In 1904 the World famous Scottish performer, Harry Lauder appeared on stage in his kilt and sporran! I have discovered that beside being well known as a comedian and singer, he wrote the song ‘I love a lassie’. He was at one time, the highest-paid performer in the world.
In 1907 there were two unusual acts that appeared during this period, the first was The Eight Lancashire Lads, who were a troupe of young male clog dancers from Wigan As they became more successful, they recruited other members such as Charlie Chaplin who got his first professional break with them at the age of ten. Another famous British comedian Nat Jackley was also in their act but at a different time.
The other unusual act was Dandy George and his wonderfully trained dog called Rosie. He was a music hall star, his real name Albert George Spink, in 1927 they appeared in a short movie called “Dandy George and Rosie”, this was made by the DeForest Phonofilm sound on film process, sadly the company’s sound movies did not take off nor was it chosen to make the first talkie ‘The Jazz Singer‘ Here is some rare footage showing a preview of the award-winning and popular showcase of the historic DeForest Phonofilms with its story of the pioneering work done in the development of the sound-on-film process. Sadly I couldn’t find anything with Dandy George and Rosie but this is a truly amazing discovery.
Another artistes to appear was the famous opera singer, Lempriere Pringle,
1909 saw the theatre put on a play ‘The Conversion of that Surge’ a one act comic play, which was in keeping with the ethos of this theatre. Amongst the actors in the play was Franklin Dyall, the father of Valentine Dyall. Another interesting fact about him was that his father Charles Dyall, was the first curator of the Liverpool Walker Art Gallery. three generations of noted Dyall’s. This is the playbill from a 1929 movie he starred in