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About Andie Caine (1869 - 1941)

A photograph of Andie Caine, signed by himself, and published in the Arthurian Annual of 1904 - Courtesy Shirley Cowdrill

Above - A photograph of Andie Caine, signed by himself, and published in the Arthurian Annual of 1904 - Courtesy Shirley Cowdrill - Caption reads: 'Mr ANDIE CAINE, who is in Mr ARTHUR'S FORTY THIEVES Pantomime at Kennington is noted for his imitations of the characters in popular musical comedies. Lionel Mackinder, George Grossmith, and, best of all, Fred Wright, are hit off wonderfully well, and Mr Caine dances with astonishing grace and spirit. "Captain Pott" is a difficult subject, but Andie Caine has got him to the angle of his moustache. Andie Caine's is a curious name, and he got it by a chance remark. Someone was saying how clever his turn was. "And he can dance," said the man. "And-he-can," said the other. Caine was standing by, and immediately snapped the phrase for his stage name.


Shirley Cowdrill has kindly donated a number of Theatre Bills, Programmes, and other ephemera for use on the site, and for their future preservation in various archives. The material originally belonged to Shirley's Grandfather, Andie Caine, who was born in 1869 and passed away in 1941. Shirley says: 'My father inherited these books from his father and they have sat in a cupboard for 60 years plus, so I'm quite happy for them to go to a home where they can be accessed and appreciated... He (Andie Cane) commenced in a troupe of Boy Dancers when he was 13! and was approached in 1894 by a Mr. Phipps and Lillie Langtry to appear at a Garden Party to be held at Londesbrough Lodge near Scarborough.

An early postcard of the London Pavilion, Piccadilly Circus, London.He joined Captain Franks Minstrels and performed with them for a couple of years. Thereafter, he formed his own Pierrot Troupe that, for the next 40 years, performed on Filey Sands during the summer season.

During the winter months he performed in numerous Theatres across the UK that included London Pavilion, Royal Holborn, Palace Camberwell, Palace Chelsea. He was also involved in the establishment of the V.A.F. in 1907.

My grandfather produced and performed in a variety of Pantomimes across the UK until he retired from this activity in 1933, but continued with the Pierrot Troupe in Filey until the outbreak of WWII.

An advertisement in The Stage of December the 6th, 1928I have a list of Theatres in which he performed from the early 1900's to the 1920's, which no doubt no longer exist. Such as Crown, Eccles, Duchess, Balham, Hippodrome, Gateshead and Putney. Metropole, Bootle, Opera House, Dudley Tivoli, London, Queens, Leeds, London Pavilion, Collins Music Hall and so on!!!'

The above text in quotes was kindly sent in by Shirley Cowdrill in 2011.

Left - An advertisement in The Stage of December the 6th, 1928 announces 'Andie Caine would be vacant for DAME, but wants Christmas at home THIS YEAR. Anyone in difficulties after Christmas week wire. I'll be pleased to help. Any part. HEAPS of MATERIAL. Grand Cinema, Filey, Yorks. (Compliments of the Season.)

In September 2005 The Stage Newspaper printed an article called 'Colourful past' by Ivor Smullen, in which he looked back at the illustrious history of the pierrots, 'once the stars of seaside entertainment.' The article mentions Shirley's Grandfather saying: 'One of the most popular pierrots at Filey was banjo-strumming Andie Caine, known for his practice of distributing ice cream and sweets to children, whom he regarded, he told colleagues, as future audiences.' - The Stage, 29th September 2005.


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