Charley’s Aunt (1917)

Charley’s Aunt by Brandon Thomas
The Brandon Thomas Company
1917 — On tour

Cast of Characters

Stephen Spettigue James E. Page
Col. Sir Francis Chesney J.R. Crauford
Jack Chesney Leslie Howard
Charley Wykeham G.W. Pilkington
Lord Fancourt Babberley Anthony Holles
Brassett, College Scout Sydney Compton
Donna Lucia D’Alvadorez Ada Ferrar
Amy Spettigue Edith Hobbs
Kitty Verdun Doris Hall
Ela Delahay Margot Spencer

Grand Theatre, Croydon—Who will ever tire of seeing “Charley’s Aunt”? Each visit only endears her the more to all playgoers, whose minds are healthy and where sense of humour is keen. Its rollicking fun, its caustic epigrams, its big surprises, its situations that make laughter ripple through tears, how familiar it all is, and yet how charming still. This week it is presented by the original Brandon Company, so that all patrons will know it is well presented. Mr. Antony Rollis it the famous “Lord Fancourt Babberley,” and gives us such a good time that we actually forget the war. He is superbly funny. “Sir Francis Chesney,” the dignified but jovial friend, is presented by Mr. J.B. Crauford in quite good style, while “Jack Chesney” and Mr. Charles Wykeham do splendidly as the friends of “Babs,” presented as they are by Mr. Leslie Howard and Mr. G.W. Pilkington. Mr. James E. Page gives also a very interesting story of “Stephen Spettigue.” As for the ladies, nothing could be more satisfactory than Miss Ada Ferrar in her role of “Donna Lucia.” Full of graceful naturalness, while Miss Margot Spencer is delightful as “Ela Delahy.” The other characters play well up to the principals, and the whole show goes with a swing and is one of the best. You ought not to miss the chance. The orchestra is also very good.
(Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser, February 24, 1917)

The Kennington, S.E. —”Charley’s Aunt” appears to be still a record-breaker, to judge by the appearance of this theatre on Monday. Standing room only was the order in the more popular parts of the house. The Brandon-Thomas company present this old favourite with all the force and fun of which is capable, and the parts are sustained with verve and ability by its members, old an new. Mr. Sydney Compton, the doyen of the company, continues his clever impersonation of the College Scout, Mr. J.R. Crauford again represents Colonel Chesney with grace and courtesy. Mr. James E. Page repeats his presentation of Spettigue. Mr. Anthony Holles is an excellent Lord Francourt Babberley, and Messrs. Leslie Howard, and G.W. Pilkington do justice to the parts of Jack and Charley.
(The Stage, March 1, 1917)

Hastings—Next week at the Gaiety we are promised another visit from that most famous of famous plays—”Charley’s Aunt.”
It will be presented by the principal Brandon Thomas Company, which has just completed its twelfth consecutive Christmas season at St. James’ Theatre, London. Here it has scored a success more noteworthy than usual owing to the large attendaces of men in khaki, for whom the worthy dame of Brazilian-nut fame seems to have a peculiar fascination. And doubtless her bright, cheery presence will contribute still to dispel the gloom now hanging over the land by day and night, as it has been doing in the Metropolis.
The cast includes Mr. Antony Holles as Lord Fancourt Babberley (Charley’s Aunt), Miss Ada Ferrar as Donna Lucia (the real Charley’s Aunt), Mr. J.R. Crauford as Colonel Sir Francis Chesney, Mr. Leslie Howard as Jack Chesney, and Mr. James E. Page in the part of Stephen Spettigue, the sentimental solicitor.
(Hastings and St. Leonards Observer, March 10, 1917)

The King’s, Hammersmith—”Charley’s Aunt” kept the house in a roar of laughter on Monday, when it commenced yet another visit here. Mr. Anthony Holles is the Lord Fancourt Babberley on this occasion, and extremely funny he is in the part. As Jack and Charley, Mr. Leslie Howard and Mr. G.W. Pilkington do much to assist in building up the numerous situations. Miss Ada Ferrar makes Donna Lucia d’Alvadorez an exceedingly delightful and pleasing personality. […]
(The Stage, March 22, 1917)


John Hassall’s advertisements for the Brandon Thomas Company’s production of Charley’s Aunt