Arthur Lloyd.co.uk
The Music Hall and Theatre History Site
Dedicated to Arthur Lloyd, 1839 - 1904.

 

A Poster for a season of French Plays at the St. James's Theatre, London in 1843

 

Poster for John Mitchell's second season of French Plays at the St. James's Theatre in 1843, including the last night of Madame Albert's engagement on February the 28th, with the plays 'LOmelette Fantastique,' 'Marie,' and 'Les Rendezvous Bourgeois' - The Poster has been very kindly donated to the Arthur Lloyd Archive by Sue Fulcher.

Above - Poster for John Mitchell's second season of French Plays at the St. James's Theatre in 1843, including the last night of Madame Albert's engagement on February the 28th, with the plays 'LOmelette Fantastique,' 'Marie,' and 'Les Rendezvous Bourgeois' - The Poster has been very kindly donated to the Arthur Lloyd Archive by Sue Fulcher.

The St. James's Theatre in 1843

From 'The St James's Theatre, it's strange & Complete History' by Barry Duncan 1964.

Drawing of Madame Therese Albert - From the book 'The St James's Theatre, it's strange & Complete History' by Barry Duncan 1964.A tremendous storm heralded Mitchell's second French season. Almost a hundred ships were wrecked on British coasts on the night of Thursday 12th January. The company were then rehearsing and they opened on the Monday afterwards with Mme Therese Albert as star in the title-roles of La Comtesse du Barry and Georgette, the latter a frolicsome peasant hoyden to contrast vividly with the courtly mannered favourite of Louis XV. Chief support was Mile Forgeot and MM. Cartigny and Rhozevil.

Right - Drawing of Madame Therese Albert - From the book 'The St James's Theatre, it's strange & Complete History' by Barry Duncan 1964.

Madame Albert was a versatile and accomplished Parisian darling, as delightful a songstress as actress. She had made unofficial debut when only four years old for one day for fun her grand-mama dressed her up in her own part as a very old lady and sent her on instead of herself. Little precocious refused to comply until promised the reward of a dancing marionette also in the evening's bill. Unfortunately the puppet was next on the programme and was already pirouetting before the drapes when Therese demanded immediate payment. Impatient, she marched back on stage: 'Make haste, mademoiselle! I have finished my turn and am waiting for you!' All had then to be explained to the delighted audience who insisted that the reward be paid forthwith, to the mortification perhaps of the interrupted puppeteer.

Drawing of  Madame Plessy - From the book 'The St James's Theatre, it's strange & Complete History' by Barry Duncan 1964.The Queen was in front on the last Monday of February (The day before the production which the poster above depicts, M.L.) with her mother, husband and full suite, and in March when Mlle Plessy (Also mentioned in the poster above, M.L.) was the star she was in her box twice.

Upon Sylvanie Plessy's return to Paris she sent back a turkey as a present to her manager. Mitchell invited Ebers of Her Majesty's to dine with him. When carved, instead of the luscious truffles with which the bird had been stuffed in Paris, nothing was found inside except the dullest of potatoes! Irish Mary was post-haste summoned from her kitchen.

Left - Drawing of Madame Plessy - From the book 'The St James's Theatre, it's strange & Complete History' by Barry Duncan 1964.

'Truffles, is it! Bad cess to the dirthy muck. Sure an' I dumped thim where they belong of course, into the sink they are now!'

Ebers and Mitchell made a rush and indeed in the sink the truffles still reposed amongst the peelings of their supplanters. Rescued and washed, they arrived at table a day late with the hash instead of the roast!

John Braharn was back home, and in February and March he appeared in various concerts in his own theatre with his son Charles. His voice, said some critics, was as much improved in melodiousness as with age it had decreased in volume.

Mme Eugenie Doche was the star for April. She was the twenty-year-old sister of ballerina Adelina Plunkett and had made her debut six years before at Versailles. Already she was a favourite with Parisians and had created as many as thirty four original parts. In 1852 she was the first Marguerite of La Dame aux Camelias, Fechter being the Armand.

Dejazet followed in May and Bouffe for the final weeks of the season which ran into July. The Queen was twice present for him.

Les Enfants Castelli, a group of children or midgets who had been presented unsuccessfully in ballet at Covent Garden in October, were given another chance here the following month. Old Braham appeared again in concerts over the winter, this time with baritone Hamilton as well as light tenor Charles, but neither of them was in the same class as his father.

Text from the book 'The St James's Theatre, it's strange & Complete History' by Barry Duncan 1964.

Sue Fulcherwrites: 'The poster was given to me by a work colleague at least 44 years ago, and she had told me that it had been in her family for as long as she could remember, and as she was about to retire that was some considerable time. She pointed out to me that in one corner is written the words 'I alone' and she felt that the programme belonged to one of the players and that the ticks indicated pieces that she performed alone, who knows. The poster has had several changes of address but seems to have survived more or less intact. It wasn't until we found this website that we were able to find out more about it, and the theatre that the plays were performed in. We are very happy that it is now safe and can be enjoyed by many more people. Sue Fulcher 2008.

Return to the St. James's Theatre Page

Other Pages that may be of Interest