PE0207. A SOUTHERN MAID (Harold Fraser-Simson, Ivor Novello & George Clutsam), w.Merlin Morgan Cond.Daly’s Theatre Ensemble; Jose Collins, Claude Fleming, Ernest Bertram, Gwendoline Brogden, Mark Lester, etc. (England) Palaeophonics 106, recorded 1920, Complete, as Recorded, w.Elaborate ‘The Play’ 24pp. Brochure replete w.photos from the London production.
"Long overdue in London, A SOUTHERN MAID arrived safely on Saturday evening at Daly's Theatre, where, received with rapture, she bids fair to rival, if not to surpass, the previous maid in favour.
The popular composer, Mr. Harold Fraser-Simson, stands the severe test of comparison with himself, since his numbers are again melodious, impassioned, and tender. The authors, Mr. Dion Clayton Calthrop and Captain Harry Graham - two merry men - have supplied the unusual, not to say dangerous, element of a 'love interest' that is really interesting. Then there is the beauty that is not to be bought in the harmonious mounting, and the multi-coloured costumes and dazzling headdresses show the same selective taste. In fact, everything is rich in local colour except the humour, which remains British, though at present artistically free from topical allusion.
The setting is therefore worthy of the divine Dolores, a Southern maid, whom Miss Jose Collins makes a true Castilian belle. Often as she changes from one glittering gown to another, she never for a moment puts off the part. With deadly glance and honeyed smile, she works the wireless of love. No wonder the English yachtowner succumbs at first sight. Her dance is in turn captivating and defiant, but always characteristic. She is mocking and alluring at once, while her expression of terror is as natural as that of joy.”
- THE DAILY MAIL, 17 May, 1920.
“A SOUTHERN MAID is an operetta in three acts composed by Harold Fraser-Simson, with a book by Dion Clayton Calthrop and Harry Graham and lyrics by Harry Graham and Harry Miller. Additional music was provided by Ivor Novello and George H. Clutsam, with additional lyrics by Adrian Ross and Douglas Furber. It starred Jose Collins and Bertram Wallis.
The show originally opened at the Prince's Theatre in Manchester on 24 December 1917. It also had three short engagements in Edinburgh between 1918 and 1920. The planned West End opening was delayed by the continuing success of THE MAID OF THE MOUNTAINS, but A SOUTHERN MAID eventually reopened on 15 May 1920, when THE MAID OF THE MOUNTAINS finally closed and Daly's Theatre became available. The piece was produced under the management of Robert Evett and ran for 306 performances, a good run for the period, although dwarfed by that of its predecessor.
Jose Collins played the title role of Teresa, the gypsy bandit maid, in the hit musical THE MAID OF THE MOUNTAINS (1917) to great acclaim, and as a result became known by the nickname of 'Maid of the Mountains'. In that show, she introduced the songs 'Love Will Find a Way' and 'A Paradise For Two'. Collins played throughout the long run of this show and in many revivals over the years."
-Zillah Dorset Akron
“If you are interested in what original audiences of early 20th century English operetta and musical comedy heard, there is a great source for such recordings – the record label Paleophonics. Dominic Combe prepares CDs for them from his huge collection of shellacs and a few cylinders.
I came across these somewhat hard-to-find CDs on the website of the mail-order company NORBECK, PETERS AND FORD, (norpete.com) which is specialized in historical performances from the beginning of recorded sound all the way through to the 1960s.
There are now over fifty Paleophonics CDs, and more are being prepared or scheduled for future release. Each CD comes with a lavishly illustrated program booklet with reviews, information about the shows and fantastic publicity photographs, and artwork from the original London productions, in the form of reproductions of the magazine PLAY PICTORIAL.”
- Thomas Krebs, OPERETTA RESEARCH CENTER - PALEOPHONICS - A JOURNEY TO THE DAWN OF RECORDED SOUND IN MUSICAL COMEDY, 1 July, 2020