Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

[…]* The other proposed addition is ‘Peace-Time Prophecies’ showing how stories of what is to happen ‘after the war may go wrong’. Thus ‘Old Bill’, instead of settling down happily in his ‘better ‘ole’ is found to be grumbling over his perpetual identification with the heavily moustached hero invented by Captain Bairnsfather, whom he eventually tries to kill for having treated him to be the victim of lady-admirers and of newspaper proprietors like Lord Northcliffe who seeks to draw him for an interview. The chaff is so good-humoured that I do not suppose the enterprising peer will object to his personal introduction, nor is any cause for offence given in the subsequent skit upon the Spartan militarism brought home with him by a major on his retirement. Recommended for license Ernest A. Bendall

Researcher's Summary:

* These Examiner's notes start in relation to licence 1220 and the play Allotments. The licencing comments for Allotments and Peace Time Prophesies are given in one document at the British Library which is attached to Allotments. However for the purposes of database searching, the Examiner's notes have been split into two so that they relate to the play being searched. To view the other half of the licence notes search for Allotments. The item entitled ‘Peace Time Prophecies, or Stories Gone Wrong’ was actually two sketches, ‘The Worst ‘Ole of All’ and ‘The Comforts of Home’, which were added by John Hastings Turner on 14 November 1917 to his revue ‘Bubbly’, produced by André Charlot, which had been running at the Comedy Theatre, London, since 5 May 1917 and continued there until 6 April 1918. Both new sketches were also included in a touring production of the revue (produced by Ralph Haslam, by arrangement with André Charlot) which opened in Exeter on 26 November 1917. According to a review in the Gloucestershire Echo, 15 January 1918, another sketch, 'The Eternal Triangle, 5000 B.C.', imagined 'a future time, when “Gothas” have driven us back to an underground or troglodyte life', referring to the WW1 German bomber plane. A show entitled 'Tails Up' opened at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London, for a run from 2 June to 19 July 1919. Reviews make clear that this was an amalgam of musical items from John Hastings Turner's revue 'Tails Up' and from 'Bubbly'. For more information about this production see under 'Tails Up' in this database. Around September-October 1919, coinciding with some cast changes, W. Foster Horsfield took over as the producer of the touring production of 'Bubbly' which seems to have been performed for the last time in the week 14-19 June 1920 at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth. Two long-serving members of the company, the musical director (F. Leslie Tolhurst) and the wardrobe mistress (Mrs Shaw), had already left the 'Bubbly' company and advertised for fresh employment (The Stage, 20 May and 3 June 1920). The company remained at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth for another week, performing a new revue, 'Keep Going', written by Edward Steadman, a leading member of the 'Bubbly' company in the latter stages.

Licensed On: 5 Nov 1917

License Number: 1221

British Library Reference: LCP1917/22

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66177 G

Performances

DateTheatreType
14 Nov 1917 Comedy Theatre, LondonProfessional
Read Narrative
‘Next Wednesday evening [14 November 1917] Mr. Andre Chariot will add several new items to “Bubbly” at the Comedy Theatre. These include a sketch by Mr J. Hastings Turner in two episodes, entitled “Peace-Time Prophecies,” in which Mr. Arthur Playfair has two good character parts; also a skit called “Allotments,” by Miss Gertrude Jennings’ (The Globe, Saturday 10 November 1917). ‘The notion of Old Bill putting up his dooks to Captain Bairnsfather, his creator, and expressing in forcible language a desire to get quits with the Captain, is a particularly rich one. It occurs in Hastings Turner’s witty “Peace Time Prophecies,” the principal new feature in the second edition of “Bubbly” at the Comedy. When I say that Arthur Playfair is the Old Bill, you will realise that the jest goes home. Equally happy is Turner’s idea of “The Comforts of Home” in this sketch. Playfair is a choleric Major who, after the war, cannot find rest at home without hard seats, a sleeping-bag, and fireworks on the lawn in lieu of shells at the front. The audience roared at the droll conceit. There are lots of novelties also for Phyllis Monkman, Teddie Gerard, and the other principals. If you want a war-time tonic, try “Bubbly.” It’s a prescription that cannot fail’ (Sporting Times, 17 November 1917). ‘A revision of the always amusing “Bubbly” at the Comedy Theatre has provided Mr. Arthur Playfair with some fine material in two sketches - one exploits him as Old Bill, so weary of his popularity that he seeks out and sets about Captain Bairnsfather; in another, after the war, in the character of a superannuated veteran he engages in most amusing exercises to keep the atmosphere of war’ (The Globe, 19 November 1917). ‘Mr. Charlot’s venture was always a brilliant piece of work, but the second edition makes it still more brilliant, for several new items have been introduced into it, notably in the shape of the dreams of the charming little girl who acts as chorus. One of these dreams pictures Old Bill after the war settled down into private life; people go on lionising him, greatly against his will, and he is ultimately driven to shooting Captain Bairnsfather, represented, by the way, as a Staff Officer with red tabs. Mr. Arthur Playfair is exceedingly funny as Bill; he displays remarkable energy right through, and he is enthusiastically supported notably by Miss Laura Cowie’ (The Graphic, 1 December 1917). ‘After a successful run of 428 performances, “Bubbly” bids farewell to the Comedy Theatre on Saturday next [6 April 1918]. Mr Andre Charlot has let this theatre for the production of “The Knife”’ (The People, Sunday 31 March 1918). [‘The Knife’ gave way to John Hastings Turner’s new revue ‘Tails Up’ on 1 June 1918.]
26 Nov 1917 Theatre Royal, ExeterProfessional
Read Narrative
‘At the Theatre Royal, Exeter, next week, will be staged “Bubbly,” the latest original musical revue now playing to full houses at the Comedy Theatre, London, where it has run for five months. It is very interesting to know that the Exeter Theatre Management has secured the same company that is visiting all the principal Theatres in the provinces after Exeter, where the tour commences. The cast includes well-known London artistes and those who appear in big touring companies’ (Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, Saturday 24 November 1917). 'If the 200 senders of telegrams of good wishes which members of the “Bubbly” Company, at the Exeter Theatre, Royal, received from London colleagues could have been present at the first provincial performance of this great Comedy Theatre success last evening they would have admitted unreservedly that it was an unqualified success. From start to finish everything went with a swing and dash which augur well. “Bubbly” abounds with clean and sparkling humour, bright and tuneful melodies, dainty dances, and pretty ensembles, while the settings of the various scenes are strikingly attractive. The “Eternal Triangle” - a woman and two men - as it may have appeared in the prehistoric ages, is as clever a piece of nonsense as we have seen for many a long day. In “The Worst ‘Ole of All” our friend Old Bill, immortalised by Captain Bairnsfather, appears in a new and extremely amusing light - a comment applicable also to “The Comforts of Home,’’ showing how a major after the war finds home life much too quiet and enervating. In their acting of “An Old Situation in Four Ways” a number of the principals give an excellent exhibition of their dramatic abilities, especially amusing being the presentation of the “Old Situation” after the O. Henry style. Without exception, the principals are all stars, and their contributions are given wit that vim and brightness manner which demonstrate to the full that they were happy in entertaining the crowded house. Gaby Condor is an attractive and pretty comedienne, and the possessor of a charming voice, among. her successes being “Honey, won’t you miss me?” and “It’s up to me,” an amusing number in which she is ably assisted Cedric Percival. The latter, by the way, knows how to get the most out of the many humorous contributions which fall to his lot, and he scored one of the hits of the evening with that tongue-twister “Cousins.” Florence Bayfield is not yet, we believe, in her teens, but she has early earned a reputation as a clever actress and artistic dancer, her dance “The Moth and the Lamp” being as dainty a contribution as one could wish to see. Ivy Tresmand also excels in dancing, the clever manner in which she and Claude Ryder perform that associated with the song “Have you forgotten?” being enthusiastically encored. The latter is also very successful in the fourfold part he plays in “An Old Situation.” A most graceful contribution was that of “The Hawaian Butterfly,” for which Ivy Tresmand was deservedly recalled. Doris Harrington and Ernest Seebold are another clever pair. Bobby Rutland and Edith Payne are other talented performers who contribute in no small measure to the success of the sketches. Edmund Russell is a typical “Old Bill,” while he also scores strongly in the other sketches. Raymond Douglas and William Bayfield are two other notable contributors. Especial mention should be made of the parody on “A Perfect Day” given by Ivy Tresmand, Gabey [sic – Gaby] Condor, Edmund Russell, and Cedric Percival. The chorus is strong and well balanced, and, to sum up, “Bubbly” is a production which should be visited by all who want to spend an entertaining evening. There will lie the usual matinee on Friday’. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 27 November 1917. Reviewed also in The Stage, 29 November 1917.
3 Dec 1917 Gaiety Theatre, HastingsProfessional
Read Narrative
‘Great popular interest is being taken in the production of “Bubbly!” at the Gaiety Theatre next Monday, and already seats are being eagerly booked. This is not surprising when it is remembered that this charming revue has been playing to crowded houses at the Comedy Theatre, London, for the past six months to audiences the greater part of whom is composed of officers and men of both services ... The first provincial appearance of “Bubbly!” took place at the Theatre Royal, Exeter, on Monday last ... The production here will be an exact replica of that at the Comedy Theatre, and while it will contain the new features recently introduced into the Second Edition, such as, for instance, “Old Bill, or the worst ‘ole all” ...' (Hastings and St Leonards Observer, Saturday 1 December 1917). ‘One of the best musical pieces ever presented in Hastings is being played this week at the Gaiety Theatre. It is a feast of good things, in the way of singing, dancing, humorous sketches, dressing, and mounting. “Bubbly” is not a revue, or at any rate it not what has previously been served up as revue; it is a distinct cut above that class of entertainment, and it is as wholesome as it is artistic, which is saying a good deal. It should crowd the house every time. Prominent amongst the large company of first-class artistes are Mr. Edmund Russell, a perfect glutton for work, who plays many parts with really wonderful power and ability; Miss Ivy Tresmand, who was in the piece for over 100 performances at the Comedy Theatre, London, and who sings, dances, and acts in a perfectly bewitching manner; Miss Florence Bayfield, a remarkably clever child actress, who does many charming things and whose moth dance is alone worth a visit to the Theatre; Miss Edith Payne, Miss Doris Barrington, Miss Bobbie Rutland, and Miss Gaby Condor, all with excellent parts and all completely successful; and Messrs. Claude Ryder, Cedric Percival, and Ernest Seebold, actors and comedians of great merit. There will be a matinee as well as the evening performance on Saturday’. Hastings and St Leonards Observer, 8 December.
10 Dec 1917 Prince of Wales Theatre, BirminghamProfessional
Read Narrative
‘Of all the Revues staged in Birmingham, the only one which has deserved the name is “Bubbly,” the lively entertainment which André Charlot presented at the Comedy Theatre, London. The performance occupies “two acts and ten bubbles.” There are three very clever “bubbles.” The first of these is “The Eternal Triangle” among the cave dwellers of prehistoric times. The second is “Peace Time Prophecies, or Stories Gone Wrong,” the first part of which – “The Worst ‘Ole of All,” is a genial satire upon what will happen to “Old Bill” when he returns home after the war; the second part, “The Comforts of Home,” show what will happen in similar circumstances to a major, who longs for the tumult of the trenches and lullaby of the guns ... Mr. Edmund Russell, who is Old Bill, a typical Major, an Admiral, and half a dozen other distinct characters, is laughable in all' (Birmingham Daily Post, 11 December 1917). ‘“Bubbly,” which is being presented by Mr. Andre Charlot at the Prince of Wales Theatre this week (having recently started its first provincial tour, after a highly successful run at the Comedy), represents revue absolutely at its best. Mr. J. Hastings Turner, who is responsible for the book, has got the true conception of revue. “Bubbly” is no mere stringing together of a series of vaudeville turns, but a really clever creation possessing a substantial and artistic fabric, notwithstanding the suggestion of flimsiness in the title. It is not the bubbling of soapsuds, but of champagne, the rarest of champagne, which retains its sparkle and bouquet to the last ... Two of the best bubbles are “The Worst ‘Ole of All” and “The Comforts of Home,” the former presenting Old Bill as a decidedly unwilling lion of society, with a desire for vengeance against Capt. Bairnsfather for making him a hero, and the latter a screamingly funny conception of a major who after years in the trenches is unable to settle down to soft cushions, curtained windows, and the repose destroying silence of a night without archies, whiz-bangs, and machine guns' (Birmingham Daily Mail, 11 December 1917).
17 Dec 1917 Opera House, HarrogateProfessional
Read Narrative
The Harrogate Herald, Wednesday 12 December 1917, advertised at the Grand Opera House, Harrogate, on Monday 12 December for six nights and a Saturday matinee the ‘Important Visit of Andre Charlot’s Great West-End Revue Bubbly! A Musical Entertainment, in 2 Acts, Direct from the Comedy Theatre, W. The Success of the London Season … The Revue with a Reputation’. The Harrogate Herald, Wednesday 19 December 1917, advertised at ‘The Kursaal, Friday next, at 3 and 8, two concerts in aid of Xmas Dinners for Wounded Soldiers’, the afternoon programme to include ‘a tit-bit or two from “Bubbly”’.
24 Dec 1917 Theatre Royal, YorkProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 20 and 27 December 1917, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 24 December at the Theatre Royal, York. Also The Era, 19 December 1917.
31 Dec 1917 Theatre Royal, Leamington SpaProfessional
Read Narrative
‘Revue as a rule has few original attractions, but “Bubbly” is one of the few exceptions. This play is more like musical comedy, and by the fact that it is one of Andre Charlot’s Comedy Theatre productions its value is assured. When this play was staged in Birmingham a fortnight ago, it received a remarkable reception, and it is important that it should be noted that the company appearing [next week] at the Theatre Royal [at Leamington] is precisely the same as that which achieved such a success at Birmingham. The fact that the tour is under the personal direction of Mr. Augustus Bingham is sufficient guarantee of perfection in detail. Miss Ivy Tresmand, who on several occasions has played Miss Teddie Gerard’s part at the Comedy, will sustain the principal character, while Mr. Edmund Russell will essay the rôle long associated with the name of Mr. Arthur Playfair’. Warwick and Warwickshire Advertiser, 29 December 1917.
7 Jan 1918 Victoria Opera House, BurnleyProfessional
Read Narrative
‘The initial production of “Bubbly” by Mr. Ralph Haslam’s Company at the Victoria Opera House this week maintained in every sense the reputation with which this sparkling revue comes to Burnley. Lovers of musical revue are favoured by the appearance “Bubbly!” not only in so far as this is the first time the piece has been produced in the County Palatine, but also from the fact that the production is full of all the qualities that appeal to the followers of light musical comedy, and thus spell success. Of such a sound tone are the musical items, so well arranged are the dances and ensemble; so spontaneous is the comedy element; and so well staged and dressed is each individual scene, that it would be invidious to pick out one scene as being superior in any way to another, and so well chosen is the company by Mr. Ralph Haslam that nothing is left to be desired ... “Peace time prophecies” or “Stories gone wrong in two nights,” is the most topical item of the evening, and in it we are introduced to another stage interpretation of the humourist the trenches, “Old Bill"' (Burnley News, 9 January 1918). ‘Many iridescent creations take shape in the production of “Bubbly!” a delicious entertainment that Mr. Ralph Haslam (by arrangement with M. Andre Chariot) is presenting this week at the Victoria. The large house on Monday night caught the spirit of the production and enjoyed itself immensely. “Bubbly” is a charming organism compact of parts that are diverse and yet dovetail perfectly. It is a revue of the real order with the sparkling originality and the light and shade conceived and enjoyed in Paris ... The topical touches, “Peace-time Prophecies” are the highest scorers in the burlesque. An eloquent father soothes his child to sleep with stories of khaki-clad heroes and their “Once-upon-a-time” achievements, The dreamer visualises Bairnsfather’s “Old Bill” who finds himself a hero of civil life, and has many disrespectful things to say about his fame. Funnier still is the old major, who insists on military discipline among his domestic servants, cannot abide starched collars, and takes his repose in a woollen helmet and a sleeping bag to the flashes of fireworks and the noise of explosions (Burnley Express, 9 January 1918).
14 Jan 1918 Theatre and Opera House, CheltenhamProfessional
Read Narrative
'For the most part the so-called “revues” doing the provinces from time to time have no more relationship to the real thing which the which the French gave its name than they have to grand opera. “Bubbly” presented by the Ralph Haslam company this week at Cheltenham Theatre, by arrangement with André Charlot, is a complete exception. Not only in type is it the real thing, but in personnel and mounting gives an idea of the type at its best ... the third “bubble” [is] entitled “The Eternal Triangle, 5000 B.C.,” played by Cedric Percival, Doris Barrington, and Edmund Russell. In spite of the title it is a future time, when “Gothas” have driven us back to an underground or troglodyte life, that is imagined ... “Bubble V.” is delicious comedy based on the idea of the return to civilian life of “Old Bill,” of Bairnsfather picture fame, and a lively old major, who both got lifelike personation by Edmund Russell. The various other characters are touched off with real humour ... Another reflection in the first “bubble” of part II. is “The end of a perfect day,’ as seen by the lady flag seller, war allotment holder, extravagant munition worker, and the private soldier ' (Gloucestershire Echo, 15 January 1918). Also reviewed in the Cheltenham Chronicle, 19 January 1918.
21 Jan 1918 Hippodrome, RichmondProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 24 January 1918, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 21 January at the Hippodrome, Richmond.
28 Jan 1918 Theatre Royal, BrightonProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 24 January 1918, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 28 January at the Theatre Royal, Brighton.
4 Feb 1918 Devonshire Park Theatre, EastbourneProfessional
Read Narrative
The Era, 6 February 1918, listed Bubbly as On The Road from 4 February at the Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne.
11 Feb 1918 New Theatre, OxfordProfessional
Read Narrative
The Era, 13 February 1918, listed Bubbly as On The Road from 11 February for three nights at the New Theatre, Oxford.
14 Feb 1918 New Theatre, CambridgeProfessional
Read Narrative
The Era, 13 February 1918, listed Bubbly as On The Road from 11 February for three nights at the New Theatre, Oxford, and for three nights at the New Theatre, Cambridge.
18 Feb 1918 Theatre Royal, NottinghamProfessional
Read Narrative
‘It would take a long time to enumerate the rare ingredients out of which the author, Mr. J. Hastings Turner, and the composer, Mr. Philip Braham, have obtained the distilled essence of mirth and laughter, duly labelled and ticketed “Bubbly” and served out hot in large and generous doses at the Nottingham Theatre Royal this week. “Bubbly” is a show in the making, a kind of cauldron of merriment, in which there keeps “bubbling up”’ various performers including ‘Cedric Percival [skilful as a] Press correspondent on the track of Bill Higgins, Bairnsfather’s original as he is “after the war”; [and] Mr. Edmund Russell, whose last “bubble” shows him as Major Blount, also “after the war” wooing sleep by means of such artificial aids to slumber as explosive pyrotechnics outside his peaceful home in Kent and an infernal tintinnabulation kindly provided by his servants around his sleeping bag’. Nottingham Journal, Tuesday 19 February 1918. Also brief notices in the Nottingham Evening Post, 19 February 1918, and The Era, 20 February 1918.
25 Feb 1918 Theatre Royal, BradfordProfessional
Read Narrative
‘Andre Charlot’s revue “Bubbly” is the attraction here [the Royal, Bradford] this week. It sparkles with bright and amusing features to the great delight of an appreciative audience. Edmund Russell is the chief comedian, and he is excellently supported by Cedric Percival. Ivy Tresmand is a charming principal lady. Doris Barrington and Bobbie Rutland are exceedingly clever in the numerous burlesques. Ernest Seebold is a pleasing vocalist, and Claude Ryder dances smartly’. The Stage, 28 February 1918.
4 Mar 1918 Grand, BlackpoolProfessional
Read Narrative
The Era, 27 February and 4 March 1918, listed Bubbly as On The Road from 4 March at the G., Blackpool.
11 Mar 1918 Prince's Theatre, ManchesterProfessional
Read Narrative
‘“Bubbly” at the Prince’s. “Bubbly” is a blend of revue and musical comedy, and makes a satisfying evening’s entertainment. Mr. Edmund Russell is responsible for most of the fun, and other prominent members of a well-balanced company are Misses Ivy Tresmand, Doris Barrington, Violet Valerie, and Messrs Cedric Percival, Ernest Seebold, and Claude Ryder’. Manchester Evening News, 12 March 1918.
18 Mar 1918 Lyceum Theatre, SheffieldProfessional
Read Narrative
‘Nothing quite like “Bubbly” has been seen at the Sheffield Lyceum Theatre for long since. If its name is intended to suggest an impression of sparkling effervescence, the selection is well chosen. It is a musical play innocent of plot, but with an abundance of mirth and melody, and with all the rollicking comedy that have been the familiar and favourite ingredients of the revue form of entertainment, with perhaps just sufficient touch of sedateness to distinguish it from the music-hall atmosphere’ (Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 19 March 1918). ‘There are some very clever artistes and some intensely amusing situations in “Bubbly,” presented last night at the Lyceum Theatre. But it must be said that there was here and there a lack of cohesion which detracted from the brilliance of a cleverly written entertainment. On the other hand, the audience, in the majority, was painfully obtuse and did not seem to appreciate the humour which was not sufficiently labelled. One of the scenes which made the sides of the audience ache with laughter was that in which Edmund Russell, with rare skill, hit off the major’s ineffectual attempt to conform to peace-time comforts. As Old Bill, too, he was excellent. Miss Edith Payne, who is well-known to Sheffield audiences, scored a big success in her various parts, not the least successful being in Bubble 4 with her song “Hawaian Butterfly.” Claude Ryder and Gaby Condor were other outstanding members of the cast, the duet, “Have you forgotten ?” being one of the best received items of the evening. Violet Valerie danced very cleverly, and the chorus throughout lent graceful assistance’ (Sheffield Independent, 19 March 1918). Also a brief notice in The Stage, 21 March 1918.
25 Mar 1918 Grand, SwanseaProfessional
Read Narrative
The Era, 20 March 1918, listed Bubbly as On The Road from 25 March at the G., Swansea.
1 Apr 1918 New Theatre, CardiffProfessional
Read Narrative
The Western Mail, Monday 25 March 1918, advertised Bubbly ‘next week’ at the New Theatre, Cardiff. The Era, 27 March 1918, listed Bubbly as On The Road from 1 April at the N., Cardiff.
8 Apr 1918 Grand Theatre, SouthamptonProfessional
Read Narrative
Previewed in the Hampshire Advertiser, Saturday 6 April 1918. ‘“Bubbly,” at the Grand Theatre this week, bubbles over with sparkling and artistic amusement. There is decidedly method and merriment in the mad fun of “Bubbly,” and it is truly delightful. Peace Time Prophecies and the story of Old Bill are irresistible. There is not a dull moment anywhere, and the artistes are simply perfection' (Hampshire Advertiser, 13 April 1918).
15 Apr 1918 Hippodrome, BirkenheadProfessional
Read Narrative
‘“I was all right in the Army, but I’m blinkin’ well C3 in Society, and I wish someone would start a nice quiet war again.” Thus Old Bill, Bairnsfather’s famous hero, when he is discharged from the Army and is being feted by duchesses and cooks. The clever skit written by J. Hastings Turner in his wittiest vein, is one the many episodes in “Bubbly,” that sparkling musical play due at Birkenhead Hippodrome next week. “ Bubbly,” which ran for 400 nights at the Comedy Theatre, is one of Mr. Clarke’s best bookings, and that is saying something when one remembers the enterprise that has been lavished on the Grange-road house’ (Liverpool Echo, 12 April 1918). ‘“Bubbly,’’ the book of which is J. Hastings Turner (of “Nothing New” fame), made its initial appearance in this district at the Birkenhead Hippodrome, and found much favour. It is full of amusing comedy, and Mr. Clarke is to be congratulated on securing such a very great attraction’ (Liverpool Echo, Tuesday 16 April 1918).
22 Apr 1918 The Opera House, NorthamptonProfessional
Read Narrative
The Northampton Chronicle and Echo, 20 April 1918, advertised Bubbly at the Opera House nightly from Monday 22 April with a Saturday matinee. The Era, 24 April 1918, listed Bubbly as On The Road from 22 April at the O.H., Northampton.
29 Apr 1918 Grand Theatre, DerbyProfessional
Read Narrative
Previewed in the Derby Daily Telegraph, 27 April 1918. ‘ … “Peace-time Prophecies,” or “Stories Gone Wrong in Two Nights” … [shows] how Bairnsfather’s “Old Bill” finds the worst ‘ole of all after the war, for he is pestered by ladies of the upper class who want to marry him, theatricals who want him to go on the halls with them, Press agents, and others. Mr. Edmund Russell is capital as “Old Bill” … “The Comforts of Home” [shows] how a blustering old major, on returning home after the war, cannot settle down to peace and quiet, and the whole household experience a dreadful time with him. Mr. Edmund Russell again plays the principal part of the major, and in this he is sees at his best. He keeps his audience in a constant state of laughter’ (Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal, 3 May 1918). Also reviewed in the Derby Daily Telegraph, 30 April 1918.
6 May 1918 County Theatre, ReadingProfessional
Read Narrative
‘“Bubbly!” is the last word in revue production. It is merry and bright all the way through... [It] will be presented in its entirety at the County Theatre next week, with all the original dresses, scenery and effects. There is a big super-beauty chorus, and a list of principals high in Metropolitan favour’ (Reading Observer, 4 May 1918). ‘“Bubbly’s” success [at the Royal County Theatre] is likely to be repeated next week by another well-known and successful revue entitled “Touch and Go”’. Reading Mercury, 11 May 1918.
13 May 1918 Grand, WolverhamptonProfessional
Read Narrative
‘“Bubbly” is a change from the customary fare here [the Grand, Wolverhampton] and delighted a good house on Monday. There is abundant humour, Edmund Russell contributing largely to this, and he is excellently assisted by Cedric Percival. Ivy Tresmand is a charming principal lady. The burlesques, songs and dances are numerous. Bobbie Rutland, Claude Ryder, Ernest Seebold, William Douglas, Raymond Bayfield, Doris Barrington, Gaby Condor, Edith Payne, and Violet Valerie are all prominent’. The Stage, 16 May 1918.
20 May 1918 ?, NewportProfessional
Read Narrative
The Era, 15 May and 22 1918, listed Bubbly as On The Road from 20 May at Aldershot (no theatre named). However, Bubbly is not one of the shows reported in The Era, 22 May 1918, as being performed in the week beginning 20 May at the Theatre Royal or the Hippodrome, Aldershot. On the other hand, The Stage, 23 May 1918, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 20 May at Newport and from 27 May at Aldershot (no theatre named in either case). Bubbly was not the show being performed in the week beginning 20 May 1918 at the Newport Empire according to an advertisement for that theatre in the Western Mail, 22 May 1918; nor was it the show being performed that week at the Stow Hill Pav., Newport, Mon. according to mention of that venue in The Era, 22 May 1918.
27 May 1918 ?, AldershotProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 23 and 30 May 1918, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 27 May at Aldershot (no theatre is named). Bubbly is not listed in The Stage, 23 May 1918, in Calls For Next Week at the Hippodrome or at (Bert’s) Military Halls, Aldershot. Similarly The Era, 22 May 1918. Nor is Bubbly one of the shows reported in The Era, 29 May 1918, as being performed that week at the Theatre Royal or the Hippodrome, Aldershot.
3 Jun 1918 Theatre Royal, ChathamProfessional
Read Narrative
The East Kent Gazette, Saturday 1 June 1918, advertised that ‘Ralph Haslam, by arrangement with Andre Charlot, will Present his Original No. 1 Company in Bubbly, a New Musical Play which has been running with enormous success at the Comedy Theatre, London. An All-star Cast’ at the Theatre Royal, Chatham, on Monday 3 June and twice nightly throughout the week with a Wednesday matinee.
10 Jun 1918 Pleasure Gardens Theatre, FolkestoneProfessional
Read Narrative
‘The production which is drawing large houses at the Pleasure Gardens Theatre this week is appropriately named. There is a constant flow of mirth and melody bubbling up from copious source, the stream ever and again developing into torrential dimensions. There are cascades of merriment, sparkling with tuneful music. “Bubbly” is, in short, one of the most entertaining efforts of its class, the book being by J. Hastings Turner and the music by Philip Braham and others. The scenery is constructed in accordance with war-time economy restrictions, but there is no limitation to the fun of the show, a feature of which consists of a series of burlesques, which are amongst the best ever seen at the Pleasure Gardens. Particularly good is “The Worst ‘Ole of all,” in which we see Old Bill after the war by pestered various people, and screamingly funny is the failure of an officer to settle down to the quiet pleasures and comforts of home after his experiences at the front. These are only two numerous good things contained in “Bubbly,” to the success of which many accomplished artistes contribute’ (Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, 15 June 1918).
5 Aug 1918 Prince's Theatre, BristolProfessional
Read Narrative
The Era, 17 July 1918, reported, ‘“Bubbly!” is indeed a mascot. Fresh from a 26-week tour, which recorded a success in every town visited, Mr. Ralph Haslam’s company is again in rehearsal preparatory to opening at the Prince’s Theatre, Bristol, on August Bank Holiday. The next tour embraces 45 weeks without a break, including every No. 1 date in the United Kingdom. The production is again under the direction of Mr. Augustus Bingham, who will personally conduct Mr. Philip Braham’s delightful music’. ‘Better holiday fare than “Bubbly” could scarcely have been selected for last night at the Prince’s Theatre. It delighted the packed house, and the bookings throughout the week are exceptionally good. The musical entertainment - a play it is not - has proved a great success in London. The book is by Mr J. Hastings Turner and the music by Mr. Philip Braham, who last night conducted the performance. The setting for the series of “Bubbles” was simple, but artistic, and the. entertainment was rich in fun, melody, and ideas, with a very good-company to give effect to them. One of the most popular features was, under “peace-time prophecies,” the introduction of “Old Bill” in “The Worst ‘Ole of All.” Another welcome feature in the second edition of the revue was the quartet, “A Perfect Day;” but some of the old numbers are favourites still, such as “Reckless Reggie,” “She’s a Hole in her Stocking,” and “A Little Cottage in a Little Town”’ (Western Daily Press, 6 August 1918).
12 Aug 1918 Prince of Wales Theatre, BirminghamProfessional
Read Narrative
‘“Bubbly,” which was warmly welcomed on its return visit to the Prince Wales Theatre last night, possesses the quality, rare in these days, of setting a high standard and living up to it ... Mr. Edmund Russell displays high talents as an exponent of broad comedy in various roles such as “Old Bill” attempting to escape tbs blandishments of the notoriety-hunting Duchess, or the peppery Major returned to the devastating silence of his home, who cannot sleep without the din of war in his ears’ (Birmingham Mail, 13 August 1918). ‘The good impression made by Bubbly when it was here in December last was abundantly confirmed on the return visit last night. The term revue has been so misapplied that when they get the real article a considerable section of the public do not quite understand it. That explains why one or two of the “bubbles,” as the scenes are called, did not make the successful appeal they should have done. A parody, of course, is not intelligible, or at least effective, unless the thing burlesqued is known. But everybody knows “Old Bill” and the ingenious way the author has travestied him made this particular bubble the most iridescent of the lot ...' (Birmingham Daily Post, 13 August 1918). ‘… Mr. Edmund Russell has a great amount of work to do, and does it all well. He gives us Old Bill in a new light, and this is perhaps the cleverest of his many clever impersonations, because it is so genuinely humorous and yet human’ ( Evening Despatch, 13 August 1918). Also reviewed in the Birmingham Daily Gazette, 13 August 1918
19 Aug 1918 Opera House, SouthportProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 15 and 22 August 1918, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 19 August at the O.H., Southport.
26 Aug 1918 Shakespeare Theatre, LiverpoolProfessional
Read Narrative
Previewed in the Liverpool Echo, 23 August 1918. ‘“Bubbly” (London term for champagne), at the Shakespeare, goes off with a “pop,” and, sad to relate, has little pieces of “cork” it. These should be extracted - we refer to the language in matters militaire. Clever burlesques, epigrams galore, baby-age, old-age, stone-age, war-age, and Old Bill in retirement are but a few of the rich things which set the audience bubbling over with laughter. Musically the show is weak, but for a good laugh over original ideas, well acted, by Edmund Russell, E. Seebold, Barrett-Leonard, Billy Raine, and the ladies (including Ivy Tresmand) “Bubbly” will be hard to beat. For our part the pick of the night was the after-war scene, wherein a major needs cannon and fireworks in his garden to guarantee him sleep’ (Liverpool Echo, 27 August 1918).
2 Sep 1918 Hippodrome, Golders Green, LondonProfessional
Read Narrative
The Era, 4 September 1918, listed Bubbly as On The Road from 2 September at the H., Golders Green.
9 Sep 1918 Hippodrome, RichmondProfessional
Read Narrative
The Era, 4 and 11 September 1918, listed Bubbly as On The Road from 9 September at the H., Richmond.
16 Sep 1918 Opera House, LeicesterProfessional
Read Narrative
The Era, 11 September 1918, listed Bubbly as On The Road from 16 September at the O.H., Leicester. The Leicester Daily Post, 16 September 1918, advertised Bubbly at the Royal Opera House, Leicester, for six nights, from that evening, and a Saturday matinee.
23 Sep 1918 ?, HarrogateProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 19 September 1918, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 23 September at Harrogate (3) and Scarborough (3) (no theatre named in either case).
26 Sep 1918 ?, ScarboroughProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 19 September 1918, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 23 September at Harrogate (3) and Scarborough (3) (no theatre named in either case). Also The Stage, 26 September 1918.
30 Sep 1918 Theatre Royal, YorkProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 26 September and 3 October 1918, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 30 September at the R., York.
14 Oct 1918 Grand Opera House, MiddlesbroughProfessional
Read Narrative
The Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough, Tuesday 8 October 1918, advertised ‘The Famous Musical Sensation’ Bubbly at the Grand Opera House, Middlesbrough, on ‘Monday next’. The Stage, 10 October 1918, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 14 October at the O.H., Middlesbrough; also The Era, 16 October 1918.
21 Oct 1918 Winter Gardens, New BrightonProfessional
Read Narrative
‘“Bubbly” (at the Winter Gardens) is surely the merriest, wittiest, and most enjoyable revue on tour, and it is played by artistes clearly selected only for their ability and charm, and they have plenty of both. Compared with it many other alleged revues are painful memories’ (Liverpool Echo, 22 October 1918).# At the Winter Gardens, New Brighton ‘“Bubbly,” presented by Ralph Haslam, with a strong company, is proving a great attraction. Edmund Russell displays versatility in the characters of Old Bill and the Major. For her artistic charm Ivy Tresmond [sic – Tresmand] has a fine reception, and Kathleen Martyn also scores an emphatic success’ (The Stage, 24 October 1918).
28 Oct 1918 Prince of Wales Theatre, GrimsbyProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 24 and 31 October 1918, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 28 October at the P.O.W., Grimsby.
4 Nov 1918 His Majesty's Theatre, AberdeenProfessional
Read Narrative
Previewed in the Aberdeen Press and Journal, 2 November 1918. ‘The theatre-going public of to-day like the unexpected, with a dash of the farcical and a pretty wit, light music and catchy lyrics, and a sensation of realism - in short, artistic potpourri. “Bubbly,” which was produced in His Majesty’s Theatre last night, is a combination of all these desiderata, untrammelled by considerations of a plot; in fact, it is difficult to assign to it a definition that will adequately express its dramatic status. It consists of a series of ideas presented in concentrated form, and strung together by totally irrelevant interludes … [One delightful cameo is] the “Comforts of Home,” wherein the Major, back from the war, settles down for the night in his “fleabag” on the drawing-room floor, and produces the atmosphere of slumber (as he has known it for four years) by means of fireworks and imitation gun- and rifle-fire. The burlesque on “Old Bill,” also after the war, marks the climax of the entertainment … Mr Edmund Russell played Bairnsfather’s very human hero, or rather his equally human prototype, with realistic comic art … The librettist … is Mr J. Hastings Turner, the husband of Miss Laura Cowie, who herself bails from Aberdeenshire’ (Aberdeen Press and Journal, Tuesday 5 November 1918). ‘… [The] burlesque passages - in “Bubbly” there is no plot, and each episode stands “in splendid isolation” - include a scene in which “Old Bill” is presented as he will feel after the war when “Othello’s occupation’s gone.” Distracted by the demand of a reporter for an interview, by the appeal of a vaudeville artiste that he will join her as a partner, by another appeal from a duchess to marry her, the veteran is driven fervently to wish for “a nice quiet war.” The exasperated warrior was effectively impersonated by Mr Edmund Russell, and that versatile artiste was equally happy in his sketch of a major who, unable to reconcile himself to the conditions of peace, demands his “flea-bag” and has to be “soothed” to sleep by fireworks and diabolical sounds as of rifle and shell fire!’ (Aberdeen Evening Press, 5 November 1918). ‘On Saturday afternoon [9 November] a large party of sick and wounded soldiers were admitted to witness “Bubbly” at His Majesty’s Theatre. They greatly enjoyed the performance’ (Aberdeen Press and Journal and Aberdeen Evening Express, 11 November 1918).
11 Nov 1918 Her Majesty's Theatre, DundeeProfessional
Read Narrative
‘It was good to be alive last night and to be with so many sailors and soldiers in Her Majesty’s Theatre, and thus share in a modest, if not absolutely silent, fashion in the joys of the first evening of peace. It was truly a great and unforgettable night. The house was full. The navy and the army were in large numbers, and by their singing at the interval and their good-humoured appreciation of the show they helped the rest of the audience, and also the members of the company, who played with a will and a spirit which added much to its charm. “Bubbly” has real claims to being a proper revue, for it takes off several modern plays. The famous Old Bill of Bairnsfather fame is happily caricatured when the real Old Bill is tormented by a Press Agent dying to interview him, by a music-hall artiste anxious to get him to do “Duo” with her, and by a youthful Duchess, whose Duke of ninety-one is dead, and who wants to marry him. Old Bill’s cup of bitterness runs over when Captain Bairnsfather himself appears, and is roughly handled ... The whole entertainment is bright, lively, and clever; the staging is excellent, and the dresses artistic and pretty. The chorus sings well, and the band, under an experienced conductor, plays the tuneful music with spirit and dash. “Rule Britannia” and “The Marsellaise” [sic – Marseillaise] struck a rousing patriotic note at the beginning of the performance’ (Dundee Courier, 12 November 1918).
18 Nov 1918 Theatre Royal, NewcastleProfessional
Read Narrative
Previewed in the Newcastle Journal, 16 November 1918. ‘Exactly into which category to place “Bubbly” we are in doubt, but as “entertainment” is comprehensive enough a term to cover most things musical and dramatic, we hope not to be quarrelled with for calling it neither a play, a comedy, nor a revue. It has some of the excellencies of all. We have presented a series of “bubbles” on a variety of subjects - skits and satires and parodies. We will not attempt to judge whether the audience was more amazed than amused, but the house was practically full, and appreciation of the pieces moved in the ratio of one’s education gained in other places where this sort of entertainment is not unlooked for. The singing was fair and the dancing was good - a fair criterion that it is a capital revue’ (Newcastle Journal, 19 November 1918).
25 Nov 1918 Devonshire Park Theatre, EastbourneProfessional
Read Narrative
At the Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne ‘Ralph Haslam presents his company in the second visit of Bubbly. Ivy Tresmand, Edmund Russell, Edith Payne, and Ernest Seebold successfully reappear, associated with them now being Kathlene Martyn, Doris Nowland, Bibi Delabere, Jessie Bevan, Sybil Sefton, R. Barrett-Lennard, George Belmore, and James Robin (stage director), Leslie Tolhurst occupies the conductor’s chair’ (The Stage, 28 November 1918).
2 Dec 1918 Theatre Royal, BrightonProfessional
Read Narrative
At the Theatre Royal, Brighton ‘On Monday Bubbly was welcomed by a crowded house. Ralph Haslam’s company are responsible for the performance of the revue, and Ivy Tresmand is worthily sustaining the responsibility of principal lady acting, singing, and dancing in the manner of a talented and experienced artist. Ernest Seebold and R. Barrett-Lennard are both prominent throughout the revue, and score an undeniable success. Others who distinguish themselves are Edmund Russell, a particularly droll and resourceful comedian, Doris Nowland, a smart comedienne and dancer, and Kathlene Martyn’ (The Stage, 5 December 1918).
9 Dec 1918 Theatre Royal, BournemouthProfessional
Read Narrative
Bubbly, ‘a rare musical treat’, is previewed and advertised in the Bournemouth Graphic, Friday 6 December 1918, as coming to the Theatre Royal for six nights from Monday 9 December with a Saturday matinee. ‘“Bubbly” is one great bubble of fun at the Theatre Royal this week - indeed, it is a bubble which, when bursting, scatters everything that is merry and bright, and in every direction. Mr. Ralph Haslam’s company is excellent in every way, and each member seems determined to make the merriment more riotous and more speedy as the play proceeds ... An important comedian is Mr. Edmund Russell, truly a gentleman of many parts. Mr. Russell portrays many different characters ranging from a prehistoric hubby to a modern “Old Bill,” and each time he makes an appearance is the signal for laughter loud and unrestrained’. Bournemouth Graphic, 13 December 1918. Also reviewed in the Bournemouth Guardian, 14 December 1918.
23 Dec 1918 Opera House, DudleyProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 19 December 1918, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 23 December at the O.H., Dudley.
30 Dec 1918 New Theatre, CambridgeProfessional
Read Narrative
' ... next week ... ‘‘Bubbly,” “a musical sensation in two acts,” which will be remembered in consequence of a very successful appearance in Cambridge some time ago, will make a welcome return. It be produced during the whole of the week, and is certain to attract crowded audiences’ (Cambridge Daily News, 28 December 1918). ‘“All tickets sold for to-night” was the notice which greeted late-comers to the New Theatre yesterday evening, when “Bubbly,” the popular revue from the Comedy Theatre, began what promises to be another very successful week at Cambridge. This sparkling musical entertainment was seen here about a year ago, and its return visit is extremely welcome. There is nothing else quite like it on the stage to-day. In a series of “bubbles” many accomplished artistes, supported by a capable chorus, present many delightful and up-to-date musical numbers interspersed with some clever dramatic skits. The whole company play throughout with evident enjoyment, and the show never “hangs fire” for a moment. An unfortunate accident to Mr. Edmund Russell, one of principals, at the very beginning of last night’s performance made several changes in the programme necessary, but the other members of the cast rose to the occasion and ably succeeded in “carrying on.” Mr. Russell excels in the burlesques, and in his absence some these had to be omitted, but “The Worst ‘Ole of All” and “The Comforts of Home,” two “peace-time prophecies gone wrong,” were retained, and Mr. Russell’s parts as “Old Bill” and “Major Blount” were taken by Mr. James Robin, who is to be congratulated on the way he acquitted himself at such short notice’ (Cambridge Daily News, 31 December 1918).
6 Jan 1919 Royal County Theatre, ReadingProfessional
Read Narrative
The Reading Observer, 21 December 1918, advertised ‘The Comedy Theatre Success “Bubbly”’ at the County Theatre, Reading from 6 January [1919].
13 Jan 1919 Opera House, CoventryProfessional
Read Narrative
Previewed in the Coventry Evening Telegraph, 11 January 1919. Reviewed in the Coventry Evening Telegraph, 14 January 1919: ‘… “The Worst ‘Ole of All,” in which Mr. Russell was Old Bill, was very good, and so was “The Comforts of Home,” in which Major Blount, represented by the same actor, brought into civilian life the habits contracted during four years at the front. He simply convulsed the audience’.
20 Jan 1919 King's Theatre, SouthseaProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 16 January 1919, listed Bubbly in Calls For Next Week at the King’s Theatre, Southsea, and listed Bubbly as On Tour from 20 January at the K.’s, Southsea.
27 Jan 1919 Hippodrome, Golders Green, LondonProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 30 January 1919, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 27 January at the H., Golder’s Green.
3 Feb 1919 New Theatre, CardiffProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 30 January 1919, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 3 February at the New Theatre, Cardiff.
10 Feb 1919 Grand Theatre, SouthamptonProfessional
Read Narrative
At the Grand Theatre, Southampton ‘A return visit from Bubbly is the attraction. In addition to Ivy Tresmand, who made a decided hit on her last appearance here, the company again include that clever comedian, Edmund Russell, Ernest Seebold, and Edith Payne. Newcomers are Kathlene Martyn (a pleasing soubrette) and Florence Bayfield, who, like Ivy Tresmand, was in the original cast of Bubbly at. the Comedy’ (The Stage, 13 February 1919).
17 Feb 1919 Grand Theatre, CroydonProfessional
Read Narrative
‘I always like to be able to say a good word for anyone – or anything - if there is reasonable excuse for so doing, but it is seldom that I can let myself go more whole-heartedly in the way of recommendation than I can in the case of “Bubbly,” the Comedy Theatre success, which revue is holding the boards at the Grand Theatre, Croydon, this week. “Bubbly,” as compared with its London form, has been slightly compressed, so that it finishes soon after 10 o’clock, but it has benefited wonderfully by the compression. The superfluous has been eliminated, and the essence remains behind, so that from rise to fall of the curtain audiences are kept at the top-notch of enjoyment. The company is one of the most thoroughly capable and best balanced that we have had the pleasure of seeing for a long time, and the revue, both in itself and in its presentation, is as sparkling as its title would suggest. Small wonder that “Book early” is the motto if you want to get in at all’ (Norwood News, 21 February 1919). ‘This, week’s attraction [at Croydon Grand Theatre], “Bubbly,” comes with a big reputation from the Comedy Theatre. It is a novel kind of musical revue, with an excellent company, a pretty ballet, fascinating dances and bright songs, interspersed with witty dialogue, in which the actors and actresses play many parts. Amongst these are Miss Florence Bayfield, Miss Jessica Bevan, Miss Kathleen Martyn, Miss Bibi Delabere, Miss Ivy Tresmond [sic - Tresmand], Mr. Edmond [sic – Edmund] Russell, Mr. Ashley Sinclair, Mr. Ernest Siebold [sic – Seebold], Mr. Barrett Lennard, and others. There are many scenes, and plenty of fun, and many of the “bubbles” are exceedingly well got up. The fact that the houses increase nightly and that the applause is continuous, shows the piece has made a big hit. It is certainly quite new of its kind and well worth seeing’ (Surrey Mirror, 21 February 1919).
24 Feb 1919 Theatre Royal, ExeterProfessional
Read Narrative
Previewed at length in the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 22 February 1919: ‘… “Bubbly!” is the merriest, cleverest, and most up-to-date musical show at present before public [and] the Company appearing next week is precisely the same as on the first visit [to the Theatre Royal, Exeter] … Edmund Russell is once more the chief comedian, with his inimitable skit of the Major’s return from the war’. ‘It was in Exeter that “Bubbly!” made its first provincial appearance in November, 1917, scoring such an instantaneous success that the return visit of this sparkling comedy production to the Theatre Royal week has been eagerly anticipated. “Bubbly!” literally bubbles over with clean and clever humour, bright and tuneful melodies, dainty and pretty ensembles, while nothing has been spared in trouble and expense to make the settings of the various scenes as artistic and attractive as possible ... how hearty was the laughter during such scenes as “The Eternal Triangle,” “The Worst ‘Ole of All,” “The Comforts of Home,” and “An Old Situation in Four Ways” ... Mr. Edmund Russell still fills the role of “Old Bill” - that immortal creation of Captain Bairnsfather - and is the centre of that exquisite piece of fooling – “The Worst ‘Ole of All.” He is equally successful as the demobilised major in “The Comforts of Home,” and many other items ... One could go on describing the many attractions with which “Bubbly!” abounds for hours, but we advise our readers who have not yet seen “Bubbly!” to visit the Royal one night this week or at the Friday matinee. Those who have already seen it will need no pressing to renew acquaintance with the production’ (Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 25 February 1919). ‘Yesterday afternoon about 70 prisoners of war belonging to the Devon Regiment were entertained by the Mayoress of Exeter (Lady Owen) at the Guildhall. Tea was served by the members of the Depot Committee, and smokes were handed round, after which a thoroughly enjoyable entertainment was provided by the principals of the company producing “Bubbly!” at the Exeter Theatre Royal. The programme included the popular skit “The Worst ‘Ole of All.” A welcome was extended by the Mayoress, and cheers were given for everybody concerned, on the call of Lance-Cpl. Perrin’ (Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 28 February 1919).
3 Mar 1919 Theatre Royal, PlymouthProfessional
Read Narrative
‘Bubbly finds much favour [at the Royal, Plymouth]. Edmund Russell proves himself a comedian who brims over with humour. He is ably supported by R. Barrett-Lennard and Ashley Sinclair. Ernest Seebold sings his various numbers with good taste. Ivy Tresmand possesses a charming voice and stage presence, and receives applause for her various numbers. Florence Bayfield, Kathlene Martyn, and Edith Payne also deserve mention’. The Stage, 6 March 1919.
10 Mar 1919 Empire, SwindonProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 6 March 1919, mentioned that Bubbly would be performed in the following week at the Empire, Swindon.
17 Mar 1919 Grand, BlackpoolProfessional
Read Narrative
‘That exhilarating musical piece, “Bubbly,” returned to [the Grand] Blackpool this week, and has again found favour with large audience’ (The Era, 19 March 1919). ‘That successful musical entertainment “Bubbly” is paying another return visit [at the Grand, Blackpool]. It is presented by Ralph Haslam, by arrangement with Andre Charlot. Ivy Tresmand again scores an enormous success, and Ernest Seebold is a talented and versatile artist. Edmund Russell is mirth-provider in chief, and Kathlene Martyn is another notable artist. Florence Bayfield is a wonderful child dancer, and Edith Payne is a distinct success in her role. Others who minister to the enjoyment of audiences are Jessica Bevan, Biba Delabere, W. Ashley-Sinclair, R. Barrett-Lennard, and James Robin. The chorus and augmented orchestra are under the able direction of Frank Leslie Tolhurst’ (The Stage, 20 March 1919).
24 Mar 1919 Gaiety Theatre, DublinProfessional
Read Narrative
‘Ralph Haslam and André Charlot present “Bubbly” [at the Gaiety, Dublin]. The piece consists of a series of “bubbles,” most of which are as light as it is possible to make them. The skit that most diverts the audience is the one about “Old Bill,” in which Edith Payne’s laugh is a thing to be remembered. Edmond [sic – Edmund] Russell as Major Blount is a complete success. Ivy Tresmand’s songs and dances please the audience. R. Barrett-Lennard and Ernest Seebold are versatile artists. The whole makes an enjoyable entertainment’. The Stage, 27 March 1919.
31 Mar 1919 Opera House, CorkProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 27 March 1919, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 31 March at the O.H., Cork.
7 Apr 1919 Opera House, BelfastProfessional
Read Narrative
‘“Bubbly,” one of Andre Charlot’s well-known productions, makes its initial appearance at the Grand Opera House this week, and last night’s opening performance was enthusiastically acclaimed by a full house. It would provide an interesting problem to define in what class of play “Bubbly” falls. Its claim to represent musical comedy is impossible, and to place it in the category of revue would be to most correctly classify the piece. The majority of the ingredients are undoubtedly borrowed from revue, but at the same time “Bubbly” possesses the redeeming feature of being superior to any revue we have yet seen. It is at all events original, a merit rarely if ever associated with the ordinary revue, and to this fact must be largely attributed the success which it has attained both in London and the provinces. Indeed, a few years ago it might have been said of a portion of the dialogue that it was more original than judicious, but the war has broadened the views of many a critic who is now content to accept and even applaud things the good taste of which he would seriously have questioned five years ago. Thus when “Old Bill” and a peppery colonel make use of some of the descriptive expressions they were accustomed to use in the trenches they provoke only laughter. The two acts of “Bubbly” are subdivided into eight “bubbles,” which in themselves can most aptly be described as extravagant eccentricities. The production is devoid of any plot or story, but is made up of a series of music-hall or revue “turns,” sketches, burlesques, dances, choruses, &c. There are some clever travesties upon modern men and things and an abundance of epigrams and quaint witticisms, while the songs are bright and catchy and the melodies tuneful and refreshing. A production of such a character requires artists of more than average skill and versatility, and “Bubbly” is quite happy in this respect. Misses Ivy Tresmand, Edith Payne, Kathlyn Martin, and Florence Bayfield, and Messrs. Edmund Russell, Ernest Seebold, R. Barrett-Lennard, W. Ashley Sinclair, and Frank Lorden are the outstanding members of a capable company. The work is elaborately and picturesquely staged and dressed’ (Northern Whig, 8 April 1919). Also noted in The Stage, 10 April 1919.
14 Apr 1919 King's Theatre, GlasgowProfessional
Read Narrative
‘Fresh from a successful run in London “Bubbly,” described as a new musical sensation, makes its first appearance in Glasgow this week, and a large audience was highly entertained at the King’s Theatre last night with a bright production, which in many respects is a distinct departure from the customary fare. “Bubbly” is a succession of humorous caricatures and contains effective skits on modem life, while the musical numbers are well adapted to each representation. Some pretty dances are introduced, and the scenic effects are decidedly ingenious. The company is well selected, and includes quite an array of talent, among whom Miss Ivy Tresmand, Miss Kathlene Martyn, Mr Ernest Seebold, and Mr Orr [sic - R] Barrett Lennard are outstanding’(The Scotsman, 15 April 1919). ‘Ralph Haslam is presenting “Bubbly” at the King’s, Glasgow], which is attracting large audiences. The piece is capitally played, Edmund Russell being specially good in the burlesque “The Comforts of Home” in which he causes great laughter. Ivy Tresmand is conspicuous in songs and dances. R Barrett-Leonard [sic – Lennard] is clever in burlesque, and also in song and dance. Jessica Bevan, Edith Payne, W. Ashley Sinclair, Ernest Seebold, and Frank Lorden are good. Florence Bayfield is a smart dancer. Mr. F. Leslie Tolhurst is the musical director’ (The Stage, 17 April 1919).
21 Apr 1919 Lyceum Theatre, EdinburghProfessional
Read Narrative
‘“Bubbly,” the “musical entertainment” which made its first appearance in Edinburgh at the Lyceum Theatre last night, had an enthusiastic reception from an audience which filled every part of the house. The book is written by Mr J. Hastings Turner, with the music by Mr Philip Braham and others. As is the case in most works of its class, the piece is devoid of form and coherence, but there are some happy ideas in it, and there is a kind of. freshness due mainly to the players and partly to the authors and designers. “Bubbly” is a succession of humorous caricatures. Perhaps the funniest episodes were the clever parody of Old Bill and the torture endured by a major who is experiencing “the comforts of home” after serving in the war. The effect of the latter episode was greatly heightened by the mock bombardment which was introduced to enable the major to go to sleep. Mr Edmund Russell appeared both as Old Bill and the major, and the audience enjoyed to the full his play of face and voice ... ' (The Scotsman, 22 April 1919). ‘The attraction at the Lyceum Theatre is presented not in scenes but in “bubbles” (of mirth), hence the title. It is unnecessary to make the customary apology for the lack of a plot in this musical melange. A series of musical, terpsichorean, and witty things to laugh at is all that “Bubbly” professes to be, and it lives up to its profession. A succession of vaudeville turns of sparkling and incisive humour, “Bubbly” is reminiscent now and then of “The Follies” at their best, original and eccentric. The songs possess a pleasing lyrical quality, and more often than not a clever and entertaining “motif” ... Many of the other humorous touches are post-war in their up-to-dateness, and there is the quality of irresistible fun in the fantasy of “Old Bill,” his civilian life a burden through the attentions of those who would exploit his fame, wreaking vengeance on his creator, Bairnsfather, and in the skit on “any old Major,” nerve-wrecked and vitriolic under the enervating placidity and comfort of home life!' (Edinburgh Evening News, 22 April 1919). Also noted in The Stage, 24 April 1919.
28 Apr 1919 Prince's Theatre, ManchesterProfessional
Read Narrative
‘“Bubbly” is again proving a capital draw [at Prince’s, Manchester], to judge from the crowded and enthusiastic audiences. Prominent in the cast are Jessica Bevan, Edith Payne, Kathleen Martyn, Edith Tolton, Edmund Russell, W. Ashley Sinclair, R. Barret Lennard, and Ernest Seebold’. The Stage, 1 May 1919.
12 May 1919 Opera House, ScarboroughProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 15 May 1919, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 12 May at the O.H., Scarborough.
26 May 1919 Shakespeare Theatre, LiverpoolProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 22 and 29 May 1919, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 26 May at the Shakespeare, Liverpool.
2 Jun 1919 Theatre and Opera House, CheltenhamProfessional
Read Narrative
‘… the entertainment has not changed in any material point whatever since it went on tour. Times may have changed, and the light falls from a fresh angle upon such very glistening bubbles as those of the “Peace time prophecies, or stories going wrong.” We were looking forward when “Bubbly” was here last [14-19 January 1918], whereas we are now looking forward. But whichever way we may be looking, old Major Blount, who introduces trench life, “flea-bag” and all, into his drawing room to make the place endurable, and “Old Bill,” who has to hide from fame and failing to find rest is left wreaking his vengeance upon his maker, the famous Bairnsfather, are figures that strike the imagination and stir the risible faculties to tonic laughter. On is surprised in looking at the programme to find that Mr. Edmund Russell is responsible for both these enjoyable personalities, so individual and distinct are they’ (Gloucestershire Echo, 3 June 1919). ‘“Bubbly” is presented [at the Theatre, Cheltenham] here by Ralph Haslam and company. The principals include Ernest Seebold, Edmund Russell, R. Barrett-Lennard, W. Ashley Sinclair, Florence Mayfield [sic – Bayfield], Edith Payne, Kathleen Martyn, and Doris Devigne’ (The Stage, 5 June 1919). ‘A delightful medley, Bubbly, the return visit of which was enthusiastically welcomed to Cheltenham on Monday is as bright and entertaining as ever, and Mr. Ralph Haslam’s original company improves on further acquaintance. In fact the pleasure they give in the bewildering and fascinating variety of scenes, dances and costumes in which they appear to such picturesque effect easily accounts for the success of Bubbly. The different skits are all admirably presented. Nothing could be better for instance than the “Old Bill” of Mr. Edmund Russell, or his Major Blount in the “Comforts of Home” ...’ (Cheltenham Looker-On, 7 June 1919). ‘“Bubbly,” by far the cleverest and best revue that, we have seen in Cheltenham, is paying a second visit the local theatre this week. It comes practically unchanged, and has captivated the house each night just as completely as upon the previous visit’ (Cheltenham Chronicle, 7 June 1919).
9 Jun 1919 Prince's Theatre, BristolProfessional
Read Narrative
‘The 1,111th performance of “Bubbly” took place [at the Prince’s, Bristol] on Whit Monday. Prominent among the leading artists of Ralph Haslam’s company are Ivy Tresmand, whose sweet voice and graceful dancing gain many encores, and Edmund Russell, whose portrayals of Major Blount and other characters deserve warm commendation. Ernest Seebold possesses a capital voice, and scores in several duets. Edith Payne acts well, and displays versatility. Florence Bayfield wins applause for her dancing. R. Barrett-Leonard [sic – Lennard] depicts various characters in good style, and participates in warmly applauded duets. Kathleen Martyn and W. Ashley Sinclair also deserve praise for their good work’. The Stage, 12 June 1919.
16 Jun 1919 Grand, LeedsProfessional
Read Narrative
‘Bairnsfather’s creation, “the Better Ole,” … is the choicest pearl all. Mr. Edmund Russell is “Old Bill,” and his characteristic moustache so infests him with unwelcome attentions that he gasps for the peace of a nice quiet war again; and the final tableau presents him in the act of shooting his famous creator. The after-math of war, too, is burlesqued by the return of an officer, lulling himself to sleep at home in the manufactured glare of star-shells, and the tumult of high explosives. Only so can he gain sweet repose, as he curls himself up in his “flea bag.” These are the things that really make “Bubbly” worth seeing, though everything else is as dainty and pretty as can be’ (Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 17 June 1919). ‘The fame of “Bubbly” preceded its arrival in Leeds by some twenty months, and at the Grand Theatre last evening, when the 1,130th performance was given, a large audience gathered to welcome it. In some respects “Bubbly” bears an apt name. The iridescence of the soap bubble is there, but it is no means all froth ... Philip Braham’s music is delightful, and there are some quaint conceits, with a fund of topical matter and some really good burlesque. The company has been happily chosen. Miss Ivy Tresmand and Mr. R. Barrett-Lennard play and sing and dance together very effectively, and Miss Kathlene Martyn, Mr. Edmund Russell, and Mr. Ernest Seebold are others in a cast which includes a sprightly chorus’ (Leeds Mercury, 17 June 1919). ‘Revue titles have a habit of being meaningless, but the case of “Bubbly” may be counted an exception, for the show, in general, is as light and sparkling as the beverage that some call “bubbly,” and, be it added, almost as unsubstantial. Its bubbles rise and glimmer, and are gone. Happily, they carry no portent of a “morning after.” Best of the bubbles are the burlesque scenes - jolly, topical incidents, as for instance, a theme for a play handled in the manner of (a) O. Henry; (b) the Stage Society, and (c) the Lyceum Theatre; or affair of Old Bill, after the war, trying to escape from interviewers, women who want to marry him, and others; or the comedy of the major importing trench modes and manners into his drawing-room. “Bubbly” has nothing very new to offer in the presentation of musical numbers, though some would be made more of by artists of stronger personality’ (Yorkshire Evening Post, 17 June 1919).
23 Jun 1919 Pleasure Gardens Theatre, FolkestoneProfessional
Read Narrative
‘Peace Signing Plans. In the event of the signing of the Peace next Monday or during the week, joyous peals will be rung on. the Church bells in Folkestone. At the Pleasure Gardens Theatre the news will be announced by Mr. Edmond Russell, who is appearing in “Bubbly”’. Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, 21 June 1919.
30 Jun 1919 Palace, RamsgateProfessional
Read Narrative
‘“Bubbly” has scored a success [at the Palace, Ramsgate]. Admirably staged, with pretty dresses and the very able cast, the whole delights the audience. The cast includes Florence Bayfield, a clever actress; Ivy Tresmand, Edith Tolton, Kathlene Martyn, Edmund Russell, Ernest Seebold, W. Ashley Sinclair, and E. [sic - R] Barrett Lennard’. The Stage, 3 July 1919.
7 Jul 1919 Gaiety Theatre, HastingsProfessional
Read Narrative
‘Theatregoers of all ages will welcome the return visit of “Bubbly” to the Gaiety Theatre, Hastings, next week, especially when it is known that the identical company which scored such an enormous success on its last visit - more than a year ago - will be responsible for its presentation. Dainty Ivy Tresmand will again head the cast, and those who remember her vivacious acting and dancing will hasten to renew her acquaintance. Edmund Russell will once more delight huge audiences with his droll impersonations of Old Bill and the Major who could not appreciate the comforts of his home after four years hardships on the battlefield, and Ernest Seebold’s rich baritone will again be heard in “Sympathetic Smile” and “Hawaian Butterfly.” The original and exquisitely-dressed chorus remains intact, and that delightful child dancer, Florence Babfield [sic – Bayfield] is still in the cast. The Company, which was only beginning its tour on its last visit, has now achieved a record of more than a thousand consecutive performances - a record so far as musical comedy is concerned ... This important event will mark the re-opening of the Theatre after a thorough renovation and re-decoration’ (Bexhill-on-Sea Observer, 5 July 1919). ‘After having been closed for a fortnight for the annual re-decoration [the Gaiety, Hastings] re-opened on Monday with a return visit from Ralph Haslam’s company in “Bubbly.” It went throughout with a merry swing, mainly owing to the clever acting of Ivy Tresmand, R Barrett Lennard, Ernest Seebold, and Edmund Russell’ (The Stage, 10 July 1919).
14 Jul 1919 West Pier Theatre, BrightonProfessional
Read Narrative
‘In the theatre [on the West Pier, Brighton] this week “Bubbly” is paying a return visit. Ivy Tresmand still heads the cast, and is a vivacious as ever; and others arc Kathrene [sic – Kathlene] Martyn and Edmund Russell. Florence Bayfield, a delightful child dancer remains in the company. There are six evening performances and two matinées’. The Stage, 17 July 1919.
21 Jul 1919 Theatre Royal, WorthingProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 17 and 24 July 1919, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 21 July at the R., Worthing. ‘What delightful entertainment is provided by Bubbly, the musical production which has been secured by the Management of the Theatre for the whole of the present week. It possesses novel elements, and is quite different from anything else we have seen. Much cleverness has been exhibited in its construction, with the result that a veritable feast of enjoyment is furnished. There are no fewer than eleven “bubbles” in the two acts, and nothing more acceptable of the lighter form of entertainment has been seen here for a very long time. There is no consecutive plot, but a series of episodes, among the most diverting of which are the burlesque dramas, Old Bill on his return to civil life, and “The Comforts of Home.” The book is by J. Hastings Turner and the music by Philip Braham, and the production sparkles from beginning to end. The piece is now in the third year of its tour, and Mr. Ralph Haslam has provided it with a splendid setting, the Company now in possession of the Theatre being under the direction of Mr. Augustus Bingham ... Bubbly is most admirably placed upon the stage, and so mirthful a form of entertainment deserves to secure a succession of large and appreciative audiences’ (Worthing Gazette, 23 July 1919).
31 Jul 1919 Opera House, BuxtonProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 31 July 1919, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 31 July at the O.H., Buxton, for three nights.
4 Aug 1919 Theatre Royal, YorkProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 31 July and 7 August 1919, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 4 August at the R., York.
11 Aug 1919 Prince of Wales Theatre, BirminghamProfessional
Read Narrative
‘“Bubbly,” which is being given for the third time in Birmingham, is a bright and merry production, embracing all that is best in revue. A number of original items, bright dresses, tuneful music, and a good sprinkling of comedy combine to make it a most enjoyable show. Edmund Russell and Ivy Tresmand continue to lead a capable company. The latter is both dainty and lively, being seen in some good dancing numbers with R. Barrett-Lennard’ (Birmingham Daily Gazette, 12 August 1919). At the Prince of Wales, Birmingham: ‘“Bubbly” is quite one of the best pieces of its kind. It is full of good music and crisp comedy – in fact, there is a wholesome variety about it all which makes for easy digestion. Prominent in the cast are Ivy Tresmand, who sings and dances effectively; Edmund Russell, R. Barrett Lennard, and May Tresmand. There are, of course, many others in Ralph Haslam’s company, but it is sufficient perhaps to say that “Bubbly” is given according to the best traditions’ (The Stage, 14 August 1919).
18 Aug 1919 Winter Gardens, New BrightonProfessional
Read Narrative
‘A welcome return visit [to the Winter Gardens, New Brighton] is being paid this week by “Bubbly,” presented by Ralph Haslam, with great success. The principal characters are in the able hands of Ivy Tresmand, Edmund Russell, May Tresmand, R. Barrett-Lennard, Edith Payne, Jessica Bevan, Florence Bayfield, Edith Tolton, W. Ashley Sinclair, Vivian Pedlar, James Robin, and Valentine Leslie’. The Stage, 21 August 1919.
25 Aug 1919 Royalty Theatre, MorecambeProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 21 and 28 August 1919, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 25 August at the R., Morecambe. ‘“Bubbly” is attractively presented [at the Royalty, Morecambe] by Ralph Haslam’s company' (The Stage, 28 August 1919).
1 Sep 1919 Theatre Royal, NottinghamProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 28 August and 4 September 1919, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 1 September at the R., Nottingham. Previewed in the Nottingham Journal, 30 August 1919.
8 Sep 1919 Theatre Royal, BathProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 4 and 11 September 1919, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 8 September at the R., Bath. Previewed in the Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, 6 September 1919.
15 Sep 1919 New Queen's Theatre, ManchesterProfessional
Read Narrative
Reviewed in the Manchester Evening News, 16 September 1919: ‘… nothing could be more humorous than the burlesques entitled the “Worst ‘Ole of All” and the “Comforts of Home”’. ‘“Bubbly” pays a return visit to Manchester at the New Queen’s. Edmund Russell maintains his popularity in a round of caricatures. Gaby Condor and Vyian Pedler [sic – Vyvian Pedlar] render their numbers in a bright style, as also does R. Barrett-Lennard. Edith Tolton sings well. Others in the cast include Helen Suttie, Edith Payne, Lauri Astor, James Robin’ (The Stage, 18 September 1919). Oddly, The Era, 17 September 1919, listed Bubbly as On The Road from 15 September at the Emp., Southend.
22 Sep 1919 New Theatre, OxfordProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 18 and 25 September 1919, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 22 September at the New, Oxford.
29 Sep 1919 Royalty Theatre, ChesterProfessional
Read Narrative
‘An important engagement has been arranged for the Royalty Theatre next week, when the entire London production of “Bubbly!” will be staged. In London it ran for 400 nights, and this success has been followed by others in Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, and Dublin, with the same company as that which will appear in Chester next week’. Cheshire Observer, 27 September 1919.
6 Oct 1919 New Theatre, CambridgeProfessional
Read Narrative
‘… “The comforts of home,” being an illustration of the horrible conduct of a demobilised major after four years in Flanders; “the worst ‘ole of all,” showing the persecution of Old Bill after was demobilised, and the “eternal triangle,” proving that this problem was known long before those propounded by Euclid, were other farcical interludes the audience appreciated’ (Cambridge Daily News, 7 October 1919). ‘After various difficulties, negotiations not being finally completed until late on Friday, W. Foster Horsfield’s company in “Bubbly” were secured for this week and opened on Monday evening. The tuneful numbers were capitally rendered, and the sketches “The Worst ‘Ole of All” and “The Comforts of Home” were most amusing, and heartily appreciated. The piece is kept going merrily by Doris Devigne, Helen Suttie, Grace Whitney, Edith Payne, R. Barrett-Leonard [ sic - Lennard] , Leedham Stanley, Lauri Aster, and Vyvian Pedlar. The work of the chorus is particularly to be commended, a number of taking movements being introduced’. The Stage, 9 October 1919.
27 Oct 1919 Theatre Royal, ChathamProfessional
Read Narrative
The East Kent Gazette, Saturday 25 October 1919, listed among ‘coming events’ Bubbly at Chatham Theatre on Monday 27 October and throughout the week. It also carried a separate advertisement for the Theatre Royal, Chatham, listing Bubbly there twice nightly throughout the week beginning Monday 27 October. An advertisement in the East Kent Gazette, Saturday 1 November 1919, confirmed that that day would be the last night of Bubbly and that a different production would be at the Chatham Theatre from 3 November.
17 Nov 1919 Royal Artillery Theatre, WoolwichProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 20 November 1919, listed Bubbly as being currently performed at the Artillery, Woolwich.
24 Nov 1919 Empire, PengeProfessional
Read Narrative
‘The attraction next week at. the Penge Empire is the London production of “Bubbly,” for which it is claimed that no musical play of modern times has had such a long consecutive run. In London alone it ran for 400 nights, and this success has been followed by equal enthusiasm in Birmingham, Manchester. Glasgow, and Dublin, with exactly the same company as that which is to appear in Penge next week. Heading the fine cast of principals are Ivy Tresmand and Edmund Russell. There is a perfectly trained and exquisitely dressed chorus, and “Futurist” scenery of the most weird and elaborate description. The orchestra will be specially augmented, and the whole production will be staged exactly as it was at the Comedy Theatre. Intending patrons are advised to book their seats well in advance’ (Norwood News, 21 November 1919). The Era, 26 November 1919, reported, ‘The “Bubbly” touring company celebrates its second anniversary, and also ends its present tour at Penge on Saturday. At the special request of the management Miss Ivy Tresmand, who has been away for nine weeks under medical orders, returned [to play the lead (?)] for the last fortnight. Towards the end of the year she will join the cast of one of Mr. Andre Charlot’s town productions’.
26 Jan 1920 Opera House, MiddlesboroughProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 22 and 29 January 1920, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 26 January at the O.H., Middlesbrough. Similarly The Era, 28 January 1920.
2 Feb 1920 Tivoli, New BrightonProfessional
Read Narrative
The Era, 28 January 1920, Bubbly as On The Road from 2 February at the Tivoli, New Brighton. Similarly The Stage, 29 January 1920.
16 Feb 1920 Hippodrome, HuddersfieldProfessional
Read Narrative
The Yorkshire Evening Post, 14 February 1920, noted that Bubbly was to be performed at the Hippodrome, Huddersfield, in the following week. And The Era, 18 February 1920, listed Bubbly as On The Road from 16 February at Huddersfield (no theatre is named).
23 Feb 1920 Grand, BlackpoolProfessional
Read Narrative
The Era, 18 February 1920, listed Bubbly as On The Road from 23 February at the G., Blackpool.
1 Mar 1920 Hippodrome, DerbyProfessional
Read Narrative
‘Plavgoers of all ages will welcome the visit to the Hippodrome next week of that delightful musical play “Bubbly” which had such a phenomenal run at the Comedy Theatre. London. On its previous visit to Derby it achieved an immediate success - in fact all over the country it has scored triumph after triumph no less for its entrancing music than for its clever dialogue. The entire production is travelled by the company and several notable names are included in the all-star London cast. Foremost among these are Phyllis Whitney, a vivacious young actress who comes direct from the Comedy and Prince of Wales Theatres, and Elsie Stevens, who at Christmas made a decided hit in “The Red Mill” at the Empire, Leicester-square. Edward Steadman, Barrett Lennard and Lauri Aster are a trio of comedians with metropolitan reputations and there is a wonderful solo dancer in the person of Rita Webber. There is a fascinating and exquisitely-dressed chorus, and a specially augmented orchestra will do full justice to Philip Braham’s delightful music. Book early for this exceptional attraction, which attains its 1500th performance on Monday’. Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal, 27 February 1920.
8 Mar 1920 Theatre Royal, ExeterProfessional
Read Narrative
Previewed in the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, Saturday 6 March 1920. ‘Towards the end of 1917 that sparkling Comedy Theatre success, “Bubbly,” made its initial appearance in the provinces at the Theatre Royal, Exeter. Its week’s visit was a brilliant triumph, and inaugurated a tour which succeeded in breaking records everywhere ... It is a rejuvenated “Bubbly” which is appearing this week, for it has been re-dressed and staged, as well as re-cast, while all the topical allusions have been brought up-to-date. We were glad to note, however, last evening that the original sketches, songs, etc., have been retained, for they are all too attractive to be sacrificed ... Exonians ... last evening laughed as heartily they did in 1917 over the awkward situations in which our old pal ‘‘Old Bill” finds himself, or the clever skit “The Eternal Triangle.” The manner in which several of the principals presented “An Old Situation in Three Ways” proved as popular as ever, and emphasised the fact that a really clever comedy sketch bears repetition. Then there are those haunting melodies which have always been such an attractive feature of the production. “Ragging thro’ the Rye,” “Sympathetic Smile,” “She’d a hole in her stocking,” “We’ll have a little cottage,” “Keep on loving little girlies,” etc., are familiar to thousands who have never had the pleasure of seeing “Bubbly,” and rightly so, for the melodies are dainty and catchy. Dances of a particularly graceful character are always associated in one’s mind with “Bubbly,” witness “Hawaiian Butterfly” while such nonsense songs as “A Perfect Day” and “Cousins” are cleverly conceived. A number of important alterations have been made in the cast, which is greatly strengthened by the inclusion of Phyllis Whitney, who comes direct from her recent triumphs in “Bran Pie” at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London. Miss Whitney is a delightful actress and dancer. When her present engagement is concluded she returns to the Prince of Wales’s to create the leading part in the musical production which will succeed “Bran Pie.” Miss Whitney takes a very prominent part in the entertainment, one of the chief successes of the evening being the “quarrel” song – “Have you forgotten?” in which she is partnered by Mr. B. Barrett-Lennard. The two were also applauded for the song and dialogue associated with “Reckless Reggie.” Mr. Barrett-Lennard makes an excellent dude, while his accent and acting as Jerry Bentrave in “Bubble 6” were very clever. Mr. Edward Steadman is another member of the Company who has heavy demands made upon him. He makes a splendid “Old Bill,” an admirable irritable old Major, and ably sustains a treble role in “An. Old Situation in Three New Ways.” Miss Elsie Stevens takes a prominent part in most of the sketches, sings several catchy songs, and also dances in fascinating manner. Little Rita Webber adds to her laurels as “The Child,” and also contributes a clever dance as a prelude to the second “Bubble” in Act II. Miss Edith Payne demonstrates her versatility in filling such widely different roles as “The Teacher” in the opening “Bubble,” and “The Servant” in the “Worst ‘Ole of All.” Her acting in the latter is a clever piece of comedy. There are many other delights in “Bubbly” which we leave our readers to discover for themselves any night this week, or at the Friday matinee’ (Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 9 March 1920). Also noted in The Stage, 11 March 1920.
15 Mar 1920 King's Theatre, SouthseaProfessional
Read Narrative
‘The entire London production of “Bubbly!” will be staged at the King’s next week. No musical play of modern times has had such a long consecutive run as “Bubbly!” which already has more than eleven hundred performances to its credit. Heading the fine cast of principals are Phyllis Whitney and Edward Steadman, the former a fascinating burlesque actress, who, both as vocalist and dancer, is immensely popular in the metropolis, and the latter a ripe comedian of the robust school’ (Portsmouth Evening News, Saturday 13 March 1920). ‘“Bubbly” is aptly and appropriately named. It is called “Bubbly” because it is bubbly and sparkling by reason of its delicious mirth, merriment, and a whole series of dazzling episodes by fascinatingly clever artists amid scenes of splendour. The leading artists are Phyllis Whitney, Elsie Stevens, Rita Webber, and Vivian Pedlar, Edward Steadman, R. Barrett Lennard, and Laurie Aster’ (The Stage, 18 March 1920).
22 Mar 1920 Empire, BristolProfessional
Read Narrative
‘… In the “Stories gone wrong” scena Rita Webber, as the precocious child, and Vyvian Pedlar, as the father, are both good, and the “Ole Bill” sketch was exceedingly well played. Miss Edith Payne makes a decidedly humorous study of the landlady’s servant, and her versatility as an actress is clearly instanced by her later appearance in the peace time episode as the Major’s wife. Mr. Edw. Steadman plays “Ole Bill” in the former item, and in both personalities he made a big appeal’ (Western Daily Press, 23 March 1920). At the Empire, Bristol ‘“Bubbly” is a pleasing revue, owing much of its success to Phyllis Whitney, R. Barrett Lennard, Vyvian Pedlar, Edward Steadman, Edith Payne, Elsie Stevens, Lauri Aster, and Rita Webber’ (The Stage, 25 March 1920).
5 Apr 1920 Theatre Royal, YorkProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 1 April 1920, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 5 April at the R., York.
12 Apr 1920 Theatre Royal, PlymouthProfessional
Read Narrative
Previewed in the Western Morning News, 10 April 1920. ‘One of the brightest productions of the revue type, “Bubbly” is highly attractive [at the Royal, Plymouth]. It contains some original burlesque scenes, all delightfully portrayed. Phyllis Whitney, Elsie Stevens, Edith Payne, Wynne Bronte, Edward Steadman, Barrett-Lennard, Vyvian Pedler, and Lauri Aster are prominent for good work’. The Stage, 15 April 1920.
19 Apr 1920 Alexandra Theatre, HullProfessional
Read Narrative
At the Alexandra, Hull, ‘The first visit of “Bubbly” is proving a capital attraction. Edward Steadman’s portrayal of Old Bill is very amusing. Elsie Stevens is vivacious and possesses a sweet voice. Phyllis Whitney and Vyvian Pedlar are also to the fore. Features are the graceful dancing and the attractive dressing’. The Stage, 22 April 1920.
26 Apr 1920 Shakespeare Theatre, LiverpoolProfessional
Read Narrative
‘“Bubbly” at the Shakespeare is a production that bubbles over with good things, and although there is little connection between the various incidents the comedy makes a very bright show. The music is tuneful and catchy and the scenes possess artistic merit’ (Liverpool Echo, 27 April 1920). At the Shakespeare, Liverpool ‘The liveliness and sprightliness of ‘“Bubbly” continue to please abundantly. Phyllis Whitney combines a beautiful voice and vivacious style with graceful dancing; and into the potted play business, in three new songs, Vivian Pedlar, Edith Payne, Edward Steadman, R. Barrett-Lennard, Lauri Aster, and Elsie Stevens infuse plenty of fun and humour’ (The Stage, 29 April 1920).
3 May 1920 Opera House, CorkProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 29 April 1920, listed Bubbly as On Tour from 3 May at the O.H., Cork.
10 May 1920 Opera House, BelfastProfessional
Read Narrative
Previewed in the Belfast News-Letter, 7 May 1920. ‘… Bairnsfather’s Old Bill figures in [a] burlesque in which fun is poked at people who have a passion for hero-worship. The veteran of the trenches goes into the country in the hope of enjoying a much-needed rest, but, much to his chagrin, is followed into his retirement by a crowd of admirers, including the widow of a Duke, who so keen in posing as the heroine of a romance that she throw herself at the feet of the battle-scarred warrior, and tries to induce him to lead her to the altar for the second time. Another scene shows a peppery major, who is unable to settle down in his own house after four years’ war service. The comforts of civilisation are too much for him, and he turns the home topsy-turvy in the endeavour to secure an approximation to the conditions under which he had lived at the front. It will readily be understood that “Bubbly” is by no means an intellectual play, but in the theatre laughter is as much entitled to a place as pathos and tragedy, and therefore one welcomes the riot of fun and frolic which is the motive of this production’ (Belfast News-Letter, 11 May 1920). Also noted in The Stage, 13 May 1920.
17 May 1920 King's Theatre, GlasgowProfessional
Read Narrative
‘Amongst the latest musical plays which have proved a great attraction at the King’s Theatre is “Bubbly.” The play enjoyed such a successful run during its first appearance in the city that a return visit was assured, and last night a large audience had the pleasure of renewing acquaintance with a very lively and diverting performance. The chief attraction of “Bubbly” consists in its novelty and amusing burlesque. The scenes are laid in an atmosphere of fun and joviality, and the members of an excellent caste make the most of their opportunities’ (The Scotsman, 18 May 1920). ‘“Bubbly,” the diverting revue, is back at the King’s, where it is played by a company including Phyllis Whitney and Edward Steadman. Barrett-Lennard takes his original part of Reckless Reggie; and Edith Payne contributes some clever character studies’ (The Stage, 20 May 1920).
31 May 1920 Empire, KingstonProfessional
Read Narrative
The Stage, 27 May 1920, listed in Calls For Next Week Andre Charlot’s Bubbly at the Kingston Empire. The Stage, 3 June 1920, listed Bubbly as being currently performed at the Kingston Empire.
14 Jun 1920 Theatre Royal, PlymouthProfessional
Read Narrative
The Western Morning News, Thursday 10 June 1920, advertised for the following week at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, the ‘farewell visit’ of Bubbly, ‘the brightest and merriest musical play of modern times’. Previewed in the Western Morning News, Saturday 12 June 1920. ‘… Of the revue type, which proved so popular during the war, when the strained nerves of the people required cheerfulness and melody without the exercise of any great mental activity, Bubbly is a representative musical comedy of the modernist school, and searches as far back as the pre-historic, and as recently as the war for scope for humour … One of the funniest skits of the while production is “Peace Time Realities,” depicting Old Bill at home and the retired major as they are imagined and as the author believes them to be’ ( Western Morning News, 15 June 1920). ‘A return visit of “Bubbly” is the attraction [at the Royal, Plymouth], with Edith Payne, Elsie Stevens, Phyllis Whitney, Wynne Bronte, Edward Steadman, Lauri Aster, G. T. Milsom, and Vivian Pedlar in the chief characters’ (The Stage, 17 June 1920). The Western Morning News, Thursday 10 June 1920, advertised for the following week at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, ‘For the first time on any stage the new musical play by Edward Steadman “Keep Going” presented by the “Bubbly” Co.’. The Stage, 24 June 1920, reported that ‘A new revue, presented by Edward Steadman and the same company that appeared in “Bubbly” last week, entitled “Keep Going,” was favourably received on Monday, June 21’ at the Royal, Plymouth.