George Dance (dramatist)

George Dance (dramatist)

, was responsible for the building of the Oxford Playhouse, which opened in 1938.

Life and career

Dance was educated at the National School, Sneinton, Nottingham. Early in his career, he was a journalist [ [,M1 Short, Ernest Henry and Arthur Compton-Rickett "Ring up the Curtain"] (1938; 1970 Ayer Publishing) ISBN 0836952995 p. 89] and prolific song writer. Some of his most famous songs were for the music hall, including "Girls are the Ruin of Men", one of Vesta Tilley's successes, "Come Where Me Booze is Cheaper", "Angels without Wings" (also sung by Tilly), and "His Lordship Winked at the Counsel" (sung by Harry Rickards).

In the 1890s Dance turned to writing libretti for light operas and musical comedies and producing musical comedies. His works included:

*"The Nautch Girl, or, The Rajah of Chutneypore" – 1891, a comic opera with lyrics by himself and Frank Desprez, and music by Edward Solomon at the Savoy Theatre (200 performances).

*"A Modern Don Quixote" – 1893. [cite book|title=Ring Up the Curtain|author=Ernest Henry Short, Arthur Compton-Rickett|year=1970|publisher=Books for Libraries Press|isbn=0836952995

*"The Gay Parisienne" in 1894 (in Northampton); revived with music by Ivan Caryll at the Duke of York's Theatre (369 performances); revived in New York as "The Girl from Paris" (281 performances); toured internationally.

*"Lord Tom Noddy" – 1896 (with music by Frank Osmond Carr at the Garrick Theatre), starring Little Tich [ [ Information about "Lord Tom Noddy"] ]

*"The Lady Slavey" – operetta in 2 acts; with lyrics by Hugh Morton and music by Gustave Adolph Kerker; Casino Theatre, New York 3 February, 1896 (128 performances).

*"The Gay Grisette" – musical comedy with music by Carl Kiefert, 1898.

*"The Ladies Paradise" with music and lyrics by Ivan Caryll.

*"A Chinese Honeymoon" – musical comedy in two acts, with music by Howard Talbot; Theatre Royal, Hanley, in 1899; and at Royal Strand Theatre, London, beginning in 1901 (1,075 performances).

Dance made a fortune on "A Chinese Honeymoon" and became one of the most successful theatrical managers in the United Kingdom, often having as many as 24 companies on tour at once. He was behind the scenes financially at many of the big West End theatres in the days preceding the World War I.

Dance was knighted in 1923 in recognition of his services to the theatre, which included a gift of £30,000 for the reconstruction of the Old Vic and stabilization of that theatre as a permanent Shakespeare repertory theatre. [cite book|title=The Living Age ... |author=Eliakim Littell, Robert S. Littell, Making of America Project|year=1922
publisher=The Living Age Co. Inc.|isbn=


External links

*ibdb name|id=5799|name=George Dance
* [ Review of "The Nautch Girl" complimentary of Dance]
* [ Brief profile of Dance]
* [ Information about Dance as an impressario]

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