- H. G. Pelissier
Harry Gabriel Pelissier (
27 April, 1874- September 25, 1913) was an English theatrical producer, composerand satirist. Pelissier presented a number of theatrical productions during the Edwardian era, such as "Pelissier's Follies".
Born at Elm House, Church End, in
Finchley, North London, he was the second son of Frederic Antoine Pelissier (d. 1914), a French diamond merchant, and his English wife, Jennie, néeKean.. [cite news
title=HARRY G. PELISSIER DEAD.; London Comedian Was Head of "The Follies" Troupe.
New York Times
accessdate=2008-08-07] He attended the
Highgate Schoolin Londonfrom 1885. [ [http://www.ocs.org.uk/famous.asp The Old Cholmeleian Society - Official Website - ocs.org.uk ] at www.ocs.org.uk] In 1895 Pelissier was a member of the 'Baddeley Troupe', a group of amateur entertainers who performed at charity events around south London. They went professional under Sherrington Chinn and Pelissier bought the rights to the troupe from Chinn, and, renamed as 'Pelissier's Follies', the new company's first appearance was at Aberystwyth, in Wales. Moving on to Worthing pierthey opened as a pierrotshow on 7 August 1896. [Pure Folly: The Story of Those Remarkable People The Follies. By Fitzroy Gardner. Pub. by Mills and Boon, Ltd (1909) pg2]
Eventually, Pelissier and his troupe graduated from seaside piers and concert halls to London's St. George's Hall,
Queen's Hall, the Tivoli Music Halland The Alhambra until moving to the prestigious Palace Theatre in 1904 where they burlesqued Grand Operaand Shakespeare.
In December 1904, Pelissier and his 'Follies' gave a '
Royal Command Performance' before King Edward VII and Queen Alexandraat Sandringhamin celebration of her birthday after the King had enjoyed Pelissier's brilliant parodies of Wagner's operas. . [Pure Folly: The Story of Those Remarkable People The Follies. By Fitzroy Gardner. Pub. by Mills and Boon, Ltd (1909) pg3] In December 1906 Pelissier, becoming increasingly ambitious, opened in a season at a small theatre attached to the Midland Hotel, in Manchester, where they filled the house for six weeks. In April 1907 Pelissier's 'Follies' transferred to the Royalty Theatrein London, where he produced a five minute 'potted-play' called 'Baffles: a Peter-Pan-tomine', based on 'Raffles' and ' Peter Pan'. In September 1907 the troupe moved to Terry's Theatreand in February 1908 to the Apollo Theatre, where they gave several more of their 'potted-plays', based on the plots and music of grand opera, musical comedy and current news. The Apollo Theatre remained the home of 'The Follies' until 1912. [ [http://www.apollo-theatre.co.uk/theatre-history.htm London's West End Apollo Theatre - Ticket Booking, Seating Plan, Theatre Information and History ] at www.apollo-theatre.co.uk]
In May 1908 the 'Follies' toured
Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dublin, Newcastle and Birmingham, as well as various seaside venues, before returning to London's Apollo Theatre in December 1908. In 1912 Pelissier married the actress Fay Compton(he was her fourth husband), remaining married to her until his death in 1913. She made her first professional theatrical appearances with the 'Pelissier Follies' between 1911 to 1913. [ [http://www.lycos.com/info/fay-compton.html Fay Compton ] at www.lycos.com]
Seeking ever more extravagant stage effects, his last three 'Follies' seasons were unsuccessful; he died at his father-in-law's home, 1 Nevern Square,
Earls Court, London, on 25 September 1913, aged just 39, from cirrhosisof the liver, leaving an infant son, Anthony Pelissier, who became a successful producer and director in his own right. After cremationat Golders Green Crematoriumhis ashes were placed in his mother's grave at Marylebone cemetery, on 29 September. [N. T. P. Murphy, ‘Pélissier, Harry Gabriel (1874–1913)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008]
As a composer, Pelissier wrote the music for songs which were popular in their day, including: [ [http://freespace.virgin.net/m.killy/sing-fg.htm Sing Us One of the Old Songs by Michael Kilgarriff ] at freespace.virgin.net]
Before The Flood
Big Bamboo, The
Chubby Little Cherub
Down By The Wangaroo
Flower Girl, The
Garden Of Roses, A
Hope On, Hope Ever! I Love Thee Dear
In Santa Fe
I Wanted To Marry A Hero
I Want Somebody To Love Me
I Worship The Ground
Love Me Long
My Boy From Barbary
Our Canadian Canoe
Pansy Of Pennsylvania
Pleasant Countryside, The
Since I Walked Out With A Soldier
Toothbrush And The Sponge, The
title=The Funniest People in London; Doings by "The Follies" That Recall the Old Days of Weber and Fields.
New York Times
* [http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9E0CE5D8163DE633A25754C2A96F9C946296D6CF Obituary in The New York Times 1913]
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