PROGRAMMES AND ADVERTS – 1942 – 1943

Mr Webster Booth’s treatment of the tenor part provided unquestionably the triumph of the day. His technical resources, so much more formidable than appears on the surface furnished the foundation for an eloquent and moving simplicity in Thy Rebuke, Behold and See, and But Thou didst not leave.

King’s Theatre, Southsea, Portsmouth

1942 – For Brinsworth.
There are still a few tickets, at prices from one to three guineas, available for next Sunday’s variety show at the Palladium, which George Black has arranged for the Variety Artistes Benevolent Fund an Institution of which he is president. One would have to search far to discover a more generous programme of star artistes than that which Mr Black has provided for the occasion, and it seems safe to say that those present at the Palladium and those listeners at home and overseas (for there is to be an extensive broadcast in the forces’ programme) will enjoy a memorable entertainment. In the programme will be Gracie Fields, Arthur Askey, Flanagan and Allen, Vic Oliver, Stanley Holloway, Teddy Brown, Florence Desmond, Jack Warner, Bebe Daniels and Ben Lyon, Rawicz and Landauer, the Condos Brothers, Maurice Colleano, Max Miller, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, Willie, West and McGinty, and Francis Day.
Gangway, London Palladium.

18 June 1942 – Blackpool season shows. Most of the Blackpool season shows are now in full swing. George Black’s Black Vanities at the New Opera House, opened to full houses. It is produced by Robert Nesbitt, with dances arranged by Wendy Toye and décor by Alec Shanks and Joseph Carl; its strong cast includes Douglas Wakefield and company, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, Billy Bennett, Afrique, Betty Driver and the Darmora Ballet. It is presented in lavish manner on a stage that is finely equipped and lighted. Salute to Vanity is a sumptuous opening scene introducing Marjorie Cormack, Gaye and Elmore, Betty Driver, Douglas Wakefield and Ron Jeffries, and a lilting musical number, I Like a Good Time.

In Victorian Vanity, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler have a delightful mid-Victorian setting for The Second Minuet, and A Memory of Paris is another effectively presented episode with Marjorie Cormack as the commère, Betty Driver singing Mlle L’Amour in her own vivacious manner, and the Darmora Ballet performing the Can-Can in their own striking way. Douglas Wakefield, from a stage-box, has some clever cross-talk with Roy Jeffries, and Mississippi Minstrels is a futuristic picture of rhapsody in ragtime, in which Gaye and Elmore score in the Cake Walk and Betty Driver gives a lively interpretation of Alexander’s Ragtime Band. Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler in Old Kentucky Home. Marjorie Cormack in Coal Black Mammy, Billy Nelson and Roy Jeffries in Mr Gallagher and Mr Sheen, Sammy Curtis in Miss Annabel Lee, and Douglas Wakefield as a coon, singing Ida, are others heard, and the whole company take part in The Minstrel Wedding which brings the first half to a close upon a high note of colour and melody…

On the opening night Billy Bennett kept the audience in laughter with his inimitable monologues, but he is indisposed and Billy Danvers is deputising for him at the moment. Mr Black has given Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler a picturesque setting for their own vocal speciality, and the whole is brought to a dazzling finale with brilliant costumes and scenery in Farewell to Vanity. The musical director is Robert Wolly, stage director, William Stiles, and stage manager, William Roleston, with Charles Henry as chief of production department.

22 June 1942

August 1942 – Anne Ziegler. Julius Darewski has heard from Webster Booth that Anne Ziegler (Mrs Booth) has had to leave the cast of Black Vanities at the Opera House, Blackpool, through indisposition. Mr Booth is remaining with the company until August 15.

Roll of Honour Blackpool Opera House – Anne and Webster 1942.

1 November 1942 – Golders Green Hippodrome. Clap Hands and Smile, with Charlie Kunz, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, Wilson, Keppel and Betty, Dick Henderson, AJ Powers, Du Barry Twins and Melita, El Granadas, Devon and Wayne, Bud Cordell.

Webster’s mother, Sarah Booth (née Webster), died suddenly in Birmingham (aged 80) during that week.

9 November 1942 – Yorkshire Post – BRADFORD OLD CHORAL SOCIETY From Our Own Correspondent – Bradford, Sunday

Few operas successfully survive a transfer to the concert platform, and Maritana (Wallace), with which the Bradford Old Choral Society opened its season at Eastbrook Hall yesterday, is no exception. It has no musical tradition, its plot is complicated; and, shorn of its theatrical trappings, the sentiment is reminiscent of a Victorian drawing room. Some half a dozen airs alone have probably secured for it the place it holds in English music an these were certainly the highlights of the performance.

Of the five principals, Mr Webster Booth only seemed completely at home in his role of Don Caesar.

Mr Reginald Gibbs, who, as Don José, took the place of Mr Dennis Noble at very short notice, was less at ease and rarely gave his audience an opportunity to judge his capabilities.

Miss Hella Toras, singing the title role was handicapped, too, by her foreign accent, but if she lacked that “Anglo-Saxon passion for accuracy” upon which Dr Howells commented in Leeds recently, she infused a southern passion into her singing which atoned for much.

Miss Edith Coates (as Lazarillo) and Mr Samuel Worthington (as the King of Spain) gave performances that were to be expected of singers of their reputation.

Meeting their fan Gladys outside the stage door of the London Palladium – 13 November 1942.

20 November – Concert at Redhill.

2 December 1942 – Streatham Hill Theatre. Clap Hands and Smile, with Charlie Kunz, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, Dick Henderson, Young China, Erikson, Duncan Gray, Devon and Wayne, El Granadas, Norman and Ronnie Munro.

22 December 1942 Messiah

The Liverpool Welsh Choral Union’s Messiah seems to spring from a fountain of perpetual freshness and ardour, and Saturday’s performance in the Philharmonic Hall was solid and satisfying, though Mr Mansel Thomas’s baton maintained a rather unremitting tempo in the earlier stages, and occasionally seemed to achieve colour at the expense of orthodoxy.

Mr Webster Booth’s treatment of the tenor part provided unquestionably the triumph of the day. His technical resources, so much more formidable than appears on the surface furnished the foundation for an eloquent and moving simplicity in Thy Rebuke, Behold and See, and But Thou didst not leave. Miss Joan Cross, a sweet yet forthright soprano, naturally achieved her highest flight in I know that my Redeemer liveth. Very beautiful, too, was Come unto Him with its contralto supercession, He shall feed his flock, by Miss Ethel Davies. Mr Henry Cummings, in the bass, conserved his resources for a finely fervent Why do the nations? and his Darkness recitative and aria were memorable for dramatic significance.

The choir – which had an adequate male section in spite of the war – sang with their usual heartiness and cohesion… Mr Cropper led the orchestra. The trumpet flourishes were brilliant. Dr Laurence West had charge of the organ. S.J.

1943 – Harold Fielding’s Four Week concert tour. Albert Hall and the Belle Vue in Manchester (the hall seated 7000 people) Anne, Webster, Rawicz and Landauer, Albert Sandler and his trio.

9 March 1943 – The Vagabond King – Manchester, Palace

With even more than its remembered glamour, colour and romance, The Vagabond King, re-proved its popularity at the Manchester Palace last night.

It possessed of course, the immense advantage of two principals, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, who were perfect not only in their musical ability, but also in their looks and manners, for their parts as the vagabond poet and the high-born lady.

It had Syd Walker, mountain of good humour, managing just once to get in his famous question, “What would you do, Chums?” and Henry Baynton acting down to both his little fingers, the crafty, leering King of France. D.C

Palace Theatre, Manchester.

23 April 1943 – Good Friday Messiah, Royal Albert Hall, Webster Booth (tenor) Royal Choral Society, conducted by Malcolm Sargent.

27 April 1943 – Successful Revivals

To judge by its reception, The Vagabond King, which opened at the Winter Garden last week, will be a popular revival. The British public like a familiar tune. They demonstrated this in The Vagabond King by holding up the show whenever a well-known air was sung, and particularly when the singers were those popular husband-and-wife-duettists Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler in the roles which brought such success to Derek Oldham and his wife, Winnie Melville, in the original production.

15 November 1943

16 December 1943 – Sunday Concerts. At the Aldershot Hippodrome on Sunday Harold Fielding presented Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, with Charles Forwood at the piano. Supporting artistes were Olga Hegedus, ‘cellist, and Adela Verne, pianist. The performance was repeated at the Kingston Empire the same evening.

23 December 1943 –The London Palladium returns to variety next on Boxing Day with a bill including Max Miller, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, Ivy Benson and her Ladies’ Band, Rawicz and Landauer, Cairoli Brothers, Jimmy James, Charles Warren and Jean, Reco and May, Scott Sanders, etc.

30 December 1943 – The Palladium. No mistake has been made in the presentation of the fare for the holiday audiences who thronged this theatre on Boxing Day. This is real variety again and Mr Black’s advertisement of “the English music hall at its best” is fully justified. He has selected a programme with which the most fastidious of entertainment seekers will agree. For comedy he has chosen Max Miller, Jimmy James and Scott Sanders. Max Miller is at the top of his form and is warmly welcomed for his lilting songs about Sarah, Mary Ann, Lulu and others and he delves into his white, blue and red books for jokes, which provoke many a chuckle for the “cheeky chappie” with the flamboyant garb.

For those who like good music Mr Black has retained Rawicz and Landauer in their piano duet arrangements from Strauss, Offenbach, and Tchaikovsky, with Lamar and Rosita, Lucille Gaye and full ballet. For those who like dancing there is also the opening Black Magic number, now speeded up. Good singing is provided by Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, who each offer a solo and conclude with a medley of popular choruses, with Charles Forwood at the piano. George Steele directs the orchestra efficiently. Charles T Hutchison is the manager, assisted by David Pollock; Harry Brack is stage manager.

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