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Captain Billy

Written by
HARRY GREENBANK
Composed by
ALFRED CELLIER
   

Captain Billy was first produced 24th September 1891. It ran for 98 performances as a curtain raiser to The Nautch Girl, closing on 16th January 1892.

It was revived as a curtain raiser to The Vicar of Bray from 1st February to 18th June 1892, for a total of 119 performances.

SYNOPSIS

Captain Billy has been absent from his native village for many years, and, unbeknown to his relations, has had a very successful career as a pirate. A young foundling, Christopher Jolly, visits the village in an attempt to find his birth certificate and to this end examines the parish register. Billy chooses this day to return, and is recognised by his brother Samuel Chunk. Billy is reunited with his wife (who is quite put out to discover that she is not a widow after all), and Christopher Jolly discovers that he is Billy's nephew, whom the old scoundrel had "lost" in the Sahara desert many years before.

CAST

 
1891
1892
Captain Billy, a pirate Helier Lemaistre Helier Lemaistre 2
Christopher Jolly C. R. Rose C. R. Rose
Samuel Chunk Rudolph Lewis Rudolph Lewis
Widow Jackson Rosina Brandram Agnes Scott 3
Polly, her daughter Decima Moore 1 Cissie Saumarez 4
Janet Watts
Florence Easton 5

1. Decima Moore left the cast in November and was replaced by her sister Jessie Moore, and by Cissie Saumarez.

2. W.S. Laidlaw played a few performances as Captain Billy in May.

3. This lady appears to be given merely as Miss Scott, but Wearing has tentatively identified her as Agnes Scott. The only Miss Scott mentioned by Rollins and Witts played the Duchess in The Gondoliers during June 1891, but her first name is not given. Michael Walters and George Low think that it is probably the same person.

4. Saumarez left at the end of February or the beginning of March and was replaced by Watts. Easton played from the end of May onwards.

5. Given as F. Easton and identified by Wearing as Florence Easton. This seems likely to be correct, but it should be pointed out that the Florence Easton who appeared here and played in Haddon Hall and Utopia Ltd is not the same person as the famous Metropolitan Opera House soprano of that name.

Captain Billy was performed on tour in1892 with Albert E. Rees, Samuel Schofield, A[rthur W.] Fowles (to May) Henri Delplanque (May to December), Annie Bernard and Emmie Owen and again in 1895 with Percy Carrington, Arthur de Jong, Blanche Courtney and Nellie Wyatt. Although Annie Bernard is indicated as being involved in the 1892 tour, Low doubts that this is the case.

  • MIDI Files on Colin Johnson's Victorian and Edwardian Musicals site.

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