarking "Amongst the comely faces of the six little wives that of Miss Mary Collette was recognised with pleasure by the many admirers of this clever little artist". (21) In the meanwhile Mary had acted in a matinee performance of her mother's comedietta Robert at the Queen's Gate Hall (South Kensington) in June 1900 with her aunt Mrs Ida Fletcher-Elmes and Kate Phillips in the cast (Era, 16 Jun. 1900:12). The musical theme continued into 1902 with James T. Tanner's musical play A Country Girl, or, Town and Country (Ganzl 1:789-93, 809-10), a further hit for George Edwardes (Times, 20 Jan. 1902:7; Stage, 23 Jan. 1902:14). This was performed at Daly's between January and October 1902 where Mary was "seen to advantage" as an Indian attendant (Era, 25 Jan. 1902:15). Following this was Rutland Barrington's musical "fairy" play Water Babies (an adaptation from Charles Kingsley's fairy tale of the same name), produced by Arthur Bourchier at the Garrick over the Christmas of 1902-3 with Mary in the role of the First Water Baby (Stage, 25 Dec. 1902:12). In his autobiography Barrington amusingly remarks "Another old young friend of mine was the principal Water-Baby, Miss Mary Collette, daughter of the mercurial Charles, and very sweet she looked. She married shortly after the run of the piece, and I always insisted that her appearance as a baby secured her a husband" (133-35). In April 1903, first at the Windsor Theatre Royal and again at the Kennington Theatre (formerly the Princess of Wales' at Kennington Park), was presented a matinee of Fabrice Carre and Edmond Audran's new comic opera La Toledad in which Mary took the comedy lead as Lady Shoeford to her father's Tom Lightfoot and Emily Soldene's La Maracona. (22) The Era (18 Apr. 1903:11) remarked, "Lady Shoeford as impersonated by Miss Mary Collette was an important figure, and Miss Collette's songs were very fetching". The Stage (23 Apr. 1903:14) similarly remarked that Mary made a "dainty Lady Shoeford, and act[ed] with spirit and animation". (23) La Toledad was subsequently toured with some success in May and June 1903 visiting Sheffield, Manchester (Era, 16 May 1903:23), Brighton (Era, 23 May 1903:8), and Southport. In November 1903 Mary supported her father in his role as Jones in G. H. Broadhurst's farce What Happened to Jones, and his Adonis Evergreen in My Awful Dad at the Brighton Palace Pier for successive weeks (Era, 14 Nov. 1903:8; Stage, 19 Nov. 1903:5). Her last identified performance (and thus time of retirement from the stage) was in the role of Kitty Conway in J. H. Darnley's farcical comedy Needles, played for three nights at Worthing in December 1903 (Stage, 3 Dec. 1903:15, 19 Dec. 1903:15). Seven months later Mary Collette married Ernest Widdows Bryant on 28 July 1904 at the parish church of St. Andrew, Westminster. (24)


Mary Collette was quite obviously not a great actress but she was an attractive and popular one whose varied talents were widely admired. Undeniably pretty, petite, engaging, clever, and articulate, she more than fulfilled the stereotype prescribed by male-dominated audiences and drama critics. It may also be observed that her range of roles excluded the highly dramatic on the one hand and, given that the 1890s saw the birth of the new drama movement, the avant-garde on the other. Her chosen specialisms were most likely limited, circumscribed as much by the constraints of her gender as by her innate range of abilities, and from a feminist standpoint there is no doubt that she conducted herself without ever "trespassing on the territory of men" (Powell 14, 57). Being the daughter of Charles Collette, and his only child, not only had an important impact on her career path in a positive sense, but also on the negative side would have come with attendant pressures of having to uphold not only her family's name but also the reputation of the wider family. She was obviously not unique in this particular respect however. Asimilar situation for example was noted by the theatre historian Katherine Newey who remarked on the career of Fanny Kemble (the daughter of Charles Kemble, and niece of Sarah Siddons) having been "overdetermined by her family network ... reflecting the importance of family networks in the profession" (191). The importance and validity of studies in "theatre genealogy" which recognize the significance of inherited artistic traits within families has been argued by the theatre historian Jacky Bratton who remarked on the "almost instinctive academic resistance" to such an interest (173-74). The case of Mary Collette, whose family was the channel through which she was able to express so well her own artistic ambitions, is particularly wellinformed by this concept. As posited by the theatre historian Thomas Postlewait in his "Crux 2" of the "Theatrical Event and its Conditions", this idea contributes to the "exogenous factors ... deriv[ed] from the world outside the theatrical event" (233).

Also of interest is the question of how typical a representative Mary was of her gender and class in the theatrical landscape of her time. While firm conclusions cannot of course be drawn from a single example, this consideration nevertheless brings to mind the growing number of studies on women (including actresses) and their role in Victorian society. The theatre historian Tracy C. Davis has for example noted that while "Women have not been excluded from theatre history ... historians have tended to focus on actresses that were extremely successful, popular, and therefore exceptional ... the bulk of unnotable women has been largely ignored" (xiv). Mary Collette's situation is also of interest not only because she might be categorized as one of the "unnotables" alluded to by Davis, but also because her situation does not conform to the stereotype of the working class actress whose choices were limited and who had to strive for respectability. Her story is therefore not readily informed by studies on the latter socio-economic group whose theatrical careers offered nothing but drudgery, unemployment, poverty, danger and social ostracism (Davis xiii), and where "survival rather than respectability was the main concern" (Powell 64). Mary by contrast was a middle-class "insider" born into respectability by virtue of her parentage, yet it must remain a matter for speculation the extent to which her choice of the stage was actively encouraged by her family, or tacitly assumed. In this respect her early experience under Madge Kendal for example would have been a positive one. (25) The latter was famously in favour of "educated girls" turning to the "vista that an honourable connection with the stage holds out to them" (Davis 17), a position which caused heated debate in theatre circles of the 1880s (Kent 108-09), and which persisted into the 1890s (Powell 19). However, given the extrovert and bohemian tendencies of her father, it would not be unreasonable to argue that Mary's choice of the stage was not only predestined as a result of her heritage, but would have been more the result of a genuine artistic inclination than a financial imperative. Motivational, inspirational, and environmental factors which predisposed her to a stage career are therefore easy to find in Mary's case. It is also possible that quite apart from her acting ability, her musical and vocal talents might have conferred some additional advantage in offering scope for work beyond an overcrowded stage marketplace in which women (especially from middle-class backgrounds) were becoming increasingly prominent in the 1890s (Powell 56). Mary followed the fairly conventional pattern of first appearing on the stage as a youngster in her early teens, entering the profession proper at eighteen, retiring at thirty-two, and marrying at thirty-three. (26) According to Davis' analyses she was less likely to remain on the stage after marriage (42), which indeed was the case. Mary was however unusual in that her spouse was not connected with the performing arts, a fact which might have further contributed to her attenuated stage career (Davis 43).

It can only be speculated that Mary's decision to retire from the stage was hastened in part by a realisation that her youth and beauty, and hence her "marketability", would not last for ever, which is an issue highlighted by both Davis (52-58) and Powell (64-65). Mary Collette's scenario also offers an interesting model of a theatrical family working together for mutual benefit, an alliance which afforded a sound strategy for survival. Moreover, even after her marriage, and as further evidence of familial cohesion, mother, father, daughter and husband all lived together for a time in the family home at 31 Burlington Avenue, Kew Gardens. Mary, being an only child, also benefited in other less obvious respects. Her father died intestate, but she was the sole beneficiary in her husband's will of 1906, and in her mother's will of 1923. She also received a bequest in the will of her paternal aunt Fanny Josephine Childs nee Collette (1845-1935) whose residuary estate was bequeathed to Mary's two daughters. By the will of Sir Squire Bancroft (1841-1926) Mary also received a substantial gift of one thousand pounds. (27)

Mary Effie Bryant nee Collette died 13 November 1961 at the Grange Nursing Home, Morden, aged 90, and was cremated at Mortlake on 16 November (although she had bought the Rights of Burial next to her late husband at Margate) and her ashes scattered in Plot 56. Her death was reported in a local newspaper but no obituary has been found. (28) She had moved from the family home at 31 Burlington Avenue, Kew, in 1934 to nearby 16 Nyland's Avenue where she remained up to her death with her unmarried daughter Betty. The latter's married sister Peggy Patricia McDowell (a former chorus singer with the Drury Lane Co. before her marriage), also resident at 16 Nyland's Avenue, died at the Brompton Hospital, Kensington, one year after her mother in 1962. Betty and her widowed brother-in-law Arthur McDowell (1905-89) continued to live at Nyland's Avenue until at least 1971. Betty died at Littlehampton in 1993 and by her will of 1989 left her estate to her niece (and the sole descendant of this Collette family line), Elizabeth Mary McDowell. Dr McDowell, who retired from clinical research in 1996, now lives in Pennsylvania. (29)

Mary's late father was highly regarded for helping other actors in a "hard and often jealous profession" (Stage, 14 Feb. 1924:25). She could surely not have had a better mentor to guide and support her, and to be the guardian of her reputation.


The following list has been compiled from standard reference sources, newspaper advertisements and reviews, books, playbills, and documents in the author's private collection. It shows first performance date (or earliest date found, a superscript 'T' denoting a tour), theatre (London and suburbs assumed unless otherwise stated, 'Theatre Royal' implied if the name is a town), play, author, role, and genre (with company in parentheses if known). A 'to' date given after the first date indicates a run of performances which in some cases is the best estimate obtained for the play in question. Unknown data are represented by blank entries, uncertain data distinguished with question marks, and revivals indicated by a superscript asterisk after the play. Performances in which Mary and other family members were involved are indicated by a superscript plus sign also after the play. Miscellaneous performances (recitals, vocals, as accompanist etc.) are also included in this list in order to reflect the diversity of Mary Collette's repertoire.

Works Cited

Adams, W. Davenport. A Dictionary of the Drama. Vol. 1. (A-G). Burt Franklin: New York, 1904.

Barrington, Rutland. A Record of Thirty-Five Years' Experience on the English Stage. London: Grant Richards, 1908.

Bratton, Jacky. New Readings in Theatre History. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2003.

Bryant Family Papers, Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College, London, Boxes A/1-A/82.

Davis, Tracy C. Actresses as Working Women: Their Social Identity in Victorian Culture. London: Routledge, 1991.

Ganzl, Kurt. The British Musical Theatre 1865-1914. 2 vols. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1986.

General Register Office, Southport, United Kingdom.

Ince, Bernard. "Charles Henry Collette (1842-1924), Soldier, Actor, Comedian, Dramatist. An account of his theatrical career, his family and military genealogy, with additional notes on other related families". 2006. TS. Theatre Museum Library, London.

Ince, Bernard. "Natural-Born Showman: The Stage Career of Charles Collette, Actor and Comedian". Theatre Notebook 63.1 (2009): 20-37.

Kent, Christopher. "Image and Reality: The Actress and Society". Ed. Martha Vicinus. A Widening Sphere: Changing Roles of Victorian Women. Indiana: Indiana UP, 1977: 94-116.

McDowell, Elizabeth. Letters to the author, and Telephone Interviews. November 2011--February 2012.

Morton, W. H. and Newton, Chance H. Sixty Years' of Stage Service, Being a Record of Charles Morton, the Father of the Halls. London: Gale & Polden, 1905.

Murray, Stephen. "A Clean and Wholesome Entertainment: The One-Act Play and the Variety Stage". Theatre Notebook 48.2 (1994): 78.

Newey, Katherine. "Women and The Theatre". Ed. Joanne Shattock. Women and Literature in Britain 1800-1900. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2001: 189-208.

Postlewait, Thomas. The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Historiography. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009.

Powell, Kerry. Women and Victorian Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1997.

Reid, Erskine and Herbert Compton. The Dramatic Peerage. London: Raithby, Lawrence, 1892.

Scott, Clement and Cecil Howard. The Life and Reminiscences of E L Blanchard. 2 vols. London: Hutchinson & Co, 1891.

The Athenaeum. London: J. Lection, 1889.

The Theatre. Clement Scott (ed.). London: Wyman, 1889.

--, Bernard Capes (ed.). London: Wyman, 1890.

Walkely, Arthur Bingham. Playhouse Impressions. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1892.


(1) Far less is known of Mary's other acting aunts who were Ida Ann Wilton (ca. 1840--1920) who became Mrs Fletcher-Elmes; Emma Wilton (ca. 1843-?) who became Mrs Drake, and Augusta Maria Wilton (ca. 1854-1926) who became Mrs Bashford. A little-known fact is that Mary Collette was also a second cousin once removed to the actress Janet Achurch nee Sharp (1863-1916) who was related to Charles Collette through his mother, Frances Mary Collette nee Sharp (1819-1875).

(2) The Bryant family papers are preserved at the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives at King's College, London. Memorabilia relating to Charles Collette, and various letters written by Mary Collette, were discovered in this collection (see Boxes A/1 to A/82). The most important of these in the present context are A/55 (family correspondences of Francis Morgan Bryant to and from his siblings from 1881 up to the early 1930s), and A/74 (papers connected with ceremonial occasions but which also contained theatre playbills and dinner engagements).

(3) Betty Ida Bryant was born at Sandringham 5 October 1906, and Peggy Patricia Bryant at Chelsea 16 March 1908. (Birth certificates obtained from the General Register Office, Southport, United Kingdom).

(4) The funeral expenses were paid for by Sir Squire Bancroft, referred to by Mary as "Uncle Bancroft". Ernest was buried at St John's Cemetery, Margate, on 25 August 1913, in Grave Number 8217, Section XXI. The headstone still exists. Mary subsequently received a pension from the Sussex Alexandria, and annual support for her two daughters.

(5) Mary Collette was diminutive in stature, being in fact barely over five feet tall.

(6) Mary Collette replaced Miss Webster in the role of Felicity Gunnion. The latter had played the role up to the last night at the St James's Theatre on 15 June 1888. It was produced under the direction of John Hare.

(7) See also review in the Stage, 15 Feb. 1889:10.

(8) The play was based on an Act of Parliament regarding the legality of marriage. See the Daily News (3 June 1889:3) for a lawyer's critique of the "ill-starred effort of the author of Marah".

(9) See also review in The Times (13 Jan. 1890:8).

(10) A playbill of Robert Buchanan's Clarissa at the Vaudeville for 8 February 1890, showing Mary Collette in the role of Jenny, may be found in the Collette file at the Theatre Museum Library, London. Clarissa was played seventy-four times ending on 18 April 1890.

(11) See also the Graphic (15 Feb. 1890), The Times (7 Feb. 1890:6), and the long review of "Clarissa" by the dramatic critic A. B. Walkley.

(12) The Times, 21 Mar. 1890:11; The Theatre, 1 May 1890, and the Penny Illustrated, 29 Mar. 1890:195.

(13) Reynold's Newspaper (27 Apr. 1890:5) also castigated Changes remarking that the author had written a "farce", called it a "comedy", and "spun" it out into three acts.

(14) Another photo of Mary Collette by Barraud of London was published in The Theatre (1 Nov. 1890:240). A photographic print of this may also be found at the National Portrait Gallery (Album 161, ref. Ax9380).

(15) See Hampshire Telegraph & Sussex Chronicle, 11 Oct. 1890:9; Beauty and Fashion, 27 Dec. 1890:1; Reid & Compton (56); Adams (311); Era (4 Aug. 1894:11).

(16) Mary Collette's name is listed as a committee member in the Minute Book which records the very first meeting of the Theatrical Ladies' Guild on 13 November 1891 at the abode of Mrs C. L. Carson. Mary's name is however absent in succeeding records even of the ladies who were unable to attend the monthly Executive Committee meetings. (My thanks to Laura Hannon, Office Manager of the Theatrical Guild, 11 Garrick Street, London, for kindly allowing me to view the early Minute Books.)

(17) See also Davis (58-68).

(18) See also the Northern Echo, 14 Nov. 1892:4.

(19) From February 1898 onwards both Mary's mother and father toured in Hugh Moss's Booth's Baby. This was a rare return to the stage for "Miss Blanche Wilton".

(20) See also reviews in Reynold's Newspaper (14 Mar. 1897), Standard (9 Mar. 1897:3), and Morning Post (9 Mar. 1897:3).

(21) See also The Times, 23 October 1899:5, and the "San Toy Anniversary" review in the Era, 27 October 1900:11.

(22) Shortly before these performances, a "boiled-down" version of La Toledad had been "illegally" produced by Charles Morton at his Palace Theatre of Varieties. He "dared to produce an entertainment which was said to be a stage play" and was duly fined, but not for the first time (Morton & Newton 192; Murray 78).

(23) See also the Stage, 16 Apr. 1903:17, and the Adelaide Advertiser, 27 May 1903:6.

(24) Marriage announcements were reported in the Stage (30 Jun. 1904:11, 21 Jul. 1904:11, and 4 Aug. 1904:13-14) and the Era (2 Jul. 1904:14 and 23 Jul. 1904:12).

(25) The theatre historian Kerry Powell quotes the example of Jessie Millward's mother who "reluctantly agreed to her daughter going on the stage instead of becoming a governess" providing she started with Mrs. Kendal (61).

(26) Mary's first cousin (and bridesmaid), Olive Marie Bashford (b. 1882), the only child of Mary's aunt, the actress Augusta Wilton, also had a promising acting career until in 1911 she married John Baxter Jarvis (1879-1919), an engineer.

(27) Sir Squire Bancroft's bequests to family members will be found in the Second Schedule (Pecuniary Legacies) of his will dated 18 February 1925. Mary's mother Blanche Collette received 500 [pounds sterling].

(28) Richmond & Twickenham Times, 18 November 1961:1. The death of Mary's mother and father was also reported in this newspaper. However for neither her nor her mother (2 & 9 June 1934:13 & 15) was any reference made to their respective stage careers in these brief notices.

(29) The author is indebted to Dr. McDowell for kindly sharing unique information on the Collete family.

Dr Bernard Ince is an independent theatre and film historian. Previous Theatre Notebook publications include "The Other Percy Nash: Theatrical Interludes in the Life of a Film Pioneer" (64.1, 2010: 28-48), "An Early Pioneer of the New Drama: Charles Charrington, Actor-Manager and Fabian Socialist" (64.3, 2010: 130-59), and "Redefining the Grotesque: E. J. Odell, Actor and Comedian" (65.2, 2011: 92-124).
Date Venue Play

20-Jan-1883 Southampton David
10-Sep-1888 (T) Hull The Ironmaster *

12-Sep-1888 (T) Hull The Squire *

14-Sep-1888 (T) Hull A Scrap of Paper

17-Sep-1888 (T) Manchester The Squire

02-Oct-1888 & Royal Court A Scrap of Paper
03-Oct-1888 (T) (Liverpool) The Squire

04-Oct-1888 (T) Royal Court The Ironmaster
29-Oct-1888 (T) Royalty The Squire
12-Nov-1888 to Lyceum The Squire
17-Nov-1888 (T) (Edinburgh)
 The Ironmaster

19-Nov-1888 to Prince's (Bristol) The Squire *
24-Nov-1888 (T)
21-Jan-1889 to Opera Comique A Regular Fix (+)
28-Mar-1889 Tares

24-Jan-1889 King's College Collette at
 Hospital Home (+)
12-Feb-1889 Gaiety A Fool's
 (matinee) Paradise
19-Feb-1889 Crystal Palace Tares
04-Apr-1889 Shaftesbury The Landlady (+)

30-May-1889 Prince of Charles Collette
 Wales's Benefit (+)
31-May-1889 Prince of Wales's Marah
25-Jun-1889 Prince of A Man's Luck

 Twenty Minutes
 with Science (+)

10-Oct-1889 & Colchester The Colonel *
11-Oct-1889 (T)

24-Oct-1889 (T) Crystal Palace The Colonel

07-Nov-1889 (T) Brighton The Colonel

03-Dec-1889 (T) Comedy The Colonel

12-Dec-1889 Vaudeville The School for
 Scandal (+)

11-Jan-1890 to Vaudeville The School for
08-Feb-1890 Scandal

06-Feb-1890 to Vaudeville Meadow Sweet

20-Mar-1890 to Vaudeville Miss Tomboy

25-Apr-1890 Toole's Changes
22-May-1890 Haymarket A Riverside
 (Abelour Story (+)
 Benefit matinee)
02-Jun-1890 National Miss Tomboy
 (2nd act)

25-Jul-1890 Shaftesbury (unnamed
 sketch) (+)

01-Sep-1890 to Gaiety Miss Tomboy
06-Sep-1890 (T) (Hastings)

08-Sep-1890 (T) to Ramsgate Miss Tomboy
13-Sep-1890 Amphitheatre
15-Sep-1890 to Brighton Miss Tomboy
20-Sep-1890 (T)

22-Sep-1890 Devonshire Miss Tomboy
24-Sep-1890 Park Theatre
25-Sep-1890 (T) (Eastbourne)
29-Sep-1890 to Portsmouth Miss Tomboy
04-Oct-1890 (T)
06-Oct-1890 (T) Grand (Derby) Joseph's Sweetheart
20-Oct-1890 to Blackburn Joseph's
21-Oct-1890 (T) Sweetheart
22-Oct-1890 (T) Blackburn Miss Tomboy

27-Oct-1890 & Prince of Wales Miss Tomboy
01-Nov-1890 (T) (Liverpool)
03-Nov-1890 to Colchester Meadow Sweet
05-Nov-1890 (T)
 Miss Tomboy

11-Nov-1890 Grand Meadow Sweet
13-Nov-1890 (Islington)
14-Nov-1890 (T)
 Miss Tomboy

18-Nov-1890 Birmingham Miss Tomboy
20-Nov-1890 (T)
19-Nov-1890 (T) Birmingham Meadow Sweet

24-Nov-1890 (T) St James's Hall Meadow Sweet
 Miss Tomboy

15-Jan-1891 Terry's (Miss The Holly Tree
 Vera Beringer Inn
20-Mar-1891 Vaudeville Miss Tomboy
04-Jun-1891 to Westminster The Light of
06-Jun-1891 Town Hall Asia (+)

22-Dec-1891 to Vaudeville The Honorable
18-Jan-1892 Herbert
11-May-1892 Vaudeville The Primrose
 (matinee) Path (+)

07-Sep-1892 to Lyric A Pair of
19-Sep-1892 Lunatics
 (forepiece to
 Cigarette (+))
20-Sep-1892 to Lyric Cousin's
24-Sep-1892 Courtship
26-Sep-1892 to Shaftesbury Cousin's
13-Oct-1892 Courtship
24-Nov-1892 (forepiece to
 Cigarette (+))
14-Oct-1892 to Shaftesbury Cut Off With a
03-Dec1892 Shilling (+)
 (forepiece to
 Cigarette (+))
25-May-1893 Terry's My Awful Dad (+)

27-Jun-1893 West Theatre Mist (+)
 (Albert Hall,
06-Aug-1894 to Opera House A Bunch of
10-Aug-1894 (T) (Southport) Violets

13-Aug-1894 to Spa A Bunch of
17-Aug-1894 (T) (Scarborough) Violets

20-Aug-1894 to Huddersfield A Bunch of
24-Aug-1894 (T) Violets

27-Aug-1894 to Middlesborough A Bunch of
29-Aug-1894 (T) Violets

30-Aug-1894 to Victoria Rooms A Bunch of
31-Aug-1894 (T) (Bridlington Violets
03-Sep-1894 to Avenue A Bunch of
08-Sep-1894 (T) (Sunderland) Violets

10-Sep-1894 to Her Majesty's A Bunch of
14-Sep-1894 (T) (Dundee) Violets

17-Sep-1894 to York A Bunch of
21-Sep-1894 (T) Violets

24-Sep-1894 to Hull A Bunch of
29-Sep-1894 (T) Violets

01-Oct-1894 to Belfast A Bunch of
05-Oct-1894 (T) Violets

08-Oct-1894 to Opera House A Bunch of
12-Oct-1894 (T) (Cork) Violets

15-Oct-1894 to Bradford A Bunch of
19-Oct-1894 (T) (Yorks.) Violets

22-Oct-1894 to Royalty A Bunch of
26-Oct-1894 (T) (Glasgow) Violets

29-Oct-1894 to Darlington A Bunch of
03-Nov-1894 (T) Violets

05-Nov-1894 to Newcastle A Bunch of
10-Nov-1894 (T) Violets

12-Nov-1894 to Grand A Bunch of
16-Nov-1894 (T) (Plymouth) Violets

19-Nov-1894 to Torquay A Bunch of
23-Nov-1894 (T) Violets

15-Jun-1895 to Pier Pavilion Charles Collette
22-Jun-1895 (Brighton) entertainment *
06-Jul-1895 to Lyric An Artist's
06-Sep-1895 Model

28-Sep-1895 to Daly's An Artist's
25-Mar-1896 Model *
 (2nd edition)

04-Jan-1896 St John's New Year's
 Hospital entertainment
 (Leicester Sq.) for patients
25-Jan-1896 Jewish Institute
06-Apr-1896 to Grand An Artist's
08-Apr-1896 (Islington) Model
 (2nd edition)

18-Apr-1896 to Daly's The Geisha: A
27-May-1898 Story of A Tea

12-May-1896 Haymarket Miss Tomboy *
 (2nd act)

06-Mar-1897 to Garrick The Lady
29-Mar-1897 Lawyer

13-Mar-1897 to Garrick My Friend the
29-Mar-1897 Prince
26-Dec-1898 to Queen's Hall variety concert (+)
14-Jan-1899 (Regent's St.) (twice daily)

22-Jan-1899 to St George's Hall "Costume
31-May-1899 (Piccadilly) Duologues"
30-Jan-1899 St James's Hall variety concert

27-Apr-1899 Brighton variety concert
10-Jul-1899 St James's Hall "Costume
 (Piccadilly) Duologues"
21-Oct-1899 to Daly's San Toy, or, The
14-Dec-1901 Emperor's Own

22-May-1900 Royal Duchess "Red, White,
 Theatre and Blue"
 (Balham) Patriotic

22-Jun-1900 Queen's Gate Robert (+)
 Hall (South

18-Jan-1902 to Daly's A Country Girl;
25-Oct-1902 or, Town and

18-Dec-1902 to Garrick Water Babies

11-Apr-1903 Windsor La Toledad (+)

20-Apr-1903 Kennington La Toledad (+)

04-May-1903 to Sheffield La Toledad (+)
09-May-1903 (T)

11-May-1903 to Prince's La Toledad (+)
16-May-1903 (T) (Manchester)

18-May-1903 to Brighton La Toledad (+)
23-May-1903 (T)

01-Jun-1903 to Southport La Toledad (+)
06-Jun-1903 (T) Opera House

09-Nov-1902 to Brighton Palace What Happened
14-Nov-1903 Pier to Jones (+)
16-Nov-1903 to Brighton Palace My Awful Dad (+)
21-Nov-1903 Pier
10-Dec-1903 to Worthing Needles

Date Author Role

20-Jan-1883 Charles Dickens Wilkins
 Macawber jnr.
10-Sep-1888 (T) A W Pinero Suzanne
12-Sep-1888 (T) A W Pinero Felicity Gunnion

14-Sep-1888 (T) J P Simpson Lucy Franklin
17-Sep-1888 (T) A W Pinero Felicity Gunnion

02-Oct-1888 & A W Pinero Lucy Franklin
03-Oct-1888 (T) A W Pinero Felicity Gunnion

04-Oct-1888 (T) A W Pinero Suzanne
29-Oct-1888 (T) A W Pinero Felicity Gunnion

12-Nov-1888 to A W Pinero Felicity Gunnion
17-Nov-1888 (T)
 A W Pinero Suzanne
19-Nov-1888 to A W Pinero Felicity Gunnion
24-Nov-1888 (T)
21-Jan-1889 to J M Morton
28-Mar-1889 Mrs. Oscar Rosie
24-Jan-1889 Charles Collette

12-Feb-1889 S Grundy Mildred Selwyn

19-Feb-1889 Mrs. Oscar Rosie
04-Apr-1889 A Nelson Nell

30-May-1889 recital of poems
 in French
31-May-1889 W Sapte jnr. Winifred Grey

25-Jun-1889 Charles & Mary
 Collette (adap.)

 Charles & Mary piano
 Collette accompanist

10-Oct-1889 & F C Burnand Nellie Forrester
11-Oct-1889 (T) (adap.)

24-Oct-1889 (T) F C Burnand Nellie Forrester

07-Nov-1889 (T) F C Burnand Nellie Forrester

03-Dec-1889 (T) F C Burnand Nellie Forrester

12-Dec-1889 R B Sheridan Maria

11-Jan-1890 to R B Sheridan Maria

06-Feb-1890 to
 R Buchanan Jenny

20-Mar-1890 to R Buchanan Dolly Primrose
03-May-1890 (adap.)

25-Apr-1890 J Aylmer Ethel Evergreen

22-May-1890 Marie Bancroft Kitty

02-Jun-1890 R Buchanan Dolly Primrose

25-Jul-1890 Charles & Mary

01-Sep-1890 to R Buchanan Dolly Primrose
06-Sep-1890 (T) (adap.)

08-Sep-1890 (T) to R Buchanan Dolly Primrose
13-Sep-1890 (adap.)
15-Sep-1890 to R Buchanan Dolly Primrose
17-Sep-1890 (adap.)
20-Sep-1890 (T)

22-Sep-1890 R Buchanan Dolly Primrose
24-Sep-1890 (adap.)
25-Sep-1890 (T)
29-Sep-1890 to R Buchanan Dolly Primrose
04-Oct-1890 (T) (adap.)
06-Oct-1890 (T) R Buchanan (adap.) Lady Flutter
20-Oct-1890 to R Buchanan Lady Flutter
21-Oct-1890 (T) (adap.)
22-Oct-1890 (T) R Buchanan Dolly Primrose
27-Oct-1890 & R Buchanan Dolly Primrose
01-Nov-1890 (T) (adap.)
03-Nov-1890 to Miss C M
05-Nov-1890 (T) Prevost
 R Buchanan
11-Nov-1890 Miss C M
13-Nov-1890 Prevost
14-Nov-1890 (T)
 R Buchanan Dolly Primrose
18-Nov-1890 R Buchanan Dolly Primrose
20-Nov-1890 (T) (adap.)
19-Nov-1890 (T) Miss C M
24-Nov-1890 (T) Miss C M
 R Buchanan Dolly Primrose
15-Jan-1891 Mrs. Oscar Betty
 Beringer (adap.)

20-Mar-1891 R Buchanan Dolly Primrose
04-Jun-1891 to E Arnold interlude songs

22-Dec-1891 to C H Chambers Miss Dorcas
18-Jan-1892 Brady
11-May-1892 B W Findon Jarvis

07-Sep-1892 to W R Walkes Clara Manners

20-Sep-1892 to Mary Collette Effie
26-Sep-1892 to Mary Collette Effie

14-Oct-1892 to S T Smith Kitty

25-May-1893 C J Mathews Emma Merigold

27-Jun-1893 Mrs. Ida a principal part
 (nee Wilton)
06-Aug-1894 to S Grundy Violet Marchant
10-Aug-1894 (T) (adap.)

13-Aug-1894 to S Grundy Violet Marchant
17-Aug-1894 (T) (adap.)

20-Aug-1894 to S Grundy Violet Marchant
24-Aug-1894 (T) (adap.)

27-Aug-1894 to S Grundy Violet Marchant
29-Aug-1894 (T) (adap.)

30-Aug-1894 to S Grundy Violet Marchant
31-Aug-1894 (T) (adap.)

03-Sep-1894 to S Grundy Violet Marchant
08-Sep-1894 (T) (adap.)

10-Sep-1894 to S Grundy Violet Marchant
14-Sep-1894 (T) (adap.)

17-Sep-1894 to S Grundy Violet Marchant
21-Sep-1894 (T) (adap.)

24-Sep-1894 to S Grundy Violet Marchant
29-Sep-1894 (T) (adap.)

01-Oct-1894 to S Grundy Violet Marchant
05-Oct-1894 (T) (adap.)

08-Oct-1894 to S Grundy Violet Marchant
12-Oct-1894 (T) (adap.)

15-Oct-1894 to S Grundy Violet Marchant
19-Oct-1894 (T) (adap.)

22-Oct-1894 to S Grundy Violet Marchant
26-Oct-1894 (T) (adap.)

29-Oct-1894 to S Grundy Violet Marchant
03-Nov-1894 (T) (adap.)

05-Nov-1894 to S Grundy Violet Marchant
10-Nov-1894 (T) (adap.)

12-Nov-1894 to S Grundy Violet Marchant
16-Nov-1894 (T) (adap.)

19-Nov-1894 to S Grundy Violet Marchant
23-Nov-1894 (T) (adap.)

15-Jun-1895 to C Collette vocal
22-Jun-1895 accompanist
06-Jul-1895 to O Hall Claire
06-Sep-1895 H Greenbank
 S Jones (mus.)

28-Sep-1895 to O Hall Claire
25-Mar-1896 H Greenbank
 S Jones (mus.)

04-Jan-1896 vocalist

25-Jan-1896 vocalist

06-Apr-1896 to O Hall Claire
08-Apr-1896 H Greenbank
 S Jones (mus.)

18-Apr-1896 to O Hall O Komurasaki
27-May-1898 H Greenbank San
 S Jones (mus.) (Little Violet)

12-May-1896 R Buchanan Dolly Primrose

06-Mar-1897 to G D Lynch Mrs. Justitia
29-Mar-1897 J W Ivimey Temple nee
 (mus.) Pepper
13-Mar-1897 to J H McCarthy Bennet
29-Mar-1897 (adap.)
26-Dec-1898 to R Newman vocalist
14-Jan-1899 (French &
 English songs)

22-Jan-1899 to W B Parkyn accompanist
30-Jan-1899 W Nicholls vocalist
 ("Fancy That!")

27-Apr-1899 W B Parkyn musical
10-Jul-1899 W B Parkyn accompanist

21-Oct-1899 to E A Morton Hu Yu
14-Dec-1901 H Greenbank
 A Ross
 S Jones (mus.)

22-Jun-1900 Mrs. Charles
 (Blanche Wilton)

18-Jan-1902 to J T Tanner Indian attendant
25-Oct-1902 A Ross (lyr.)
 L Monckton
18-Dec-1902 to R Barrington First Water Baby
28-Feb-1903 (adap.)
 F Rosse (mus.)
11-Apr-1903 F Carre Lady Shoeford
 A Moore
 E Audran (mus.)
20-Apr-1903 F Carre Lady Shoeford
 A Moore
 E Audran (mus.)
04-May-1903 to F Carre Lady Shoeford
09-May-1903 (T) A Moore
 E Audran (mus.)

11-May-1903 to F Carre Lady Shoeford
16-May-1903 (T) A Moore
 E Audran (mus.)
18-May-1903 to F Carre Lady Shoeford
23-May-1903 (T) A Moore
 E Audran (mus.)
01-Jun-1903 to F Carre Lady Shoeford
06-Jun-1903 (T) A Moore
 E Audran (mus.)
09-Nov-1902 to G H Broadhurst Cissy
16-Nov-1903 to C J Mathews
10-Dec-1903 to J H Darnley Kitty Conway

Date Genre (Co.)

20-Jan-1883 Play

10-Sep-1888 (T) Drama
 (Kendal tour)
12-Sep-1888 (T) Comedy
 (Kendal tour)
14-Sep-1888 (T) Comedy
 (Kendal tour)
17-Sep-1888 (T) Comedy
 (Kendal tour)
02-Oct-1888 & Drama
03-Oct-1888 (T) (Kendal tour)
04-Oct-1888 (T) Drama
 (Kendal tour)
29-Oct-1888 (T) Comedy
 (Kendal tour)
12-Nov-1888 to Comedy
17-Nov-1888 (T) (Kendal tour)

19-Nov-1888 to Comedy
24-Nov-1888 (T) (Kendal tour)
21-Jan-1889 to Farce
28-Mar-1889 Play (Mrs.
 Oscar Beringer)
24-Jan-1889 Musical Sketch

12-Feb-1889 Comedy (Miss
 Kate Rorke)
19-Feb-1889 Play (Mrs.
 Oscar Beringer)
04-Apr-1889 Comedietta
 (W H Griffiths'

31-May-1889 Comedy Drama

25-Jun-1889 Dramatic Sketch
 (Women 's Help
 Musical Sketch

10-Oct-1889 & Comedy
11-Oct-1889 (T) (Miss Henrietta
24-Oct-1889 (T) Comedy
 (Miss Henrietta
07-Nov-1889 (T) Comedy
 (Miss Henrietta
03-Dec-1889 (T) Comedy
 (Miss Henrietta
12-Dec-1889 Comedy
 (Miss Annie
 Rose Matinee)
11-Jan-1890 to Comedy
08-Feb-1890 (Thomas
06-Feb-1890 to
20-Mar-1890 to Comedy
03-May-1890 (Thomas
25-Apr-1890 Comedy

22-May-1890 Play (Mrs.
 Beerbohm Tree)

02-Jun-1890 Benefit for
 widow of
25-Jul-1890 (W H Griffiths
01-Sep-1890 to Comedy
06-Sep-1890 (T) (Thomas
 Vaudeville Co.
08-Sep-1890 (T) to Comedy
15-Sep-1890 to Comedy
20-Sep-1890 (T)

22-Sep-1890 Comedy
25-Sep-1890 (T)
29-Sep-1890 to Comedy
04-Oct-1890 (T)
06-Oct-1890 (T) Comedy Drama
20-Oct-1890 to Comedy Drama
21-Oct-1890 (T)
22-Oct-1890 (T) Comedy

27-Oct-1890 & Comedy
01-Nov-1890 (T)
03-Nov-1890 to Comedietta
05-Nov-1890 (T)

11-Nov-1890 Comedietta
14-Nov-1890 (T)

18-Nov-1890 Comedy
20-Nov-1890 (T)
19-Nov-1890 (T) Comedietta

24-Nov-1890 (T)


15-Jan-1891 Play

20-Mar-1891 Comedy

04-Jun-1891 to (Mrs. F A Drake
06-Jun-1891 nee Emma
 Wilton aka Miss
22-Dec-1891 to Domestic
18-Jan-1892 Drama
11-May-1892 Drama
 (W H Griffiths)

07-Sep-1892 to Dramatic Sketch

20-Sep-1892 to Comedietta
26-Sep-1892 to Comedietta

14-Oct-1892 to Comedietta

25-May-1893 Comedy
 (W H Griffiths
27-Jun-1893 Domestic

06-Aug-1894 to Drama
10-Aug-1894 (T) (Beerbohm Tree
 No. 1 Co.)
13-Aug-1894 to Drama
17-Aug-1894 (T) (Beerbohm Tree
 No. 1 Co.)
20-Aug-1894 to Drama
24-Aug-1894 (T) (Beerbohm Tree
 No. 1 Co.)
27-Aug-1894 to Drama
29-Aug-1894 (T) (Beerbohm Tree
 No. 1 Co.)
30-Aug-1894 to Drama
31-Aug-1894 (T) (Beerbohm Tree
 No. 1 Co.)
03-Sep-1894 to Drama
08-Sep-1894 (T) (Beerbohm Tree
 No. 1 Co.)
10-Sep-1894 to Drama
14-Sep-1894 (T) (Beerbohm Tree
 No. 1 Co.)
17-Sep-1894 to Drama
21-Sep-1894 (T) (Beerbohm Tree
 No. 1 Co.)
24-Sep-1894 to Drama
29-Sep-1894 (T) (Beerbohm Tree
 No. 1 Co.)
01-Oct-1894 to Drama
05-Oct-1894 (T) (Beerbohm Tree
 No. 1 Co.)

08-Oct-1894 to Drama
12-Oct-1894 (T) (Beerbohm Tree
 No. 1 Co.)
15-Oct-1894 to Drama
19-Oct-1894 (T) (Beerbohm Tree
 No. 1 Co.)
22-Oct-1894 to Drama
26-Oct-1894 (T) (Beerbohm Tree
 No. 1 Co.)
29-Oct-1894 to Drama
03-Nov-1894 (T) (Beerbohm Tree
 No. 1 Co.)
05-Nov-1894 to Drama
10-Nov-1894 (T) (Beerbohm Tree
 No. 1 Co.)
12-Nov-1894 to Drama
16-Nov-1894 (T) (Beerbohm Tree
 No. 1 Co.)
19-Nov-1894 to Drama
23-Nov-1894 (T) (Beerbohm Tree
 No. 1 Co.)
15-Jun-1895 to
06-Jul-1895 to Musical
06-Sep-1895 Comedy
28-Sep-1895 to Musical
25-Mar-1896 Comedy


06-Apr-1896 to Musical
08-Apr-1896 Comedy
18-Apr-1896 to Japanese
27-May-1898 Musical Play
12-May-1896 Burletta (Benefit
 Matinee in aid
 of Victoria
 Home for

06-Mar-1897 to Operetta

13-Mar-1897 to Farce
26-Dec-1898 to (Robert
14-Jan-1899 Newman's
 Variety Concert
22-Jan-1899 to Dialect sketches
30-Jan-1899 (William
27-Apr-1899 Musical
10-Jul-1899 Dialect sketches

21-Oct-1899 to Chinese Musical
14-Dec-1901 Comedy
22-May-1900 Daily Telegraph
 War Fund for
 widows and
22-Jun-1900 Comedietta
 (Kate Phillips
 musical &
18-Jan-1902 to Musical Play
25-Oct-1902 (George

18-Dec-1902 to Musical Fairy
28-Feb-1903 Play (Arthur
 Bourchier prod.)
11-Apr-1903 Comic Opera

20-Apr-1903 Comic Opera

04-May-1903 to Comic Opera
09-May-1903 (T)

11-May-1903 to Comic Opera
16-May-1903 (T)

18-May-1903 to Comic Opera
23-May-1903 (T)

01-Jun-1903 to Comic Opera
06-Jun-1903 (T)

09-Nov-1902 to Farce
16-Nov-1903 to Comedy
10-Dec-1903 to Farcical
12-Dec-1903 Comedy
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Article Details
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Author:Ince, Bernard
Publication:Theatre Notebook
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 1, 2012
Previous Article:Joan Littlewood's Theatre.
Next Article:William Allen Brunning, S.B.A. (1818-50): a forgotten artist scene-painter.

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