The online magazine of Theatre Heritage Australia
Elisabeth Kumm

Elisabeth Kumm

Elisabeth is a founding member of the Victoria Theatres Trust. Her series Pets of the Public was a regular feature of On Stage from 1999 to 2005, looking at “forgotten” nineteenth century performers. She continues to contribute articles for the THA website, and from 2018 has been editor of the THA Newsletter. As a theatrical historian and biographer she assisted Viola Tait with her book on pantomime – Dames, Principal Boys…and All That (published by Macmillan in 2001) and also worked with her on her memoirs I Have a Song to Sing (published by THA in 2018). Elisabeth has also undertaken research for the Riley/Hailes Scrapbook and JCW Scene Books projects. Most recently she has been working on the Falk Studios album project including acting as editor of The Falk Studios book (published by THA in 2021). 

Thursday, 04 May 2017

LADD, Pearl (1883-1977)

American actress. Née Frances Pearl Ladd. Actress, born 1883, San Francisco, California, USA. Married G Villiers Arnold (actor). Died 1977, California, USA.

On stage in Australia.

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, page 229.

American musician. Died 5 July 1915, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

In Australia from 1865, notably with Christy Minstrels.

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, page 308.

Monday, 01 May 2017

KNIGHT, Maggie (c.1857-1916)

New Zealand actress. Née Margaret NM Harkness. Born c.1857, Auckland, New Zealand. Married (1) Henry Jewett (actor), 2 March 1888, Dunedin, New Zealand (div. 1891), (2) Henry W Henderson, 1893, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Died 20 October 1917, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Distinguished character actress whose career on the Australian stage spanned over 40 years. Began her stage career at an early age playing children’s roles with Fanny Cathcart and other visiting stars. She migrated to Australia in the late 1870s and quickly established herself as an audience favourite. One of her early successes was Gusta in Jo, opposite Jennie Lee, at Melbourne’s Princess’ Theatre in 1882. She also played Nellie Denver in the revival of The Silver King at the Theatre Royal, Melbourne, in July 1886.

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, page 93.

Monday, 01 May 2017

KNIGHT, Julius (1862-1941)

Scottish actor. Né James Dickson Kirkpatrick. Born 31 March 1862, Dumfries, Scotland. Son of Alexander Kirkpatrick and Alison (Alice) Dickson. Unmarried. Died 21 February 1941, Hull, England.

On stage in England and Australia from 1884.

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, pages 172, 220, 271, 303.

American vocalist, business manager & theatre treasurer. Né James Edward Kitts. Born c.1829, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Married Mary Hughes, 1871, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. Died 30 March 1894, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

On stage in USA, East Indies, India and Australia, initially with the New York Serenaders minstrel show. Settled in Australia from 1856. Oversaw Australian tours of James Stark and Anna Bishop. Associated with WS Lyster from 1861 as singer, business manager and treasurer.

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, page 232.

Monday, 01 May 2017

KIRBY, Walter (1877-1934)

New Zealand operatic vocalist (tenor). Né Walter Joseph Regis Kirby. Born 1877, Auckland, New Zealand. Died 5 December 1934, London, England.

Noted concert performer in Australia and England. Trained under Pietro Cecchi. Left sizable estate and numerous bequests to charity.

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, page 279.

Monday, 01 May 2017

KENDAL, Madge (1848-1935)

English actress. Née Margaret Sholto Robertson. Born 15 March 1849, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, England. Daughter of William Robertson and Margaretta Elisabetta Marinus. Sister of Fanny Robertson (actress). Married WH Kendal (actor), 1869. Died 14 September 1935, Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, England. Mother of Hugh Dorington (actor), Ethel Grimston (actress), Harold Grimston (pianist) and Dorothy Grimston (actress).

On stage from the age of four. Retired from the stage in 1908, her only subsequent performance being as Mistress Ford in a Gala production of The Merry Wives of Windsor at His Majesty's on 27 June 1911.

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, page 152.

Monday, 01 May 2017

KEMBLE, Myra (1857-1906)

Irish-Australian actress. Born 17 November 1857, Sligo, Ireland. Daughter of Pritchard Joseph Gill and his wife Teresa O'Donnell. Married David Whitehead (bookmaker), 10 December 1878, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Died 27 October 1906, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

On stage in Australia and England from 1874. Her only London appearance, in Man and the Woman at a matinee at the Criterion Theatre in 1889, was a failure.

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, page 194.

Monday, 01 May 2017

KEELEY, Mrs (1806-1899)

English actress. Née Mary Ann Goward. Married Robert Keeley (actor).

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, page 47.

Monday, 01 May 2017

KEAN, Charles (1811-1868)

English actor & manager. Né Charles John Kean. Born 18 January 1811. Son of Edmund Kean (actor). Married Ellen Tree (actress). Died 22 January 1868.

On stage in England and Australia. Toured Australia for George Coppin in 1863. See also Emigrant in Motley: The Journey of Charles and Ellen Kean.

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook, pages 168, 169, 191.

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