Programmes and Adverts (1949 – 1950)

1949 was not a very happy year for the Booths. Anne had to be admitted to hospital early in the year and Webster’s good friend, Tommy Handley died suddenly in January of that year. The great Wagnerian tenor, Walter Widdop died in September. In October, Edwin Booth, Webster’s father was taken ill at a Birmingham concert where Anne and Webster were singing and died there, only a few days after his eighty-third birthday. The family managed to keep the news from Webster and Anne until after the concert although they were worried because they had noticed that the family seats had been vacated.

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1949 was not a very happy year for the Booths. Anne had to be admitted to hospital early in the year and Webster’s good friend, Tommy Handley died suddenly in January of that year. The great Wagnerian tenor, Walter Widdop died in September. In October, Edwin Booth, Webster’s father was taken ill at a Birmingham concert where Anne and Webster were singing and died there, only a few days after his eighty-third birthday. The family managed to keep the news from Webster and Anne until after the concert although they were worried because they had noticed that the family seats had been vacated.

13 January 1949 Funeral of Tommy Handley.
Webster and Leslie Bridgmont at Tommy Handley’s Funeral, Golders Green Crematorium.
Memorial Service at St Paul’s – 9 February 1949. Tommy Handley Memorial Choir record The Long Day Closes and God be in My Head
21 April 1949
8 July 1949 Jersey Concert
Singing at a broadcast (1949)
7 September 1949 Funeral of Walter Widdop

17 October 1949 Death of Edwin Booth, Webster’s father.
Edwin Booth’s will. Irene Constance Louise Booth was Edwin Booth’s second wife.

2 December 1949 Anne.
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5 January 1950
12 January 1950 Town Hall, Cheltenham.
22 March 1950 Central Hall, Derby.
Concert with Charles Forwood at the piano.

Concert with Charles Forwood at the piano.
9 April 1950

There was a great protest about this Sunday evening concert in Kirkcaldy. Even when the concert went ahead, the criticism of it was very bad! I wonder whether the bad crit was because the concert had taken place on a Sunday.

May 1950

9 July 1950
23 September 1950 Cheltenham.
24 October 1950
14 November 1950. Hull concert at Tivoli.
Anne and Webster

PROGRAMMES AND ADVERTS – 1946 – 1947

February 1946 Webster was taken ill with ‘flu at the Usher Hall concert. He appeared in the first half and was unable to continue singing after the interval, so Anne finished this concert on her own and played a number of subsequent venues without him.


When he arrived in Edinburgh yesterday he
was feeling unwell, and the medical advice he received was to return
to London. He endeavoured, however, to play his part in Edinburgh
last night, but it was necessary for Miss Ziegler to take the second
appearance on her own.

Mr Booth last night expressed to
his extreme disappointment at being unable to come to Dundee. He was returning to London this morning.

1946 and 1947 seemed to have been taken up by many concerts presented by Harold Fielding. One of the highlights of 1947 was singing in the broadcast to celebrate the eightieth birthday of Queen Mary. Apparently, Anne and Webster were favourites and she had asked that they should be included in the concert.

6 January 1946

6 February 1946 VARIETY tour (Harold Fielding) Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Harold Fielding presents WEBSTER BOOTH AND ANNE ZIEGLER, Radio’s Famous Romantic Vocalists. Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Only remaining tickets 4/- and 3/- unreserved, Town Hall Sheffield, Usher Hall Edinburgh, St Andrew’s Hall Glasgow,

Caird Hall Dundee, City Hall Newcastle.

Webster was taken ill with ‘flu at the Usher Hall concert. He appeared in the first half and was unable to continue singing after the interval, so Anne finished this concert on her own and played a number of subsequent venues without him.

When he arrived in Edinburgh yesterday he was feeling unwell, and the medical advice he received was to return to London. He endeavoured, however, to play his part in Edinburgh last night, but it was necessary for Miss Ziegler to take the second appearance on her own.

Mr Booth last night expressed to the Courier and Advertiser his extreme disappointment at being unable to come to Dundee. He was returning to London this morning.

9 February 1946 – Glasgow Herald. Celebrity Concert in Glasgow – Webster Booth Ill. by Our Music Critic.

Celebrity concerts in most cases are in a class by themselves, proclaiming beforehand the visiting artists only and making no mention of the music they will play or sing. This emphasising of the personal side must have made all the more disappointing the absence last evening in St Andrew’s Hall, Glasgow, of Webster Booth through illness. His partner, Anne Ziegler, carried on bravely without him, and a crowded audience gave her the usual warm reception, expressing this time sympathy as well as pleasure.

Her repertoire is familiar to her host of admirers, who attend to hear their favourites. But the supporting artists might have had some publicity beforehand for their chosen numbers. Vina Barnden, a pianist new to Glasgow, played Chopin, Liszt, and a more modern group. She has nimble fingers, a light touch that did not on the whole give sufficient depth of tone to her interpretations, and a rather restless idea of rubato.

12 May 1946

Laughing Lady

Harold Fielding concerts featuring Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler:

30 July 1946 – Leas Cliffe Hall, Folkestone. Fee £150

3, 4, August 1946 – Winter Gardens, Margate, Fee £300 for two nights.

24 August 1946 – Theatre Royal, Dublin, with Beatrix Clare, Herbert Dawson, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, fee £250

8 September 1946 – New Opera House, Blackpool fee £150

22 September 1946 – Winter Gardens, Eastbourne

26 September 1946 – Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone

29 September 1946 – Pier Pavilion, Llandudno

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16 October 1946
16 October 1946 – Town Hall, Birmingham.
Concert presented by the Incorporated Guild of Hairdressers, Wigmakers and Perfumers.
Webster’s father, Edwin Booth and Webster’s brother, Edgar were hairdressers. Edgar was running Booth’s Ladies Hairdressers at 157 Soho Road, Handsworth, which had been the family home of the Booth family when Webster was born.
1 December 1946
12 May 1947
10 December 1947

26 December 1947

PROGRAMMES AND ADVERTS – 1944 – 1945

2 January 1944 – Messiah. 2.30pm New Opera House, Blackpool. Festival performance in aid of the Mayor’s Services Welfare Fund. Anne Ziegler, Mary Jarred, Webster Booth, William Parsons, with Huddersfield Choral Society, Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (Ena Baga at the organ) conducted by Dr Malcolm Sargent.

2 January 1944 – Messiah. 2.30pm New Opera House, Blackpool. Festival performance in aid of the Mayor’s Services Welfare Fund. Anne Ziegler, Mary Jarred, Webster Booth, William Parsons, with Huddersfield Choral Society, Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (Ena Baga at the organ) conducted by Dr Malcolm Sargent

This Blackpool Messiah was the only time that Anne sang the soprano solos in a first-class oratorio performance in the UK.

16 February 1944 London Palladium

4 May 1944 – Palladium. Max Miller, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, Jimmy James, Ivy Benson and Ladies’ Band, Rawicz and Landauer, Cairoli Brothers, Charles Warren and Jean, Scott Sanders, Lamar and Rosita, Cawalini and Dogs, Lucille Gaye, Mariora, Palladium Girls.

20 May 1944, ROYAL ALBERT HALL Saturday evening, next at 7. Harold Fielding (for Promarts) presents ALBERT SANDLER (favourite Grand Hotel Music) WEBSTER BOOTH & ANNE ZIEGLER (in Songs from the Shows) RAWICZ & LANDAUER (in Nutcracker Suite, Warsaw Concerto). Book: 12/-, 10/6, 8/6, 6/-, 5/-, 3/6. Book at Hall (Ken. 3661) and Agents

9 June 1944 – Leeds Town Hall

15 June 1944 – Golders Green Hippodrome. Cyril Fletcher, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, Jack Edge, Arthur Worsley, Toledo, Elly and Joan, Three Gremlins, Dennis Lawes, Delly Kin.

16 June 1944 – Western Daily Press – Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth

Messrs Churchill and Son, Ltd., announce that consequent on the successful visit of Rawicz and Landauer to the Colston Hall, Bristol, recently, the promoters (Promarts Ltd) have engaged Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth to appear with a supporting cast at a special concert on Saturday, July 8. Full details and booking arrangements will be given in the advertisement columns of this paper very shortly. Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth are principal artists in the BBC Songs from the Shows programmes.

3 August 1944 – Nottingham Evening Post

Thieves broke into the home of Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, the musical comedy singers, at Barnet, and got away with jewellery valued at about £500.

19 August 1944 Colston Hall.
30 October 1944 Alhambra Theatre, Bradford.

21 November 1944 – Massed brass

All lovers of brass bands on Tyneside who find it convenient to attend will enjoy the programme of the massed bands of Harton, Blackhall and Crookhall Collierie and Wallsend Shipyard at the concert in the City Hall, Newcastle, at 2.30 pm on Sunday, December 10.

Guest conductor will be Mr Harry Mortimer of the BBC , and Mr Frank Phillips, the BBC announcer is to introduce the programme, stars of which, as already announced are Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, who are returning to Newcastle especially to sing for this effort on behalf of the Royal Victoria Infirmary.

25 November 1944 – Central Hall, Coventry for one night only: Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler in Songs from the Shows, with cellist Mannucci and pianist Vina Barnden.

4 December 1944 – Kings Theatre, Portsmouth Richard Tauber, Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth, Rawicz & Landauer.

8 January 1944 Colston Hall, Bristol.
Sweet Yesterday

16 April 1945, Palace Theatre, Manchester
Sweet Yesterday

The Laughing Lady

1945

31 July 1945 – Robbery. This was not the first burglary at their home. They had been burgled in early 1944, and some time later Webster’s Talbot car was stolen from the garage and was later found abandoned and damaged.

Victory Royal Command Performance – 5 November 1945

November 1945 – Interview with Scotsman.

Jean Collen 28 March 2019.

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.

PROGRAMMES AND ADVERTS – 1940 – 1941.

10 May 1941 – Wikipedia. On the afternoon of 10 May 1941, there was a performance of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius at Queen’s Hall (Muriel Brunskill singing the angel, Webster Booth the soul, Ronald Stear the Priest and angel of Agony) conducted by Malcolm Sargent, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Choral Society. That night there was a massive air raid in which the chamber of the House of Commons and many other buildings were also destroyed, and damage was inflicted on the British Museum and upon Westminster Abbey. A single incendiary bomb hit the Queen’s Hall, and the auditorium was completely gutted by fire beyond any hope of replacement.

The Booths were becoming very popular in the 1940s so I will limit the information to a few years at a time from here on.

9 January 1940 – BBC Broadcast. 8.30: The Sleeping Beauty, an excerpt from the pantomime – presented by Prince Littler, with Leonard Henry, Syd Walker, Anne Ziegler: orchestra directed by Ray Theobald, from Golders Green Hippodrome.

A star-studded Sunday concert at the London Palladium on 21 January 1940.

21 January 1940 – Webster’s 38th birthday.
4 February 1940 – Regal Cinema, Chester.

17 February 1940 – Stars for Bath Festival. Two famous radio stars, one of whom is equally well known to film patrons – Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth – have been engaged to appear at the forthcoming festival of the Bath Co-operative Society.

19 February 1940 – Yorkshire Post – Choral Society Concert. Audience of 1,000 at Horsforth. Places of worship in Horsforth held evening services earlier, yesterday, so that townspeople could attend the concert by the Horsforth New Choral Society in the Glenroyal Cinema.

Upwards of 1,000 attended. It seems that Horsforth New Choral Society, consisting of no more than 60 strong, is more enterprising than the large choral societies in Leeds. With limited resources it engages the leading principals of the day – last night they were Miss Edythe Reeve, Miss Edith Coates, Mr Francis Russell (deputising for Mr Webster Booth at short notice) and Mr Arnold Matters – and during recent years the standard of choral singing has beenfar above the average.

14 March 1940 – Music Hall Debut. Anne and Webster made their debut in Variety at Manchester Palace (MD Jesse Hewitt; M William Taylor; PM D Bush; MusD S Rogers) A short season of twice-nightly variety opens with a pleasant programme. Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler render romantic numbers to the general delight, and are accompanied at the piano by Haward Clarke. The Western Brothers entertain with their amusing topical skits, the outstanding one being on radio propaganda. Billy Russell keeps the fun going with his patter on behalf of the working classes. George Clarke is as cheery as ever in The New Car. Will Hay, Junior, presents The Fourth Form at St Michael’s and Arthur Prince is still one of our most popular ventriloquists. Red Fred, the Five Kenways, Iris Sadler, and the Florence Whiteley Girls complete the programme.

17 March 1940, Ritz Theatre, Nottingham



22 March 1940 – Good Friday
ROYAL CHORAL SOCIETY, Patron: HIS MAJESTY THE KING,
Good Friday March 22 at 7,
MESSIAH (Handel) ELSIE SUDDABY, MURIEL BRUNSKILL, WEBSTER BOOTH, ROBERT EASTON,
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Dr Malcolm Sargent.
Tickets (all reserved) 7/6, 5/-, 3/6. 2/4 Queen’s Hall (Tel Langham 2823) and Agents

18 April 1940 – The Variety Stage, Lewisham Hippodrome.

An interesting engagement in the current variety bill is that of Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, whose artistic singing of ballads and excerpts from musical comedies is warmly welcomed. They score singly and in duets, especially in A Paradise for Two and Deep in my Heart.

20 April 1940 9.20 Variety, from the Lewisham Hippodrome: Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler, Al and Bob Harvey, Will Hay, Junion and Company, Issy Bonn, Billy Bissett’s Canadians.

4 May 1940 – Burnley Express

A grand variety gala performance at the London Palladium will be on the air for nearly two hours, with only a 20 minute interval (Forces programme) tomorrow. Among those who will be heard will be Gracie Fields, Jack Warner, Arthur Askey, Vic Oliver, Bebe Daniels, Ben Lyon, Florence Desmond, Frances Day, Max Miller, Flanagan and Allen, Teddy Brown, Webster Booth, Anne Ziegler and Rawicz and Landauer.

Because of the war, this Gala Performance took the place of the usual Royal Variety Performance.

George Black’s Variety Gala
– Much success attended last Sunday’s Gala Variety performance at the Palladium in aid of the Variety Artistes Benevolent Fund. George Black, who is president of the fund, arranged the entertainment in order to minimise the loss suffered by the cancellation of the usual Royal Variety Performance last year. A considerable sum should accrue though, of course, it will not approach the figure of £6,000 which was on the booking plan for the Royal Performance at the time of its cancellation…Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler sang solos and duets in pleasant style…



Autographs – 13 May 1940

June to October 1940 – On With the Show (Lawrence Wright) North Pier, Blackpool. Anne and Webster appeared in variety and sang Lilac of Louvain by Bruce Sievier and Horatio Nicholls. The words were inspired by an incident where Belgium girls handed sprays of flowers to British soldiers as they marched through the country.

During their stay in Blackpool they rented a “big Georgian house at Singleton, seven miles from Blackpool”, with twenty-seven acres of ground.

8 November 1940 – Western Daily Press.

BBC THEATRE ORCHESTRA’S VISIT TO BATH

Residents in Bath will have an opportunity of hearing a Sunday concert by the BBC Theatre Orchestra, with some favourite soloists on Sunday, November 17. Olga Haley and Webster Booth will sing solos and duets, and there will be items by the BBC Theatre Chorus and Jack Mackintosh solo cornet. The conductor will be Stanford Robinson.

The concert, which begins in the Pavilion at 6 pm is priced at 5s and 3s 6d for the reserved numbered seats, and 3s 6d for the reserved numbered seats, and 3s 6d for the unnumbered reserved seats. A limited number of unreserved tickets can be had in advance, price 1s 3d, from the Pump Room office telephone number 4227. Members of the Forces in uniform will be admitted for half price at the doors.

The vocal items will include the favourite song from Hiawatha, Onaway, awake Beloved; the aria from Samson and Delilah, Softly Awakes my Heart, and the duet from Act II, Carmen including the Flower Song.



Merrie England – Captivating Singing in Oldham.
So great was the demand for seats to hear the concert performance of Merrie England by the Oldham Musical Society and well-known soloists at the Odeon Theatre on Sunday that it was necessary to repeat it in the evening. Originally the intention had been to have only an afternoon performance. Both houses were full, and the audiences were enthusiastic.

22 December 1940 – MessiahHallé Concert Society, Manchester, Webster Booth (tenor), conducted by Malcolm Sargent.

Later that night there was a big bombing raid on Manchester which destroyed the Free Trade Hall. The hall had not been used for the Messiah performance because the large glass windows could not be blacked out properly, and it was feared that in the event of an air raid the members of the audience would be badly injured by flying glass.

17 April 1941 – Empire, Glasgow. A strong bill is offered here. Vic Oliver’s droll humour is always appreciated; Douglas Byng gives clever impersonations, and Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler offer delightful singing. Others are Wheeler and Wilson, Erikson, Worthy and Jarrett, Two Valors, and the Marion Palo Trio.

Webster and Anne were proud that although English comedians died the death in Glasgow, Glasgow audiences “loved us”! This reminds me of the book I am reading at the moment – Lost Empires by J.B. Priestley.

Richard Herncastle’s account of his life on the music hall, alongside his Uncle Nick, in the period immediately before the outbreak of the first World War in 1914.
This account of life in the Empire Theatres of English Variety. 

10 May 1941 – Wikipedia. On the afternoon of 10 May 1941, there was a performance of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius at Queen’s Hall (Muriel Brunskill singing the angel, Webster Booth the soul, Ronald Stear the Priest and angel of Agony) conducted by Malcolm Sargent, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Choral Society. That night there was a massive air raid in which the chamber of the House of Commons and many other buildings were also destroyed, and damage was inflicted on the British Museum and upon Westminster Abbey. A single incendiary bomb hit the Queen’s Hall, and the auditorium was completely gutted by fire beyond any hope of replacement. The building was a smouldering ruin in heaps of rubble and all that remained intact was the bronze bust of Sir Henry Wood in its alcove, looking out over the chaos. It is not known what became of the portrait bust of Gervase Elwes. In addition, the London Philharmonic Orchestra lost thousands of pounds’ worth of instruments.

26 June 1941

24 December 1941 – Gangway at the Palladium. On Wednesday afternoon, December 17th 1941, George Black produced here his “musical smile” in seventeen scenes, entitled Gangway. It belongs to the category of produced variety – established variety turns interspersed with spectacular scenes and comic episodes – that Mr Black has made very largely his own special province and with which he has found so much success on other occasions. Gangway (with Bebe Daniels and Ben Lyon, Tommy Trinder, Teddy Brown, and Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler heading a strong company) promises to enjoy a long and prosperous run at the Palladium, and it will fully deserve its success, for its constituent parts are of admirable quality and good fun is its keynote…

There is some fine vocal work to be enjoyed from Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler (who have Charles Forwood at the piano in their own scene), and it almost goes without saying that the xylophone playing by Teddy Brown has all its usual high appeal. Mr Brown’s lesson to the audience in hand bell and xylophone playing is also an enjoyable event…In addition to scenes already mentioned, others which have been staged in a highly effective way (especially when one considers the difficulties of the times) are the striking Gangway opening number with its use of revolving stage; the colourful Shangri-La Eastern episode with Webster Booth, Anne Ziegler, and ensemble; the finale to the first half in which old and familiar numbers are given new treatments, both vocal and scenic, A Place in the Sun (with Rona Ricardo, Rosita and Lamar, and ensemble), for which Arthur Bliss’ Shape of Things to Come march is used; and the All in White finale. Robert Nesbitt has produced Gangway and George Black has supervised the presentation. Debroy Somers is in charge of the orchestra and the musical side of things.

December 1941 – Times. London Palladium: Gangway supervised by Mr George Black. “This show is distinctly not what you call West End,” declared Mr. Tommy Trinder at the outset. “It is provincial, don’t you know, and you, are going to like it.” The quip, rounding off a run of engagingly impudent sallies at the expense of latecomers, betokened confidence and promised well. It seems in retrospect to have been a little rash. There is nothing to dislike in the show; yet it certainly falls below the level of entertainment we expect from Mr. George Black. It depends a good deal upon spectacle, and its chief weaknesses are here. It would be unreasonable to expect beauty in shows of this order, but so little meaning has Shangri-La or A Place in the Sun that it quite fails to be either gay or even cheerful. It is merely a parade of women in odd costumes and dances that signify nothing.

Mr. Trinder succeeds in being immensely cheerful, and his ready impudence has the good humour which may not endear the bounder of the seaside promenade but prevents us from disliking him. Mr. Ben Lyon and he make good fun of Chinese theatrical conventions, which, queer as they are in their child-like reliance on the imaginative, are not, after all, barbarous, like the convention of our own music-hall stage, which insists that the voice of Miss Bebe Daniels singing a softly sentimental song shall be turned by a microphone into a voice of brass. Mr. Teddy Brown plays the xylophone with a delightful air of absent-mindedness, and Mr. Webster Booth sings almost as Mr. Harry Welchman used to sing.

Anne and Webster in Gangway.

28 December 1941 – CONCERT FOR KING GEORGE’S FUND FOR SAILORS

A choir of naval ratings will sing sea shanties at the Albert Hall on Sunday, December 28, as part of a concert in aid of King George’s Fund for Sailors (for dependents of officers and men in the Royal Navy, Merchant Navy, and fishing fleets).

There will be the massed bands of the Royal Marines, 110 strong, under the direction of Major J. Ricketts, Geraldo’s concert orchestra, and Mr Reginald Foort at the organ. Miss Evelyn Laye will sing a song for sailors composed for the occasion by Mr Vivian Ellis, who is a lieutenant in the RNVR, and will himself appear. Miss Eileen Joyce will play the Grieg Concerto, and Mr Webster Booth, Miss Anne Ziegler, and Miss Vera Lynn will sing. Rawicz and Landauer will play two pianos, Mr John Gielgud will recite a poem specially written by Mr John Masefield, and the comedy side of the afternoon will be in the hands of Mr George Formby. Mr Ivor Newton is the accompanist.

One of a number of report cards by various managements, kindly donated to me by a member of this group who wishes to remain anonymous. All reports on Anne and Webster’s performances were very favourable.

PROGRAMMES AND ADVERTS (1923 – 1939)

Here is a copy of a letter sent from “Madeleine” who was on holiday on the Isle of Wight during the summer of 1934. She sent the letter and photograph
below to her friends Lily and Phil, who must have been
fans of Webster Booth.
Dear Lily and Phil,
Thought you would like a Photograph of Webster. We
went to see Sunshine the night before last – they were
great. The weather up to now has been very fine with a
strong wind blowing. I must say I like the Island very much, and I am enjoying myself very much indeed.
Best love to you both,
Madeleine.

November 1923 Professional debut in Yeomen of the Guard with D’Oyly Carte.
1930 West End Debut at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
Webster Booth as the Duke of Buckingham in his West End Debut 16 April 1930
Webster Booth as the Duke of Buckingham in his West End Debut 16 April 1930 with Lilian Davies.
1933 Scarborough
1 February 1933- Galashiels Concert with Garda Hall and George Baker. 1 February 1933 This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2019-03-14_213832.png Webster in The Invader with Buster Keaton (1934) Irené Eastwood in Holst’s The Wandering Scholar in Liverpool (1934) This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2019-05-27_103847.png This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 12-october-1934-by-appointment-1934.png
February 1935 Radio People Anne
The Invader (1934) with Buster Keaton,
1935
A Kingdom for a Cow (Kurt Weill) 5 July 1936, Savoy Theatre with Jacqueline Francell
1936 The Robber Symphony
The Robber Symphony (film) with Magda Sonja
11 December 1935 Samson and Delilah, Hastings Choral union, Whiterock Pavilion.
December 1935
1935 Anne’s first Panto: Mother Goose Liverpool.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 10-april-1936-wb-good-friday-messiah-royal-albert-hall.png Webster’s first Good Friday Messiah – 10 April 1936. Hallé Messiah 17 December 1936
December 1936
Cinderella in Edinburgh, December 1936 with Will Fyffe. 11 February 1937
Hiawatha, June 1937
Hiawatha, June 1937
Hiawatha, June 1937
February 1938
Saturday Night Revue film “I love the moon”.
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden 1938
November 9 1938
December 17 1938
6 January 1939 concert, WB, Flotsam and Jetsam, Chesterfield
Concert Chesterfield 6 January 1939