Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Whatever Happened to those Beautiful Edwardian Theatre Ladies?

 I've been thinking about all of the lovely ladies who performed to an adoring public over a hundred years ago...and how sad that they are almost forgotten now.
I suppose the fact that they were too early for the motion 'flickers' means that their stage performances were only seen by those who were in the audience at the time.
Old photographs are all we have left of the way they looked, some did make recordings but these are now scarce.
Such a shame that these faces who gaze back at us through time are becoming lost.

Popular stage productions were most likely to have been a 'variety' show or revue, this had a mixture of acts, song and dance routines, acrobatics- including the ju-jitsu waltz, comedy acts and also drag artists.
Costumes played a big part in these acts, some ladies would change many times in one performance.

Edward VII was known to have frequented the shows, which no doubt aided in their popularity.
Many ladies of the stage would be admired by wealthy gentlemen, eager to be seen with them.
Many went on to marry these wealthy patrons and then retired from the stage.
Others, tragically fell prey to mental illness and spent their lives in asylums...never to leave.

Every time I see these adorable faces I want to drag out my pencils and capture them within the pages of my sketchbooks, somehow it makes me feel that I am keeping them safe, that by drawing or sketching them for a painting, or even  making them into a doll, that I am honouring their memory.
I feel somehow, they would approve...