Monday, May 9, 2011

On May 9

On this day in ...
... 1874, Lilian Baylis (right) was born in London, England, into a performing family that called itself The Gypsy Revellers. She thus began acting, signing, and teaching music early on -- even as she worked with her aunt, Emma Cons, at settlement houses like Octavia Hill, which aided London's poor. The Baylises immigrated to South Africa when Lilian was a teenager; eventually she returned to England, where she became a renowned theatrical producer and manager. Over the years Baylis managed the Old Vic and Sadler's Wells theaters, one troupe that became the English National Opera, another that became the National Theatre, and a third that became the Royal Ballet. WikiPedia offers this anecdote displaying the impresaria's wit:

A strong, and occasionally somewhat eccentric, personality she reputedly once told an actress that her wig was unsatisfactory and would have to go back to Berts, the wigmaker.
‘But, Miss Baylis‘, protested the actress, ‘this is my own hair’.
‘I don’t care. It will have to go back to Berts.’

(Prior May 9 posts are
here, here, here, and here.)

No comments: