Phyllis & Zena Dare

Phyllis Dare
Phyllis Dare

 

ENGLISH

 

ACTRESSES

 

20th October 1931

 

Ivor Novello had invited Baba to see the current comedy in which he had a part. That evening Baba went with his group to see the play, "Proscenium" at the Globe Theater, and Novello gave Baba the box seats usually reserved for royalty. Honored by his presence, the entire cast bowed to Baba at the end of the show and Novello went to the box to receive Baba's embrace. Afterward, Novello introduced Phyllis and Zena Dare to Baba, and extended a cordial invitation to stay at his country house whenever Baba was back in England.

 

Lord Meher ; Vol.5, page 1932

 

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Phyllis Dare in The Belle of Mayfair

Phyllis Dare (15 August 1890 – 27 April 1975) was an English singer and actress, famous for her performances in Edwardian musical comedy and other musical theatre in the first half of the 20th century.

 

Phyllis Constance Haddie Dones was born in Chelsea, London, Dare first performed on stage at the age of nine, in the Christmas pantomime Babes in the Wood (1899). Later that year, she appeared as Little Christina in Ib and Little Christina. She soon played Mab in the Seymour Hicks musical Bluebell in Fairyland, and at the age of 15, she took over the starring role of Angela in The Catch of the Season.

 

In 1909, Dare created the role of Eileen Cavanagh in the hit musical The Arcadians, where she met the producer George Edwardes. This started a long association between the two, who collaborated on productions including The Girl in the Train, Peggy and The Quaker Girl. In 1912, she starred in The Sunshine Girl. In 1913 she joined the cast of The Dancing Mistress, as Nancy Joyce, at the Adelphi Theatre and continued to star in successful productions throughout the 1920s, including in the role of Mariana in The Lady of the Rose (1922).

During her later career, she turned to straight plays, some of which included Aren't We All in 1929, Words and Music in 1932 and The Fugitives in 1936. She appeared occasionally in films, starring in The Argentine Tango and Other Dances in 1913, Dr. Wake's Patient in 1916, Crime on the Hill in 1933 and Debt of Honour in 1936. In the 1940s she appeared in a tour of Full House and was later cast in Other People's Houses. In 1949, Dare opened as Marta the mistress in Ivor Novello's musical, King's Rhapsody. The show ran for two years and was Dare's last theatrical endeavour. She retired to Brighton in 1951 and died at the age of 84.

 

Contents

Life and career

 

Dare as a child actress

Dare was born in Chelsea, London.[1] Her father, Arthur Albert Dones, was a divorce clerk, and her mother was Harriette Amelia Wheeler.[1] Dare was the youngest of three children. Her sister, Zena, three and a half years her senior, also became a well-known musical comedy actress.[1] They had a brother named Jack.[2]

 

Early career

 

Dare's first performance on stage was in 1899, at the age of nine, in the Christmas pantomime Babes in the Wood at the Coronet Theatre in London.[1] Her sister Zena was also cast in this production, and they both adopted the surname of Dare. The next year, Phyllis was cast as Little Christina in a production of Ib and Little Christina at the Prince of Wales's Theatre, the same year repeating the role at the Coronet Theatre,[3] and she ended the year in the Christmas pantomime Little Red Riding Hood in Manchester. In 1901, she played one of the children in The Wilderness, and Seymour Hicks and Ellaline Terriss cast her as Mab in their musical Bluebell in Fairyland. The following Christmas, she performed in a production of The Forty Thieves.[4]

 

as Eileen in The Arcadians

Dare took a few years off to concentrate on her studies. During this period, in March 1903, she received a marriage proposal from Lord Dalmeny. His family did not approve and had the young nobleman rapidly shipped off to Scotland.[5] When her sister Zena received a proposal from Maurice Brett, the second son of Lord Esher, his family approved, and the two married in 1911.

In 1905, just after her fifteenth birthday, Dare took over the starring role of Angela in The Catch of the Season from Terriss.[1] The role had been created by Dare's sister Zena.[1] Dare next appeared in a pantomime of Cinderella in Newcastle. She left the stage abruptly and travelled to a Belgian convent to continue her studies.[1] A rumour circulated that her sudden departure was a result of a pregnancy.[4] In any event, she returned to London with her father in haste in 1906 to take over the title role, on short notice, of Julia Chaldicott, in The Belle of Mayfair when Edna May left the cast at the Vaudeville Theatre.[1] Just 16 years old, the role established her as a major performer in London.[6]

 

Star of musicals

 

as Peggy, 1911

In 1907, Dare published her autobiography From School to Stage. In the same year, she starred as the Sandow Girl in a provincial tour of The Dairymaids and again starred in the Christmas pantomime Cinderella.[1] In 1908, Dare returned to The Dairymaids at the Adelphi Theatre for two months.[7] At the same theatre, she reprised her role as Cinderella.[1]

In 1909, Dare created the role of Eileen Cavanagh in the hit musical The Arcadians at the Original Shaftesbury Theatre.[1] A review from Playgoer and Society Illustrated noted, "Miss Phyllis Dare does everything that is expected of her; she dances nicely, sings sweetly and looks pretty...."[8] This was an extraordinarily long-running musical, playing for 809 performances, and Dare stayed for the entire run. The musical marked the beginning of Dare's association with producer George Edwardes, and she went on to star in several more of his productions in the next three years, including The Girl in the Train at the Vaudeville Theatre (1910, as Gonda van der Loo), Peggy at the Gaiety Theatre (1911, as Peggy), The Quaker Girl in Paris (1911, as Prudence) and The Sunshine Girl at the Gaiety and then on tour (1912-13, as Delia Dale). She left The Sunshine Girl in 1913 to join the cast of The Dancing Mistress, as Nancy Joyce, at the Adelphi Theatre.[4]

Dare began to develop a relationship with the composer Paul Rubens.[1] He had written the music for The Sunshine Girl and The Dairymaids, and they became acquainted.[1] He would write the music for her next series of shows, including The Girl from Utah at the Adelphi (1913, as Dora Manners), Miss Hook of Holland at the Prince of Wales's (1914 revival, as Sally Hook) and Tina at the Adelphi (1915, as Tina).[1] He also dedicated his most famous song, "I Love the Moon" to her.[9] During the run of Tina, Dare became engaged to Rubens. Their engagement ended when Rubens became very ill with consumption. He died in 1917 at the age of 41.[10]

 

Later years

 

Dare performed on stage rarely for the next few years, appearing in Hanky-Panky at the Empire Theatre in 1917. She returned to the stage in 1919 as Lucienne Touquet in Kissing Time at the Winter Garden and then played Princess Badr-al-budur in Aladdin in 1920 at the Hippodrome, London. She continued to star in successful productions throughout the 1920s, including as Mariana in The Lady of the Rose at Daly's Theatre (1922), as Yvette in The Street Singer (1924; 360 performances at the Lyric Theatre and on tour), and as Fay Blake in Rogers and Hart's Lido Lady at the Gaiety Theatre (1926), in which she introduced the song "Atlantic Blues."[9] She then turned to straight plays. Some of these included Aren't We All (1929) Words and Music (1932), and The Fugitives (1936).

Dare also appeared in a few films including The Argentine Tango and Other Dances (1913), Dr. Wake's Patient (1916), The Common Law (1923), Crime on the Hill (1933), Debt of Honour (1936), Marigold (1938) and Gildersleeve on Broadway (1943).[11] A thoroughbred horse was named after Dare in 1920.[12]

In 1940, for the first time in over four decades, Zena and Phyllis Dare shared the stage, in a tour of Full House, in which Dare played Lola Leadenhall. In 1941-42, she was Juliet Maddock in Other People's Houses, and in 1946 she played the Marchioness of Mereston in Lady Frederick at the Savoy Theatre.[10] In 1949, Dare opened as Marta the mistress in Ivor Novello's musical, King's Rhapsody, again with her sister Zena. The show ran for two years and was Dare's last theatrical endeavour.

Dare retired to Brighton, England, at the age of 61, where she died at the age of 84.[1] Her sister had died only six weeks earlier

 

 

Zena Dare

Zena Dare
Zena Dare

20th October 1931

 

Ivor Novello had invited Baba to see the current comedy in which he had a part. That evening Baba went with his group to see the play, "Proscenium" at the Globe Theater, and Novello gave Baba the box seats usually reserved for royalty. Honored by his presence, the entire cast bowed to Baba at the end of the show and Novello went to the box to receive Baba's embrace. Afterward, Novello introduced Phyllis and Zena Dare to Baba, and extended a cordial invitation to stay at his country house whenever Baba was back in England.

 

Lord Meher ; Vol.5, page 1932

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Zena Dare (4 February 1887 – 11 March 1975) was an English singer and actress who was famous for her performances in Edwardian musical comedy and other musical theatre and comedic plays in the first half of the 20th century.

In a career spanning over six decades, Dare made her first appearance on stage in 1899, in the Christmas pantomime Babes in the Wood in London, where she performed under her real name Florence Dones. She starred alongside her sister Phyllis in the production, and they both adopted the stage name of Dare soon afterwards. In the first decade of the 1900s, she starred in pantomimes and various Edwardian musical comedy productions including An English Daisy, Sergeant Brue and The Catch of the Season, as well as the title roles in Lady Madcap and The Girl on Stage. In 1911, she retired and nursed soldiers in France during the war.

Dare returned to the stage in 1926 where she played the title role in The Last of Mrs. Cheyney. This was followed with a role in The Second Man alongside Noël Coward. In 1928, she formed her own production company and, a year later, took over the management of the Haymarket Theatre. On stage, she starred in The First Mrs. Fraser, Other Men's Wives and Cynara, and she appeared in pantomime at the London Palladium. Late in her career, she had a big success as Mrs. Higgins in the long-running original London production of My Fair Lady.

In addition to her stage roles, Dare occasionally appeared in film and made her debut in the silent film No. 5 John Street in 1921. She made a successful transition to "talkies" appearing in The Return of Carol Deane in 1938 and Over the Moon a year later. She died in London in 1975 at the age of 87.

 

Contents

Life and career

Dare was born Florence Hariette Zena Dones in Chelsea, London.[1] Her father, Arthur Albert Dones, was a divorce clerk, and his wife was Harriette Amelia Wheeler.[1] Dare was the oldest of three children.[1] Her sister, Phyllis, three and a half years her junior, also became a well-known musical comedy actress.[1] They had a brother named Jack.[2]

 

Early career

 

Dare was educated at Maida Vale High School.[1] She had her first performance on stage in 1899, at the age of 12, in the Christmas pantomime Babes in the Wood at the Coronet Theatre in London.[1] Her sister Phyllis was also cast in this production, and they both adopted the stage name of Dare.[1] From 1900, she played in various pantomimes produced by F. Wyndham in Edinburgh and Glasgow.[1] In 1902, at the age of 15, Dare was hired by Seymour Hicks to tour as Daisy Maitland in An English Daisy, and to play the title role in Cinderella in 1903-04 at the Shakespeare Theatre in Liverpool.[1] She spent much of 1904 touring but returned to London to play Aurora Brue in Sergeant Brue for Frank Curzon's theatre company.[1] She left the company to create the role of Angela on in September 1904 in The Catch of the Season at the Vaudeville Theatre opposite Hicks.[1] The role would have gone to Ellaline Terriss, Hicks' wife, but she was pregnant. Dare left Catch of the Season in 1905 to play Beauty in Sleeping Beauty in Bristol.[1] Terriss later assumed the role of Angela, and Dare's sister Phyllis took over the role from Terriss.[3]

 

in Peter Pan

In 1906, Dare was hired by producer George Edwardes to play three roles at The Prince of Wales's Theatre in London: the title role in Lady Madcap, Lady Elizabeth Congress in The Little Cherub and the title role in The Girl on Stage.[1] Dare left Edwardes' company in 1906 to play Betty Silverthorne in Hicks' The Beauty of Bath at the Aldwych Theatre.[1] Later that year, she reprised her role in the touring production of The Catch of the Season and ended the year starring as Peter Pan in a Christmas pantomime of Peter Pan in Manchester.[1] In 1907, she returned to the Aldwych as Victoria Siddons in The Gay Gordons and spent the rest of the year in a tour of one act plays with Hicks' company. She spent 1908 and the beginning of 1909 touring both in The Gay Gordons, this time in the lead role of Peggy Quainton, and in Sweet and Twenty, among other pieces.[3] In March 1909, she starred in Papa's Wife at the Colliseum and then played Princess Amaranth in Mitislaw or The Love Match at the Hippodrome.[1] She spent the better part of 1910 touring as Duc de Richelieu in The Dashing Little Duke, before returning to the Hippodrome to perform in The Model and the Man.[2]

The original production of The Dashing Little Duke was a financial disaster. When Dare joined the tour, business picked up, but the tour did not solve Hicks' financial problems, and he announced that he would take his company to South Africa. Dare did not join them.

 

Later years

 

While appearing in The Catch of the Season, she met and subsequently became engaged to Maurice Vyner Baliol Brett (1882–1934), the second son of the 2nd Viscount Esher. They married in January 1911, and, at age 23, at the height of her career, Dare retired from the theatre.[1] The couple moved to rural Chilston, near Ascot, Berkshire, and raised a son and two daughters.[4] Eager to help the war effort during World War I, Dare nursed injured soldiers for three years at Mrs. Vanderbilt's American Hospital in France.[4]

In 1926, after fifteen years away from the stage, Dare played the title role of Mrs. Cheyney in The Last of Mrs. Cheyney at Golder's Green, London and then on tour.[1] In 1928, she played Kendall Frayne in The Second Man with Noël Coward at the Playhouse. Dare began her own theatre company in 1928 and toured South Africa in The High Road, The Trial of Mary Dugan, The Squeaker and Other Men's Wives. She returned from her tour at the end of 1929 and took over the management of the Haymarket Theatre, where she played Mrs. Fraser in The First Mrs. Fraser. The next year, she toured in The First Mrs. Fraser, and as Femme de Chambre in Other Men's Wives and Clemency Warlock in Cynara. During the Christmas seasons of 1931 and 1932, she played Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan at the London Palladium. During 1932, she toured as Leslie in Counsel's Opinion.[2]

 

In 1933, Dare began her long association with Ivor Novello, playing his mother in Proscenium at the Globe Theatre. In 1934, she played Mrs. Sherry in Novello’s Murder in Mayfair at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.[1] Her husband died that year.[1] In 1936, she played Phyllida Frame in Novello's long-running musical Careless Rapture. In 1938, she went on to play Tiny Fox-Coller in Farrell and Perry's Irish comedy, Spring Meeting, at the Ambassadors Theatre, which was directed by John Gielgud.[1] She then toured in this role in 1939.[5]

In 1940, for the first time in over four decades, Zena and Phyllis Dare shared the stage in a tour of Full House, in which Dare played Frynne Rodney. In 1941 at the Globe Theatre, Dare played Lady Caroline in a revival of Dear Brutus. At Christmas of the same year, she again played the part of Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan. In 1943 she played Fanny Farrelly in a tour of The Watch on the Rhine, followed by the Red Queen in Gielgud's revival of Alice Through the Looking Glass at the Scala Theatre in London.[3] In 1944, she played Elsie in Another Love Story at the Phoenix Theatre. She rejoined Novello at the Hippodrome in 1945, taking over the part of Charlotte Fayre in Perchance to Dream. In 1949, she appeared as the royal mother in Novello's musical King's Rhapsody at the Palace Theatre, again with her sister Phyllis. The show ran for two years, surviving Novello's death.[2]

 

in My Fair Lady (centre) with Andrews and Alec Clunes

In 1954, again at the Palace, Dare played Julia Ward Mckinlock in Sabrina Fair. At the Savoy Theatre she played Edith Billingsley in Double Image, and later that year at the Globe Theatre, she took over the part of the bogus painter's widow, Isobel Sorodin, in Nude with Violin by Noël Coward. Dare's last theatrical role was as Mrs. Higgins, Henry Higgins' mother, in the original London production of My Fair Lady beginning in 1958 and running for five and a half years.[1] Dare was the only one of the principal performers to stay for the complete run, followed by a season on tour. At its conclusion, she retired from the stage.[4]

 

In addition to her stage career, Dare made several appearances on television and in films. [6] Her films included the silent films No. 5 John Street(1921)[6] and, A Knight in London (1928). [6] Her "talkies" included The Return of Carol Deane (1938)[6] and Over the Moon (1939).[6] She also appeared in several television movies in England including: Spring Meeting (1938), Barbie (1955), The Burning Glass (1956) and An Ideal Husband (1969).[5] In 1963, she was the special guest on an episode of This is your Life on the BBC.[7]

She died in London in 1975 at the age of 87. Her sister Phyllis died only six weeks later.