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A Signed Mirror from the London Hippodrome

 

The Hippodrome Mirror as it appears today - Courtesy Adam Pollock.This gilded George I mirror, formerly in the Hippodrome Theatre, London, perhaps from the star dressing room, has recently come to light via the estate of the widow of Albert Warner, former props master at the Hippodrome. It is covered with incised signatures of (mainly) theatre luminaries, some with dates from 1926 to 1936 after the name.

Right - The Hippodrome Mirror as it appears today - Courtesy Adam Pollock.

Many of the signatures seem to have been members of the audience (including several married couples) after a charity matinee at the Hippodrome on December the 8th, 1930, which was given in aid of Denville Hall, the home for retired actors. The Bill included songs performed by Maurice Chevalier, Lea Seidl, the Hulberts, and Evelyn Laye, as well as a scene from Julius Caesar by Henry Ainley and Baliol Holloway, etc, but the main attraction was the performance of "Some Other Private Lives", Noel Coward’s parody of his play ‘Private Lives’, which opened the Phoenix Theatre on the 24th of September 1930. The sketch was introduced by C. B. Cochran and performed by the cast of the original production.

The Hippodrome Mirror enhanced for the signatures - Courtesy Adam Pollock

Above - The Hippodrome Mirror enhanced for the signatures - Courtesy Adam Pollock - Enlargements below.

Many of the names on the mirror are closely connected with Coward, but the Gala was attended by many other theatrical glitterati. Other names on the mirror are of people who appeared on the Hippodrome stage over the years.

Unfortunately many names on the mirror are indecipherable, due to foxing of the glass or hurriedly scribbled signatures. The list that follows is far from complete. It has not been possible to identify all legible signees, but where their professions are known, these are included after the names in the list below.

The Hippodrome Mirror enhanced for the signatures - Courtesy Adam Pollock

The Hippodrome Mirror enhanced for the signatures - Courtesy Adam Pollock

The Hippodrome Mirror enhanced for the signatures - Courtesy Adam Pollock

Above - The Hippodrome Mirror enhanced for the signatures - Courtesy Adam Pollock

A List of the Deciphered Names on the Hippodrome Mirror

Mercedes de ACOSTA, playwright
James AGATE, critic
Adrianne ALLEN, actor, married to Raymond Massey
Judith ANDERSON, American actor
Robert ANDREWS (Bobbie), actor, Ivor Novello’s partner
John L. BALDERSTON, playwright
Molly BALDERSTON, his wife
Tallulah (BANKHEAD), actor
John BARRYMORE, actor
Joyce BARBOUR, actor
Max BEERBOHM, writer, cartoonist
Florence BEERBOHM, his wife
S, M. BEHRMAN, American playwright
Angelica BELL, daughter of Vanessa Bell ( ‘pattle ‘written next to her name )
Vanessa BELL, Bloomsbury artist
George BERGEN
Edna BEST, playwright, actor
Romney BRENT, actor, writer
Carl BRISSON, Danish actor, singer
Tilly BRISSON, his sister
Nora Stewart BROWN
Willie BROWNE
Nigel BRUCE, actor
Louis BROMFIELD, novelist, Pulitzer-prize winner
James,BUCHANAN, (Jack) actor
Clara BUTT RUMFORD, opera singer
Cecily BYFIELD
Edward CARPENTER, writer, socialist visionary
Mary CARREL (Cindy)
Audrey CARTER, playwright
Joyce CAREY, actor
Ina CLARE, actor, married to John Gilbert
Charles B COCHRAN, impresario
Evelyn COCHRAN, his wife
Constance COLLIER, actor, (3 signatures and messages. see below)
Judy COHN 7/ 27/ 36
Rose COHN July 27 1936
Fay COMPTON, actor
Mark CONELLY, American actor, playwright.
Gladys COOPER, actor
Joseph COOPER, pianist and broadcaster
Lilian Kemble COOPER, actor
Kit CORNELL, American actor,
Charles CORRELL (Andy), writer radio actor (Amos and Andy)
Marie J CORRELL, his wife
Cecily COURTNEIGE, actor
Noel COWARD, actor, playwright
Valerie COSSART, actor
Joseph COYNE, actor
Zena DARE, actor
Marlene, (presumably DIETRICH)
Anton DOLIN, dancer
Lord DUDLEY, married to Gertie Millar
Norman EDWARDS 1936
Maxine ELLIOT actor
Mary ELLIS SYDNEY actor
Lily ELSIE 3.9.28 actor
Douglas FAIRBANKS actor
Cen FEARNLEY Novelist
Sybil FEARNLY (was Bolitho) novelist with husband.
Charles K FELDMAN 1936 , film producer, married Jean Howard
Arthur C FINDO
Lynn FONTAINE actor
Nancy FRIEND
Gertrude FORBES ROBERTSON actor
John GILBERT actor married to Ina Clare
Asta GREY
Mary GREY
Emilie GRIGSBY American Socialite
John GIELGUD actor
Beatie GUINESS
Radclyffe HALL writer
Millicent HALTON
Ann HARDING american actor
Jo HARRIS actor
Mildred HARRIS actor married C Chaplin
J HARTLEY MANNERS Irish playwright.
Rose HEAFORD
Merton HEDGE
Lesie HENSON actor
Gladys HENSON wife
Mitch HIGGINS
Rupert HIGGINS
Alan HOLLIS actor
Avery HOPWOOD April 18 American playwright
Leslie HOWARD actor
Jean Howard American actor/photographer
Jack HULBERT actor
David HUTCHESON actor
Gerald HUTCHESTER Dec 10 19
Ronald JEANS revue writer
Gladys JOHN
Marie JOHN
Teresa (Baby) JUNGMAN sister of
Zita JUNGMAN Ex ‘bright young thing’
Ronda KEANE actor playwright
Chas KERLDING Aug 1936
Bill KENT
Kenneth KENT
Cecil KING press baron
Edward KNOBLOCK Playwright
Francis W LAKING Ex Bright Young Thing
(Lord Ned) LATHOM playwright/producer sponsored Coward 21/ 9/.28
Frank LAWTON actor married Evelyn Laye
Evelyn LAYE actor
Leon M LEON 20/8/26 inventor of the movie clapboard
Rowland LEIGH American screenwriter/ lyricist
Alfred LUNT actor
Herbert MARSHALL actor, married to Edna best
Raymond MASSEY actor, married Adrianne Allen
Lester MATTHEWS actor went to Hollywood.
Gertie MILLAR actor, married Ld Dudley
Ida MOLESWORTH producer Fortune theatre
Dorothy MONKMAN actor /singer
Phyllis MONKMAN actor / singer
Phyllis NIELSON -TERRY actor
Beverley NICHOLLS writer
Ivor NOVELLO actor composer
Bill O’BRYEN MC married and managed Elizabeth Allen
George O”NEIL American poet playwright
Leon QUARTERMAINE actor
James REYNOLDS
Basil RATHBONE actor
Ouida RATHBONE wife
Cyril RAYMOND actor
James H RUTLAND
Ive ST HELIER actor
Sir Giles SEBRIGHT (bart)
Stella SEAGER american actor
Mary SERVOSS american actress
Byam SHAW (prob Glen.) Actor
Hugh SINCLAIR actor
Ronald SQUIRE actor
Basil SIDNEY actor, married to Mary Ellis
Dodie SMITH playwright
J A STEVENSON possibly american actor Steve Brodie
Victor STIEBEL fashion designer
Hannen SWAFFER theatre journalist
Marie TEMPEST actor
Teddy THOMPSON (Mrs Teddie) Socialite friend of Lathom and Coward
Larry (Laurence) and Jane TIBBETT Singer and wife
Madge TITHERAGE 1927 actor
Geoffrey TOYE composer/ conductor
Nelly TULLY
Carl van VECHTEN love always carlo Photographer, novelist ,friend Avery Hopwood
Allan WALTON painter friend of Vanessa Bell
Hugh WAKEFIELD actor
Derek WILLIAMS
John C WILSON (Jack) Coward’s companion, etc
Julian WYLIE Drury Lane pantomime producer/director

Inscriptions:

I love you more than anything in the world. Bolero.
Rays’s wedding
Hamlet Rehearsal December 28 192?
Oh Constance, I do hope I’m good.
George..Costance for old ?Huchester December 10 1936
And Mother.

This article and list of names was written by Adam Pollock who kindly sent it in for inclusion on the site, along with its accompanying images, in July 2013.

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