Ellaline Terriss (1872-1971)
A fairy pantomime, by Horace Leonard.
Produced at the Lyceum Theatre, Tuesday, December 26th, 1893.
(with Ellaline Terriss as Cinderella)
With 'Cinderella,' Mr. Oscar Barrett has rescued pantomime from the Slough of Vulgarity in which it was sunk, and 'Cinderella' the play, and Cinderella the lovable heroine, will long remain a memory. From a dozen gems one selects an exquisite dance of autumn leaves, a fluttering maze of rustling silks in russet browns, and russet reds, and tender greens, and faint blush pinks; a toilet dance of fairy fans, gloves, flowers, powder-puffs, pin-cushions, jewels, and all the mysterious items necessary for a fairy godchild's irresistible toilette; and a "history of dance," in which a stately measure, stepped by Antony and the "Serpent of old Nile," heralds the immortal lovers, Juliet and Romeo, moving hand in hand through some slow-paced Florentine steps, who make way for a charming minuet, a rollicking Tudor revel, a Mikado fantasy tripped and nodded by tiny Japs, and a sensuous nautch dance dreamily swayed by Mdlle. Zanfretta.
But the captain jewel of the Carcanet outshines these ecstasies of colour and melody and motion. And Cinderella, the real, the ideal, holds one captive to the end. Slapped and bullied and starved, sitting in rags by the kitchen fire, with never a friend but Puss - such a cat! the tricksiest and most feline that even Mr. Lauri has ever played - dancing with Puss and the monster fire-irons, to keep her tears from brimming over, moving a little goddess and looking a little queen in a priceless rainbow-tinted fairy gown which took mere mortals months to make, or driving away to the ball behind a team of diminutive ponies and in a wee chariot of ivory studded with golden stars, and most important of all a pair of lustrous, glowing, sparkling crystal shoes, this Cinderella is a maiden not less enchanting than enchanted. All the actors are allowed to act, and several of them take full advantage of their opportunity, Mr. Victor Stevens is the life and soul of the play as the elder ugly sister, a lady of austere aspect, who has been to Girton, but can yet descend to frivolous joys. The rich and racy comedy of Mr. Harry Parker and Miss Clara Jecks should be termed "high," if it were not something of a contradiction to call clever little Miss Jecks a "high" comedienne. Of Mr. Lauri's wonderful cat mention has been made. And in addition there are a nimble dandy valet to the Prince in the shapely and sprightly person of Miss Alice Brookes; pretty Miss Minnie Terry with the Terry grace of speech as the Sylph Coquette; clever Miss Susie Vaughan, to endow the Fairy Godmother with fairy qualities, which, it may be hinted, include distinction and admirable elocution; and Miss Kate Chard for a handsome Prince, who usually conducts his conversation in a very tuneful song. Furthermore, through the arts of Mr. Barrett's chief designer, Mr. Wilhelm, whose arrangements of colour are lovely in the extreme, and of his scenic artists, Mr. Hawes Craven and Mr. Henry Emden, who provide some delicious peeps at wood and hill and dale, the eye is fed with pictures delicate in the extreme. But better than all is the poetical Cinderella of Miss Ellaline Terriss, the most bewitching little heroine of pantomime ever seen, a heroine worthy of the Lyceum, worthy of the boards on which Miss Terry has so long ruled supreme.
'The Theatre', Vol XXII, February, 1894.
Movie Credits (source www.imdb.com)
1913 - Scrooge
1915 - Flame of Passion [Vampire woman]
1916 - A Woman of the World
1917 - Masks and Faces [Actress]
1927 - Land of Hope and Glory [Mrs. Whiteford]
1927 - Blighty [Lady Villiers]
1929 - Atlantic [Alice Rool]
1931 - A Man of Mayfair [Old Grace]
1931 - Glamour [Lady Belton]
1934 - The Iron Duke [Duchess Kitty]
1935 - Royal Cavalcade [Wife]
1939 - The Four Just Men [Lady Willoughby]
Just a Little Bit of String - Autobiography, Hutchinson & Co., London. 1955.