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Biographies
Elisabeth Kumm

Elisabeth Kumm

Elisabeth is a founding member of the Victoria Theatres Trust. Her series Pets of the Public was a regular feature of On Stage from 1999 to 2005, looking at “forgotten” nineteenth century performers. She continues to contribute articles for the THA website, and from 2018 has been editor of the THA Newsletter. As a theatrical historian and biographer she assisted Viola Tait with her book on pantomime – Dames, Principal Boys…and All That (published by Macmillan in 2001) and also worked with her on her memoirs I Have a Song to Sing (published by THA in 2018). Elisabeth has also undertaken research for the Riley/Hailes Scrapbook and JCW Scene Books projects. Most recently she has been working on the Falk Studios album project including acting as editor of The Falk Studios book (published by THA in 2021). 

Monday, 01 May 2017

KIRBY, Walter (1877-1934)

New Zealand operatic vocalist (tenor). Né Walter Joseph Regis Kirby. Born 1877, Auckland, New Zealand. Died 5 December 1934, London, England.

Noted concert performer in Australia and England. Trained under Pietro Cecchi. Left sizable estate and numerous bequests to charity.

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, page 279.

Monday, 01 May 2017

KENDAL, Madge (1848-1935)

English actress. Née Margaret Sholto Robertson. Born 15 March 1849, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, England. Daughter of William Robertson and Margaretta Elisabetta Marinus. Sister of Fanny Robertson (actress). Married WH Kendal (actor), 1869. Died 14 September 1935, Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, England. Mother of Hugh Dorington (actor), Ethel Grimston (actress), Harold Grimston (pianist) and Dorothy Grimston (actress).

On stage from the age of four. Retired from the stage in 1908, her only subsequent performance being as Mistress Ford in a Gala production of The Merry Wives of Windsor at His Majesty's on 27 June 1911.

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, page 152.

Monday, 01 May 2017

KEMBLE, Myra (1857-1906)

Irish-Australian actress. Born 17 November 1857, Sligo, Ireland. Daughter of Pritchard Joseph Gill and his wife Teresa O'Donnell. Married David Whitehead (bookmaker), 10 December 1878, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Died 27 October 1906, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

On stage in Australia and England from 1874. Her only London appearance, in Man and the Woman at a matinee at the Criterion Theatre in 1889, was a failure.

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, page 194.

Monday, 01 May 2017

KEELEY, Mrs (1806-1899)

English actress. Née Mary Ann Goward. Married Robert Keeley (actor).

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, page 47.

Monday, 01 May 2017

KEAN, Charles (1811-1868)

English actor & manager. Né Charles John Kean. Born 18 January 1811. Son of Edmund Kean (actor). Married Ellen Tree (actress). Died 22 January 1868.

On stage in England and Australia. Toured Australia for George Coppin in 1863. See also Emigrant in Motley: The Journey of Charles and Ellen Kean.

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, pages 168, 169, 191.

Monday, 01 May 2017

KAVANAGH, Albert (1866-1922)

English operatic vocalist (tenor). Né Mark Albert Kavanagh. Born 1866, London, England. Married May Billing (vocalist), 1898. Died 1922, London, England, aged 55.

On stage in England, USA, South Africa and Australia.

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, page 227.

Monday, 01 May 2017

JOHNSON, G.A. (1844-1909)

English operatic vocalist (tenor). Né George Augustus Johnson. Born 1844, Bolton, Lancashire, England. Married Emily Elizabeth Huggins. Died 4 March 1909, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. Grandfather of Gertrude Johnson (vocalist).

On stage in Australia from 1859, performing with Lyster, Montague Turner, Simonsen and Musgrove opera companies.

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, page 232.

Monday, 01 May 2017

JENYNS, Essie (1864-1920)

Australian actress. Née Elizabeth Esther Helen Jennings. Born 5 October 1864, Brisbane, QLD, Australia. Daughter of Charles Jennings (chemist) and Kate Arden (actress). Married John Robert Wood, 5 December 1888. Died 6 August 1920, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

On stage in Australia from 1879, most notably playing leads in her step-father WJ Holloway's Shakespearean company. Retired at the height of her career to marry the son of a wealthy Newcastle brewer.

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, page 93.

American actor & playwright. Born 20 February 1829, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Married (1) Margaret Clements Lockyer, 1850, (2) Sarah Warren, 1867. Died 23 April 1905, Palm Beach, Florida, USA.

Noted American leading comic actor. On stage in USA and Australia. In Australia in 1862 performing in Sydney and at Princess’s and Haymarket Theatres in Melbourne, playing Rip Van Winkle, Dr Pangloss and Salem Scudder. Wrote autobiography.

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, pages 32, 177, 285.

Monday, 01 May 2017

IRWIN, Boyd (1880-1948)

English actor. Born 12 March 1880, Brighton, Sussex, England. Died 22 January 1957, Los Angeles, California, USA. On stage in Australia and USA.

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, page 222.

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