The Shows Miss Lily Elsie Performed in.

Little Red Riding Hood. Christmas 1896. Queen's Theatre, Manchester. Elsie played the title rôle, aged 10. This was her professional debut. The show ran for 6 weeks at the Queen's Theatre, then went on tour for a further six weeks.

King Klondike. Britannia Theatre, Hoxton, London. 26 December 1898.

McKenna's Flirtation. 1900. On tour for twelve months. A successful farce by E. Selden. First produced in 1892.

Silver Slipper. A touring extravaganza by Owen hall with music by Leslie Stuart.

Dick Whittington. Christmas pantomime 1901. Camden Theatre, London.

The Forty Thieves. Christmas pantomime 1902. Coronet Theatre, London. Elsie plays Morgiana.

Blue Beard. Christmas pantomime 1903. Coronet Theatre, London.

Three Little Maids. 1903. Prince of Wales Theatre / Touring production. Elsie took Hilda Moody's part ('Hilda Branscombe'). She left after just seven weeks. The show ran for a total of 348 performances. A musical play by Paul Rubens, choreographed by Willie Warde, Scenery by Hawes Craven and Joseph Harker, costumes by Wilhelm.

A Chinese Honeymoon. A musical comedy in two acts by George Dance, opened 5th October 1901. Old 'Royal' Strand Theatre, managed by Frank Curzon. A run of 1075 performances, closing 23rd May 1904. Elsie took over the rôle of Princess Soo-Soo from Beatrice Edwards (early 1903?) and was in turn succeeded by Kate Cutler. Directed by George Wilson. Musical Director Ernest Vousden. Music by Howard Talbot, with additions from Caryll, Woodville, and Vousden. Additional Lyrics for this production by Murry, Greenbank and Adams. Costumes by Nathan from designs by Comelli. Choreography by Will Bishop and Fred Farren, scenic design by Philip Howden (act 1) and Walter Hann (act 2).
Having started out as a low-budget touring musical in 1899. A Chinese Honeymoon settled down in London 1901 and became the first musical anywhere to run for 1000 performances. I have a program from the end of the run, click here for details.

Madame Sherry. 1903. A production of Hugo Felix's musical at the Apollo Theatre, which folded in April 1904 with a large deficit.

Lady Madcap. A musical play in two acts, opened 17th December 1904. Prince of Wales Theatre, managed by Edwardes. Elsie plays Gwenny Holden at the end of the run of 354 performances. Lyrics by Paul Rubens and Percy Greenbank. Music by Paul Rubens. Directed by J.A.E. Malone. Musical director, Frank E. Tours. Choreography by Willie Warde and scenic design by Hawes Craven and Joseph Harker. Costumes by Percy Anderson.

Aside: There is a steam locomotive (0-4-0 Saddle Tank of 2' gauge)in preservation on the Welsh Highland Railway. The WHR web site suggests that it may have been named after Elsie's character in this musical. See www.whr.co.uk for more information.

The Cingalee or 'Sunny Ceylon'. 5th March 1904. Daly's Theatre.
A play by James Tanner. Music by Lionel Monckton, lyrics by Adrian Ross and Percy Greenbank. Elsie takes the rôle of Lady Patricia Vereker. The show ran for 391 performances, closing 11 March 1905. Choreography by Willie Warde, sceanery by Hawes Craven, costumes by Percy Anderson.


Lionel Monckton.


The Little Michus. - (Les P'tites Michu). 29th April 1905. Daly's Theatre.
Lily Elsie plays Mme. du Tertre in this production by Henry Hamilton.

The Little Cherub or 'The Girl on the Stage'. A musical play in three acts by Owen Hall, opened 13th January 1906. Prince of Wales Theatre, managed by Edwardes. Elsie plays Lady Agnes Congress for the entire run. Lyrics by Adrian Ross music by Ivan Caryll. A run of 114 performances, closing 28th April 1906. Directed by J.A.E. Malone, musical direction from Frank E. Tours. Choreography by Wille Warde and Sydney Ellison, scenic design by W. Telbin and Joseph Harker. Costumes by Percy Anderson. This production was revised and reproduced at the same theatre under the title The Girl on Stage 5 for 29 performances in May and June 1906.

Miss Gabrielle Ray as Lady Dorothy Congress, Lily Elsie as Lady Agnes Congress, Miss Grace Pinder as Lady Rosa Congress, Mr Lennox Pawle as Algernon Southdown, and Mr Fred Kaye as Earl of Sanctobury. Also Mr George Carrol as Ethelbert, Miss Evie Greene and Miss Elsie Clare as Letty

In an interview with 'The Royal Magazine', Elsie said, 'There were four girls in 'the Little Cherub,' and those four young ladies were known in private life as Zena dare, Gabrielle Ray, Grace Pinder and Lily Elsie. Miss Ray was wicked enough to make me laugh whenever she could, and there I used to stand - sometimes hardly able to speak through laughing so much. The end was sudden, and tragic - for me. Mr. Edwardes gave me notice! And I walked out of the theatre, dismissed - as I imagined - for ever.'

Click here for page from The Sketch 1906 on Gabrielle Ray web site

See See. A comic opera in two acts, opened 20th June 1906. Prince of Wales Theatre, managed by Edwardes. Elsie took the rôle of Humming Bird for the start of the run of 152 performances. This production closed 17th November 1906 with Mabel Russell in the rôle formerly played by Elsie. Lyrics by Adrian Ross, music by Sidney Jones. Directed by Sydney Ellison, musical direction by Frank E Tours. Scenic design by Joseph Harker and Hawes Craven. Costumes by Mrs Freed and B.J. Simmons.

The New Aladdin. A musical extravaganza in two acts, opened 29th September 1906. The Gaiety Theatre, London, managed by Edwardes. Elsie opens in the rôle of 'Lally', playing opposite Adrienne Augarde. Elsie's 'principal boy' role later passed to Gertie Millar.
Lyrics by Adrian Ross, Percy Greenbank, W.H. Risque and George Grossmith Jr. Music by Ivan Caryll and Lionel Monckton. A run of 203 performances ending on 27th April 1907. A respectable season but not an overwhelming success. Considered to borrow too much from the Burlesque to suite Elsie's talents, Millar did better. Musical direction by Ivan Caryll, choreography by Harry Grattan. Scenic design by Joseph and Philip Harker with Hawes Craven. Costumes by Wilhelm.

The Merry Widow. June 8th 1907. Daly's Theatre. 778 Performances.
Music by Franz Lehar and lyrics by Adrian Ross. Based on the Viennese operetta Die Lustige Witwe by Victor Leon & Leo Stein, adapted from Henri Meilhae's play L'Attaché d'Ambassade. Choreographed by Fred Farren. Scenic design by Alfred Terraine and Joseph Harker. Costumes by Lucile, Pascaud and Percy Anderson. Best known for the song 'I love you so' aka 'Merry Widow Waltz'.

Click here for more details.

The Dollar Princess. 25th September 1909. Daly's Theatre. Elsie plays Alice Conder. 428 performances in total run. Click here for more details.

A Waltz Dream. 7th January 1911. Hicks Theatre. Elsie revives the part of Franzi Steingruber, originally played by Gertie Millar.

Click here for more details.

The Count of Luxembourg. 20th May 1911. Daly's Theatre.
Starring Miss Lily Elsie, and Bertram Wallis, May de Sousa, W.H. Berry, and Huntley Wright.

Click here for more details.

The Critic. 27th June 1911. His Majesty's Theatre.
Elsie plays Ellena in this Gala performance to celebrate the coronation of King George V.

Mavourneen. 1915. His Majesty's Theatre.
Featuring songs written in 1891 by William J Scanlan (1856 - 1898) amongst others. A comedy production by Sir Herbert Tree.

From the November 3rd 1915 edition of the Tatler. The wonderful fact about Lily is that the girls are even more crazy over seeing her than the boys. (overheard in the stalls on the first night)
How the stalls shouted and 'the Gods' roared when they welcomed back their old and unforgotten favourite, lily Elsie. Who received a tremendous ovation on her welcome return to the stage in the title-rôle of Mr. Louis Parker's comedy, "Mavourneen," at His Majesty's theatre. It is, as might have been said by old Pepys (who duly appears in it), "mighty pretty" - full of colour, of charm in scene and in costume. Everyone should see Miss Lily Elsie in this play, for it shows us that her comedy is as good as her musical comedy, which is saying a great deal...
In this play Mr Louis Parker has chosen to place a sweet Irish maiden, who tired of the grey monotony of life in Galway [West Ireland], determined to see the great world for herself. She therefore came to London, adopting the disguise of a dashing Irish boy, making her entrance by riding into the courtyard of the Bear Inn in Drury Lane, and later enters the service of the wife of Charles II, and wins the admiration of the king.


Shakespeare's Legacy. 14th Aptil, 1916. Theatre Royal.
In the 1917 'Stage Year Book' there is a reference to a charity performance on 14th April, 1916 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Lily Elsie appeared with Gerald Du Maurier in a 'playlet' by J. M. Barrie entitled 'Shakespeare's Legacy' in aid of the Women's Munitions Workers.

National Anthem. 9th June 1916. The London Coliseum.
Under the immediate patronage and in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen [Mary] and H.M. Queen Alexandra. Elsie performed along with many other stars of the time, including: Gladys Cooper, Lilian Braithwaite, Gerald Du Maurier, Ellen Terry, Vesta Tilly, Charles Hawtrey, and many others. This show in aid of Star and Garter Building Fund of British Women's Hospital.

The Admirable Crichton. - 9th June 1916. Wyndham's Theatre - Written by Sir James Matthew 'JM' Barrie. Elsie takes the rôle of Lady Catherine Lazenby. A star-cast charity production during WWI. In aid of the Star and Garter Home for Disabled Soldiers at Richmond (London). The cast included Bernard Shaw, Charles Hawtrey, Sir George Alexander, Gerald du Maurier, Gladys Cooper, Vesta Tilly, and Ellen Terry.

Sir Charles and Lady Wyndham's Entertainment to our Wounded Soldiers. - 5th March 1917. Criterion Theatre. Elsie sang a song in this show. Managers Sir Charles Wyndham & Miss Mary Moore (Lady Wyndham). Other performers include; Mr Cazabon (Violin), Miss Blanche Gaston Murray (Piano), Miss Effie Cook, Miss Helen Mar, Mr Reginald Somerville, Miss Kirkby, Lady Arlington, Miss Alice Crawford, Miss Mary Moore, Mr Hayden Coffin, Lady Tree, Miss Glydys Clark (Violin) Miss Vane Featherstone, Miss Rosalie Toller, Mr Athol Stewart, Mr Ben Davies, Miss Dorothy Varick (Piano), Miss Auden Ford, Miss Hope, and Mrs Kennedy (Piano).


Programme.


Pamela. A comedy with music in three acts, opened 10th December 1917.  Palace Theatre, managed by Alfred Butt.  Elsie takes the title rôle of Pamela Durham.  Also starring Owen Nares.  172 performances, closing on 4th May 1918.  Music by Arthur Wimperis, music by Frederick Norton.  Produced by Gerald Du Maurier, musical direction by Herman Finck.  Choreography by Willie Warde, scenic design by J.A. Fraser, Conrad Tritschler, Joseph and Philip Harker.  Costumes by Lucile, Elspeth Phelps, Reginald de Veuille, and Idare.  5 gramophone recordings were made of songs from this show.  Click here for a review.  Click here for the programme.


Pamela Waltz (Sheet music from 1917. Interestingly, the style note for the intro. states, 'with a certain wildness'!)

Midnight Matinee. 22nd June 1925. Apollo Theatre.
Middlesex Hospital Reconstruction Fund benefit. Elsie performed along with Ivy St. Helier, Gladys Cooper, Gwen Farrar, and others in this show by Jack Hulbert.

The Blue Train. 14th March 1927. King's Theatre Southsea, then Prince of Wales Theatre, London (10th May 1927). Elsie plays Eileen Mayne. 116 Performances.
When King George V. visited The Blue Train at the Price of Wales Theatre, he personally congratulated Lily Elsie on her successful return to the stage.



Click here for programme.

The Truth Game. 1928. Globe Theatre.
A light comedy by Ivor Novello, written under the pseudonym H.E.S Davidson. The play produced by W. Graham Browne. Lily Elsie starred as Rosine Browne, along with Novello and Lilian Braithwaite.
This show was a big success. After it's initial run at the Globe it went on tour, and then returned to London for another season at Daly's. Fitting indeed that Elsie's final appearance on stage should be in the theatre that saw her meteoric rise to fame. Click here for more details.

It was a feature of many of Edwardes' musical comedies that from time to time the composers would introduce new songs to entice audiences back. The principal performers would also introduce numbers by other composers.












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