PE0211. BUBBLY (Philip Braham & J. Hastings Turner), w.Philip Braham Cond.Comedy Theatre Ensemble; Teddie Gerrard, Gilbert Childs, Phyllis Monkman, Jack Hulbert, Winnie Melville, Gerald Kirby, Davy Burnaby, Eric Courtland & Walter Jeffries. (England) Palaeophonics 108, recorded 1917, Complete, as Recorded, w.Elaborate ‘The Play’ 26pp. Brochure replete w.photos from the London production & facsimile of original brochure. BUBBLY was produced at the Comedy Theatre, London, on 5 May 1917, and closed on 6 April 1918 after a run of 427 performances.
“Mr. Andre Charlot describes his successful production at the Comedy as a ‘New Musical Entertainment’, and one may assuredly say that he errs on the side of modesty.
Certainly, BUBBLY is a musical entertainment of most excellent quality, well supplied with lilting song and lively dance, which afford complete satisfaction to one and all, containing as it does such melodious numbers as ‘The Restaurant’ duet; a medley version of ‘Comin' thro' the rye’, and ‘Hawaiian Butterfly’, in which Miss Teddie Gerard is seen and heard to excellent advantage, and the charming duet and dance, ‘Have your forgotten?’ admirably rendered by Miss Phyllis Monkman and Mr. Walter Williams, the latter replacing Mr. Jack Hulbert, who is now in the A.S.C., somewhere in France. The above are just a few items chosen, more or less, in haphazard fashion, and they are fairly representative of the remainder.
I began by saying Mr. Charlot's description of BUBBLY was modest in definition, and it is so for the reason that apart from its musical entertainment it possesses another factor which entitles it to be considered as genuine burlesque drama. First and foremost in this respect we must place ‘An Old Situation in Four Ways’. The presence of the Compère and Commère, Mr. Gerald Kirby and Miss Margaret Campbell suggests Revue, but we will not quarrel with the author on that score. Revue or Burlesque, it is capital satire and rich in humour, as the laughter of the audience demonstrated. Further, it provides good acting and mimetic opportunities for such clever artists as Mr. Arthur Playfair, one of the best of unctuous and versatile comedians, Mr. Walter Williams, Mr. Gilbert Childs, Miss Winnie Melville, and Miss Laura Cowie. The ‘old situation’ is concerned with the headstrong youth who falls in love with a lady burdened by a not irreproachable past, the fond and forgiving mother, and the elderly man of the world who was such an invaluable asset in the dramas of Dumas fils. In the first place, we have the episode treated in the Alexandrian manner at the St. James, and Mr. Playfair's imitation of the Knight of King Street [i.e. Sir George Alexander of the St. James's Theatre] is particularly good in its restraint and vraisemblance. Then we are transported to the Hudson Theatre, New York City, where it becomes a ‘crook’ drama. Back to this side again, and we are given its realistic environment as imagined by the Stage Society, and the ‘fourth situation’ brings us to the Lyceum and Mr. Walter Melville's conception of the theme on the romantic melodrama lines associated with his name. Each scene is admirably acted. On much the same lines is Mr. Ivan Campbell's Rehearsal burlesque, modelled on the lines of A PANTOMIME REHEARSAL [Terry's Theatre, London, 3 August 1891], and entitled, ‘The Gipsy Queen's Revenge’, or, ‘It will be all right on the Night’, a most amusing piece of fooling. In strong contrast to this we have Mr. Arthur Weigall's Grand Guignol Episode, ‘A Tooth for a Tooth’, certainly a grim incident, although it is supposed to be only the dream of a young lady while under the influence of gas in the dental chair.
Mr. Charlot is to be heartily congratulated on the production….”
- B.W. Findon, THE PLAY PICTORIAL, #185, Vol XXXI, BUBBLY issue, London, 1917, pp. 18-19
“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.”
-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