Showing posts with label Tivoli. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tivoli. Show all posts

Monday, January 7, 2013

Fanny Powers of the Tivoli

Fanny Powers was a popular child performer at the Tivoli Theatre in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

She was born in 1890 near Leichhardt in Sydney to Maria and George Powers. Her parents must have been involved in the theatre because she was performing by the time she was 7.

Here she is as a child.

Fanny was an accomplished mimic and dancer and was well known for imitating the great stars who visited Australia. She was also very popular with Harry Rickards and his family, which included two daughters. 

In 1903 Rickards took her to England where she replaced Vesta Tilley at the Oxford Music Hall. She was too young to be paid because of child labour laws, so was given a 'present' every pay day.

Fanny was a popular favourite in Australia until 1912 when she gave up the stage to get married. An enormous benefit was performed for her farewell, and she never returned to the boards.

Above is Fanny as a young adult.

She married Mr William Foote, a South Australian businessman in 1913. He owned several racehorses and was some years older than Fanny.

The pair settled for a time in Manly NSW. During the early 1920s they lived in a beautiful sea side house with their three children, George, Arthur and Nancy.

In the mid 20s they moved to Adelaide.

William died aged 63 in 1937, and Fanny died the next year, around June 1938. There was little fanfare when she died but she was fondly remembered for decades as one of the fixtures of the Tivoli Circuit.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Harry Rickards and the Tivoli Theatre

Harry Rickards was an English music hall performer who became one of Australia's most successful theatre entrepreneurs. Although Rickards isn't very well known, his theatre chain, The Tivoli, is a magic word in Australian Theatre History.

Below is a letter dated 1893 on Harry Rickards' stationery. I'm not sure if it's signed by Rickards or by his brother Jack Leete. The Tivoli circuit was a family affair and Jack managed a lot of the business side.

This is a picture of Harry Rickards from an early 20th Century magazine. It outlines all the theatres he operated in Australia. These included the Tivoli in Sydney, The Opera House in Melbourne, and theatres in Adelaide and Brisbane. As you can see, Rickards had no problem with self promotion.

Finally, below is a 19th Century postcard of the New Opera House in Melbourne. It was later called the Tivoli and was run by Rickards. A shopping mall now stands on the site.

Frank Van Straten's book on the Tivoli called Tivoli, covers everything you want to know about the history of this legendary theatre chain.