PE0276. AS YOU WERE (Arthur Wimperis & Herman Darewski), recorded 1918, w. Herman Darewski Cond. London Pavilion Ensemble; Alice Delysia, Daisy Hancox, C. Hayden Coffin, Mona Vivian, Clifford Morgan & John Humphries; Additional material by Alice Delysia (whose 1933 reprise of her 'If you could care for me' [as a solo, from ‘Alice Delysia Memories’] alone is worth the price of the CD! Her use of portamento is beguiling) & Mayfair Dance Orch. (England) Palaeophonics 139, w.Elaborate ‘The Play’ 16pp. Brochure replete with numerous photos of the London Pavilion 1918 production & biographies. Excellently transferred from the legendary Acoustic 78rpm HMV rarities.
“AS YOU WERE, a fantastic revue by Arthur Wimperis (adapted from Rip's PLUS ÇA CHANGE), with music by Herman Darewski, opened at the London Pavilion 3 Aug.,1918 and ran for 434 performances.
After appearing in several stage productions in Paris, Alice Delysia played on Broadway in the chorus of THE CATCH OF THE SEASON (1905). Leading roles soon followed and in 1912 she was back in Paris for THE QUAKER GIRL and other productions. Upon her return to London she took advantage of numerous opportunities to play in revues and musical comedies, especially in adaptations of French works. One of these was AFGAR, OU LES LOISIRS ANDALOUS (1919), in which she also appeared in the USA the following year. Delysia was the star of AS YOU WERE (London Pavilion, 3 August 1918) and as such played a series of characters representing the beauties of all time, including Helen of Troy and Ninon de l'Enclos. Another American production in which she appeared was THE COURTESAN (1923) but from the mid-20s and through into the mid-30s she was mostly to be seen in London’s West End in a succession of revues and musical comedies, among them PRINCESS CHARMING (1926), THE CAT AND THE FIDDLE (1932), MOTHER OF PEARL (1933) and AT THE SILVER SWAN (1936). From then onwards until her retirement Delysia performed mostly in non-musical plays, although she also toured variety theatres and gave song recitals.”
"Alice Delysia, a singer and comedy actress during the 1920's and 30's was a glamorous, featured performer, Delysia, as she preferred being called, began her career in her native France under the tutelage of C.B. Cochran and Andre Charlot. She performed on the London stage before coming to the United States to appear in Morris Gest's production of AFGAR in 1920. In London, she was later seen with Noel Coward, Beatrice Lillie and Gertrude Lawrence. She was widely acclaimed for her role as the ‘poor little rich girl’ in Mr. Coward's 1935 production of ON WITH THE DANCE. She also won praise in 1939 for her performance in FRENCH FOR LOVE, by Marguerite Steen and Derek Patmore. Married twice, she divorced her first husband in 1938 after 10 years. During her second marriage, to Rene Colb‐Bernard, she gave up her acting career to accompany him on his assignments in the French diplomatic service.”
- THE NEW YORK TIMES, 12 February, 1979
"Arthur Wimperis began his working life as a black-and-white artist, and it was not until after the Boer War that he began a writing career. He made his theatrical mark at first as a lyricist, contributing to Robert Courtneidge's production of THE DAIRYMAIDS and to the Seymour Hicks and Ellaline Terriss musical THE GAY GORDONS, before he found major success with his songwords for a second Courtneidge show, THE ARCADIANS. With the coming of the Viennese musical, he found a new area of activity. He adapted a number of such pieces to the English stage, winning a major success with THE GIRL IN THE TAXI and a second good run with the Hungarian musical PRINCESS CHARMING, and he also adapted Julius Wilhelm and Paul Frank's German original as the libretto for the lavish American musical LOUIE THE FOURTEENTH.
Wimperis provided musical burlesques and lyrics for THE FOLLIES during its period in London, scored two of his most memorable song hits with 'Gilbert the Filbert' and 'I'11 Make a Man of You' in THE PASSING SHOW (1914) and contributed scenarios, scenes and song-words to a large number of other revues. He also put out a number of plays, most of which were adaptations from French or German originals."
- British Musical Theatre
“Herman Darewski was born in Russia but came to England to conduct at Bridlington and in various London theatres and to compose musicals and reviews (AS YOU WERE, CARMINETTA, London Paris and New York, JOY-LAND, BETTER 'OLE, OH JULIE! [with H. Sullivan Brooke], FLORA and ROSY RAPTURE (1915), with Jerome Kern no less. He worked at one time for the publishers Francis, Day & Hunter for 15 years. After the First World War Herman had a brief spell as a publisher himself before turning to conducting of light music."
- Classical MusicWeb
“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