PE0198. THEODORE & CO. (Ivor Novello & Jerome Kern), w.George Grossmith, Fred Leslie, Leslie Henson, David Burnaby, Julia James, Madge Saunders, Henri Leoni, etc., from Original 1916 Cast recording. (England) Palaeophonics 102. Excellent transfers from these 1916 recordings, w.Elaborate ‘The Play’ 20pp. Brochure replete w.photos from the London production.
“THEODORE & CO is an English musical comedy in two acts with a book by H. M. Harwood and George Grossmith, Jr. (based on the French comedy by Paul Gavault), with music by Ivor Novello and Jerome Kern and lyrics by Adrian Ross and Clifford Grey. It was produced by Grossmith and Edward Laurillard, opening at the Gaiety Theatre on 19 September 1916, and running for 503 performances. It starred Grossmith, Fred Leslie and Leslie Henson. This show established Ivor Novello as a theatrical composer and was Kern's first show in London. Novello's songs from the show include ‘What A Duke Should Be’ and ‘Oh, How I Want To Marry’.
Philip Braham (18 June 1881 – 2 May 1934) was an English composer of the early twentieth century, chiefly associated with theatrical work. From 1914, he composed music for such musicals and revues as THEODORE & CO (1916) and LONDON CALLING! (1923), including several revues produced by André Charlot. He began to compose music for the theatre in 1913 with ALICE UP TO DATE at the London Pavilion. He contributed additional music to musicals such as THE GIRL IN THE TRAIN (1914), and THEODORE & CO and SEE SAW, both in 1916. He wrote the music for the hit revue TAILS UP! (1918), together with his frequent collaborator Douglas Furber, which played at the Comedy Theatre in London for 467 performances. The best-remembered show on which he worked was probably LONDON CALLING! (1923) on which he collaborated with Noël Coward. In 1925, he collaborated with Coward in ON WITH THE DANCE and with John Hastings Turner on BUBBLY, starring Cyril Ritchard. He wrote for several revues produced by André Charlot.
Leslie Lincoln Henson was an English comedian, actor, producer for films and theatre, and film director. He initially worked in silent films and Edwardian musical comedy and became a popular music hall comedian who enjoyed a long stage career. He was famous for his bulging eyes, malleable face and raspy voice. Henson became interested in the theatre from an early age, writing and producing theatrical pieces while at school. He studied with the Cairns–James School of Musical and Dramatic Art as a child, making his professional stage début at the age of 19. His first West End role was in NICELY, THANKS! (1912) and he later starred in several hit West End Edwardian musical comedies, including TO-NIGHT'S THE NIGHT (1915) and YES, UNCLE! (1917). After briefly serving with the Royal Flying Corps, he was released from active service by the British government to help run a concert party called THE GAIETIES, which provided entertainment for the troops during World War I. After the war, he returned to the West End, playing in KISSING TIME (1919) and a series of musical comedies and farces throughout the 1920s and 1930s.”
-Zillah Dorset Akron
“A gentleman farmer with a love of Edwardian and early Twentieth Century music has created a home industry of preserving early Musical and Revue scores as recorded on 78 and cylinder, the latter of which he is certainly a specialist. It is an impressive list of shows that Dominic Combe has digitalised and issued on Compact Disc. Not only is it the recordings but the lovingly created books that attach.
Early theatre recordings abound in Great Britain, more so than in the United States where it took them some time to start recording original cast material. And so, many early scores are available to be heard. But what Dominic discovered when he started assembling these scores was that often latter day British 78 and cylinder record collectors turned their noses up on recordings of dance music or covers and ‘best of’ or ‘gems’ making them hard to find. And, it is those recordings which can often contain songs not otherwise recorded. He has built strong connections with other collectors willing to lend material to make each issue as complete as possible.
Modern equipment and an aptitude for perfection have helped Dominic ‘clean up’ old 78 and cylinder records to deliver a sound quality that can be stunning. The booklets are produced with as much care by using original theatre programmes or magazines such as PLAY PICTORIAL and MUSIC FOR ALL so that the listener can get a good idea of how the show looked as well as to see the unique art work used to advertise the show back then.
Dominic has issued over fifty of these gems and still has titles either being completed or awaiting to be started on. The label is called PALAEOPHONICS.”
- y phayward, OVERTURES: The Bunnet-Muir Musical Theatre Archive Trust, 10 July, 2017