Edward Laurillard

Edward Laurillard

Infobox Person
name = Edward Laurillard

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birth_name = Edward Laurillard
birth_date = birth date|1870|4|20
birth_place = Rotterdam, Netherlands
death_date = death date and age|1936|5|7|1870|4|20
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education = Osnabrück and Paris
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occupation = Theatrical producer
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Edward Laurillard (20 April 18707 May 1936) was a cinema and theatre producer in London and New York during the first third of the 20th century. He is best remembered for promoting the cinema early in the 20th century and for musical comedies produced in partnership with George Grossmith, Jr., including "Tonight's the Night" (1914), "Theodore & Co" (1916) and "Yes, Uncle!" (1917).

Life and career

Born in Rotterdam in The Netherlands, he was educated at Osnabrück and in Paris. Laurillard moved to London, England as a young man.Obituary from "The Times", Friday, 8 May, 1936; pg. 18] He was married and divorced twice.

Early career

In 1894, Laurillard became manager of Terry's Theatre, producing "King Kodak", and his first big success was "The Gay Parisienne" at the Duke of York's Theatre, which introduced the hit song "Sister Mary Jane's Top Note." Other early productions included "My Old Dutch" and "Oh! Susannah", after which he toured the United States. The Savoy Theatre in London, closed in 1903 after the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company discontinued producing its Savoy operas there, was reopened under the management of Laurillard in February 1904 with "The Love Birds", by Raymond Roze and Percy Greenbank, starring George Grossmith, Jr., who would later become Laurillard's producing partner. [http://math.boisestate.edu/gas/british/authors/grossmith.html Biography of George Grossmith, Jr. containing information about the Winter Garden Theatre's productions from 1919 - 1926] ]

He soon became manager of the New Gallery Cinema in Regent Street and built a group of 25 cinemas. He screened Herbert Beerbohm Tree's film of "Henry VIII", one of the first films of a big stage production. With Grossmith, he brought the ethnic comedy hit, "Potash and Perlmutter" by Montague Glass, to London in 1914 for a long run at the Queen's Theatre. He was then the manager of the Comedy Theatre for the production of "Peg O' My Heart" by John Hartley Manners. Grossmith and Laurillard opened "Tonight's the Night", based on the farce "Pink Dominoes", at the Shubert Theatre in New York in 1914 (the first Gaiety show to be produced in New York before opening in London) [cite news
title=MR. KREISLER'S RECITAL.; Enormous Audience Greets War-Worn Violinist in His Best Form.
work=New York Times
] and then moved to the Gaiety Theatre, London in 1915.

Back in London, at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Grossmith and Laurillard had successes with "Mr Manhattan" (1916) and "Yes, Uncle!" (1917). At the Gaiety Theatre, Laurillard's biggest hit was "Theodore & Co" (1916). At that theatre, he later produced two shows in 1921: "Faust on Toast", a burlesque starring Jack Buchanan, and Maurice Maeterlinck's play "The Betrothal", featuring Bobbie Andrews and Gladys Cooper, with incidental music by Cecil Armstrong Gibbs and costumes by Charles Ricketts.

Later years

Grossmith and Laurillard leased the Shaftesbury Theatre to produce several shows from 1917 to 1921. These included "Arlette" (1917), "Baby Bunting" by Fred Thompson and Worton David (1919), "The Great Lover", by Leo Ditrichstein, Frederic Hatton, and Fanny Hatton (1920), and "Out to Win", by Roland Pertwee and Dion Clayton Calthrop (1921). [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41110 Information from "Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road', Survey of London" volumes 33 and 34: St Anne Soho (1966), pp. 296-312. Date accessed: 20 October 2007.] ] At the Alhambra Theatre, they produced Oscar Asche and Dornford Yates's conception of "Eastward Ho!" in 1919. [Eastward Ho! review in "The Times", 10 September 1919, p. 8]

The partners also purchased the Winter Garden Theatre in 1919, where they produced "Kissing Time" (1919, with a book by P. G. Wodehouse and Guy Bolton and music by Ivan Caryll) and "A Night Out" (1920; book by Arthur Miller, music by Willie Redstone and lyrics by Clifford Grey). Grossmith and Laurillard also became managers of the Apollo Theatre in 1920 (they had produced "The Only Girl" there in 1916 and "Tilly of Bloomsbury" there in 1919), producing the stage version of George Du Maurier’s novel "Trilby" (1922) and "Such a Nice Young Man" by H.F. Maltby, among others over the next three years. [ [http://www.nimaxtheatres.com/apollotheatre.asp Information about Laurillard's management of the Apollo Theatre. Date accessed: 20 October 2007.] ] After this, Grossmith and Laurillard terminated their partnership.

Other shows that Laurillard produced in the 1920s included "The Naughty Princess", with a book by John Hastings Turner, lyrics by Adrian Ross, and music by Charles Cuvillier at the Adelphi Theatre (1920), "Don 'Q"', with words by Hesketh Prichard Vernon with and music by Charles Essen (1921), "The Smith Family" at the Empire Theatre in 1922 and "The Butter and Egg Man" at the Garrick Theatre in 1927.

The Piccadilly Theatre was built by Bertie Crewe and Edward A. Stone, for Laurillard's production company in 1928, opening with "Blue Eyes", a romantic musical with music by Kern and book and lyrics by Bolton and Graham John. [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41453 Information from "Great Windmill Street Area', Survey of London" volumes 31 and 32: St James Westminster, Part 2 (1963), pp. 41-56. Date accessed: 20 October 2007.] ]

Laurillard also brought to London Ralph Benatzky's "My Sister and I" ("Meine Schwester und ich" aka "Meet My Sister") in 1931. In his last years, he moved to New York and also spent some time in Hollywood.


*cite news
title=EDW. LAIJRILLARD, PRODUCER, IS DEAD; London Theatrical Leader Was Engaged in Enterprises Here and in Hollywood. STAGED AMERICAN PLAYS Partner of George Grossmith From 1914 to 1921rePresented 'Potash and Perlmutter.'
work=New York Times

External links

* [http://library.kent.ac.uk/library/special/icons/playbills/playdat2.htm Information about several Laurillard plays and musicals from 1910 to 1919]
* [http://library.kent.ac.uk/library/special/icons/playbills/PLAYDAT3.htm Information about several Laurillard plays and musicals from 1920 to 1929]

NAME= Laurillard, Edward
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Laurillard, Edward
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Theatrical producer
DATE OF BIRTH= birth date|1870|4|20
PLACE OF BIRTH= Rotterdam, Netherlands
DATE OF DEATH= 1936-5-7

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