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Arthur Lloyd's Musical Comedy 'Our Party'

Sometimes called 'A Nobleman in Disguise' or simply 'Nobbs'

 

A cutting from the ERA , July 26th 1884 on Arthur Lloyd's 'Our Party'.Arthur Lloyd's musical comedy 'Our Party' was first produced at the Theatre Royal, Croydon in August 1884 before going on a tour of the provinces for three months. The comedy would be produced and toured by Arthur and his family for many years afterwards and was always very well received wherever it went.

 

"Our Party" A Review from the ERA, 9th August 1884"Our Party"

A Review from the ERA, 9th August 1884

Mr Marmaduke Mugg - Mr John Barnum
Mrs Marmaduke Mugg - Mrs W. R. Pope
Gertrude - Miss Katty King
Charles Larrican - Mr Arthur Lloyd
Montague - Mr Bernard Beressford
John - Mr Albert Letta
His Lordship's Servant - Mr B. Franks

Poster for Horatio and Arthur Lloyd, and Katty King, at the Royalty Theatre, Glasgow in 1884. Click to Enlarge.Mr Arthur Lloyd commenced a week's engagement at the Theatre Royal, Croydon, on the Bank Holiday, producing an original farcical comedy entitled Our Party, of which he is the author.

Right - A Poster for Horatio Lloyd, Arthur Lloyd, and Katty King, in 'Our Party' at the Royalty Theatre, Glasgow in 1884. Click to Enlarge.

The piece has evidently been written with a view to introduce a variety entertainment, and afford opportunities for Mr Lloyd and his talented company to display their marvelous abilities; but the success of the piece was amply demonstrated long before these additional items were introduced.

Poster for Arthur Lloyd, his wife Katty King, and their children Harry, Annie and Dulcie at the Operetta House Clacton On Sea 1899 - Click to Enlarge.The comedy opens with a pretty garden set, the mansion and grounds of Marmaduke Mugg, Esq., a retired dust contractor, who in a short dialogue with his wife unfolds his intentions to espouse his daughter Gertrude to some individual of noble descent. They retire arguing the question.

Right - A Poster for Arthur Lloyd's 'Our Party' at the Operetta House Clacton On Sea in 1899 - Click to Enlarge.

The garden being deserted, Mr Charles Larrican (Mr Arthur Lloyd) makes his appearance. He is a member of a dry-up speculation entitled "Hooket's Frosty Night Company," and in a very humorous soliloquy informs us that he has existed for the last week upon oranges. Mr Mugg, re-entering upon the scene, mistakes him for a certain nobleman in disguise, who is walking against time for a wager. Larrican accepts the situation, and poses as a member of the aristocracy. Mugg is charmed at his condescension, invites him to stay a month. Larrican, who is awfully hard-up, and looks it, willingly accepts the invitation, and also consents to bring some of his upper-ten acquaintances to a party which Mugg intends giving the following day. The act concludes in pleasantry all round.

 

A Bill for Arthur Lloyd and Company in 'Our Party' at the Chestnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, in September 1893 - Click to Enlarge.Poster for Arthur Lloyd, his wife Katty King, and their children Harry, Annie and Dulcie at the Operetta House Clacton On Sea 1899 - Click to Enlarge.Act two is a scene of two spare bed-rooms exactly alike, Larrican, who has imbibed considerably, retires in one; and Montague, another member of Hocket's variety company (a baronet in disguise, in love with Mugg's daughter), finds rest in the other.

Left - A Poster for Arthur Lloyd's 'Our Party' at the Operetta House Clacton On Sea in September 1899 - Click to Enlarge.

Difficulties, of course, arise; Montague has left his room to see Gertrude, who has arranged for him a mustard plaister to cure a severe cold that deprives him of a valuable musical voice. Larican has for some purpose left his room, and, by mistake, entered that of Montague, convinced he is all right from the similarity of the furniture. Gertrude hastily enters, applies the mustard plaister to Larrican (who is too intoxicated to understand what is going on), and then proceeds to light the gas. The act concludes with the re-entry of Montague, old Mugg, &c.; dismay of Gertrude, agony of Larrican, and delight of the audience.

Right - A Bill for Arthur Lloyd and Company in 'Our Party' at the Chestnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, in September 1893. In the cast were Arthur Lloyd, Hawley Francis, Emily Beauchamp, Annie King Lloyd, Milroy Cooper, Harry King Lloyd, George Denton, Henry Ellis, Maud Bertram, Marie Fair, L. O'Brian, A. F. Taylor, Mirian Cornell, and Lillian Tulane. - Click to Enlarge.

The Bill shown right states:- 'First Appearance in America of England's Greatest Vocal Comedian, Mr. Arthur Lloyd. Who has had the longest and most successful career of all the Vocal Comedians in England, Ireland and Scotland, and whose name is known, and songs, sayings, and doings copied in every English speaking country in the world. Surrounded by his own company, specially selected for their respective characters, presenting the Musical, Pantomimical, Farsical Opera Bouffical Comedy in Three Acts, written by Arthur Lloyd and performed in England, Ireland and Scotland in the principal theatres upwards of one thousand times. Entitled Our Party Or, The Nobleman in Disguise.' More on Arthur's Visit to America can be read here.

Act three is devoted to Mugg's party; differences have evidently been healed, and harmony prevails. Larrican has introduced several of his friends of the dry-up company, made to represent various notabilities, who each in their turn consent to amuse the company, and here Mr Lloyd and his clever troup exhibit some marvelous feats; Mr Attroy is a jugler of great ability; Mr A. Letta gives some extraordinary feats of contortion; Miss Katty King personifies the poetry of motion with an Irish jig; Mr Beresford has a nice tenor voice, and sings "My Sweetheart when a Boy" with effect; while, to conclude, Mr Lloyd gives a very humorous parody of Mr Chas. Warner in Drink.

The comedy concluded in general reconciliation amid the very hearty applause of a capital audience. Altogether the production may be pronounced an emphatic success.

A notice in the ERA of the 29th of May 1897 reads: 'HASTINGS PIER PAVILION.- Entertainment Manager, Mr J. D. Hunter: - A welcome visit is paid here this week by Mr Arthur Lloyd and party which include Mr Harry King-Lloyd and Miss Annie King-Lloyd, who, in conjunction with Mr Hunter's company, produced on Monday Mr Lloyd's musical comedy Our Party ; or, the Nobleman in Disguise, a piece which forms a pleasant medium for introducing any required amount of comic sketches, character songs, or graceful dancing. Mr J. D. Hunter played Marmaduke Mugg, a parvenu, with unctuous humour and amusing effect; Miss Annie King-Lloyd played with sparkling vivacity as his daughter Gertrude; Miss Eva Bayley displayed bright humour and lively talent as Aunt Meg, Gertrude's aunt; Mr Arthur Lloyd was droll as Jimmy Ferguson, an adventurer, and gave a selection from his repertoire, followed by Mr Harry King-Lloyd in character songs, which won much applause; Mr Harry J. Crane gave assistance to the plot as Montague. The guests masquerading as dukes and duchesses, but in reality members of Montague's variety show, were played by Messrs John A. Thomson, C. W. Spencer, Carter Bligh, Misses Blanche Bayley and Cherry Wardroper. Mr Chas Hawker as Mugg's servant complete the cast.' - The ERA, 29th May 1897.

 

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