Music Hall Studies Issue 12
In this edition of Music Hall Studies you will find these great performers. Click on their names for a short taster.
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For much of the twentieth century, the Henderson family was a minor showbiz dynasty. There was the patriarch, Dick, who, in spite of his northern accent, conquered American audiences; his son, Dickie, the ultimate laid back, nonchalant performer, who appeared in no fewer than seven Royal Variety shows and compered two of them; and his twin sisters, Wyn and Triss, who attracted a following as a pair of glamorous singers and dancers before going their separate ways.
Paul Cinquevalli was a highly successful music hall performer of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. His juggling caught the popular imagination. In his stage act, lasting twenty minutes or so, Cinquevalli specialised in manipulating objects, which, although widely available, had sophisticated overtones. For example, he might balance a billiard cue vertically on a billiard ball, nestling in a wine glass held in his mouth.
Tom Leamore had a keen sense of humour that could see the absurdities and eccentricities of the nuts and bolts of life. Poverty, marriage, the liking for a drop of booze: nothing that could be used missed his observation. The glitzy world of music hall must have been very appealing given his poor background and he spent every spare moment hanging round the halls. He had a keen ear for rhythm and a quick grasp of dance steps, learning all the latest songs. Soon, he was able to find work at minor halls, the start of a wonderful career.