//
you're reading...
Uncategorized

A 1921-22 Scrapbook and the Summer of 2013

Bruce at the beach in Assateague, Va.

Bruce at the beach in Assateague, Va.

Hi Folks! This summer has not exactly turned out the way I thought it would go. We planned on having my shoulder operated on in the spring, just after school ended and would go for a holiday in Chincoteague as always and later in August visit my parents on the West Coast. No such luck! We were able to get to the shore but the ocean was very cold and it rained several days. Nevertheless, I went swimming anyway and we enjoyed the house we rented for the second year in a row by reading, playing games, wonderful late night conversation’s, painting, and excursions around the island. Dale’s mother sponsored a wonderful family reunion with a bonfire on the beach where we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. His family (brother, sister-in-law, and two nieces, one (with her fiancé) are very fun and we spent hours laughing hysterically while also playing a sort of horse shoe game on the beach. And, of course, I built a sand-city. And then there was a lovely very early morning walk along the shore in Assateague where Dale and I collected shells for my students. The beach was deserted and hauntingly beautiful.

Joan Maclean as Peter Pan 1921-22

Joan Maclean as Peter Pan 1921-22

Dale took our photos from the summer before and had them printed in a book which was at once extremely charming and very Barriesque. He is going to have two more printed for our guests that year; hopefully no one will lose theirs on the tram. A week after our holiday I had the operation on my shoulder which went although the after effects now make me understand why people avoid this one if they can. Now, two weeks later, and I am in pain constantly unless I take a painkiller which leaves me quite sleepy and dizzy. And, on top of that, needing to drink plenty of prune juice (which I actually like) and milk of magnesia (which I hate). Unfortunately, I went five days before using the above which added to my suffering. After a two-day ordeal, I swore not to use the painkillers again but after a couple of days of pain and no sleep, Dale convinced me to continue with the medicine and laxatives.

"I shall be sick you know!" A drawing of  Mr. Darling by Pamela Williams

“I shall be sick you know!” A drawing of Mr. Darling by Pamela Williams

Ernest Thesiger as Captain Hook and Joan Maclean as Peter Pan

Ernest Thesiger as Captain Hook and Joan Maclean as Peter Pan

Now, somewhere, just after my operation, I received in the post, a scrapbook created by Pamela Williams who played Second Twin at the St. James Theatre during the 1921-22 season of Peter Pan. While I was thrilled with the acquisition, I could not really take time to appreciate the contents as I was too drugged out and in pain. Looking through the scrapbook a few days later, I was delighted by the many autographs, photos, and the play review collected by young Pamela, and the several small but charming illustrations she drew throughout the scrapbook. Joan Maclean, who was on loan from Reandean, had just appeared in Will Shakespeare- An Invention in Four Acts by Clemence Dane at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London, on November 17th, 1921. Opposite Maclean’s as Peter Pan was character actor Ernest Thesiger, perhaps best remembered for his role as Dr. Septimus Pretorius in James Whales’s film, The Bride of Frankenstein, played Captain Hook.  noticed that Winifred Goeghenan (the first Michael Darling in the 1904 production) was playing one of the Braves. The part of Liza was shared by Gabrielle Casartelli (who played he role before the 15th of January; Muriel Howells, who played the role on January 25; and Diana Beaumont, a “Sometimes Liza”. (Beaumont show up in the programmes between 1923 and 1926 as Curly. She also played Wendy in a January 8, 1925 private juvenile performance of Peter Pan at the Adelphi Theatre. (It’s funny how I now occasionally use my own book as a reference.) Next to Beaumont’s signature Pamela has drawn an eye with tears as if to comment on the “sometimes” nature of her casting.

Gabrielle Casartelli who played Liza in the 1921-22 season.

Gabrielle Casartelli who played Liza in the 1921-22 season.

"I like it very much!" Michael Darling as essayed by Pamela Williams.

“I like it very much!” Michael Darling as essayed by Pamela Williams.

The inscriptions by the actors include a key lines by their character, such as “In a way it’s sort of compliment,” “Smee”- “Peter Pan” Yours Sincerely, George Shelton Jan. 27/22;  “Oh Happy Starkie” from Charles Trevor; “There’s something terrible in here!” Ceco/William Luff;  “Tis Hook!” by Ernest Thesiger; and “I think he comes back to get his Shadow, George”- Sybil Carlisle (Mrs. Darling). Still others in the cast simply wrote notes of good wishes to Pamela Williams, who was obviously delighted to be part of the 1921-22 Peter Pan production.

While sorting through the other programmes, newspaper clippings, reviews, and letters in the Pamela’s scrapbook, a small photo fluttered out onto my bed. Picking it up I was immediately caught up in the shore scene featuring (most likely) a nurse and her three wards. The scene reminded me of an 1899 photo of Sylvia and Peter on the beach at Rustington. And how appropriate, I thought in my sentimental fashion, to end this entry as I started it; at the shore.

Nurse and three children bathing at the beach. This photograph was found in Pamela Williams 1922 scrapbook on Peter Pan.

Nurse and three children bathing at the beach. This photograph was found in Pamela Williams 1922 scrapbook on Peter Pan.

Advertisements

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: