Old Mother Riley


Old Mother Riley
Arthur Lucan and Kitty McShane as Old Mother Riley and her daughter Kitty

Old Mother Riley was a music hall act which originally ran from about 1934 to 1954 played by Arthur Lucan, then from 1954 to 1977 by Roy Rolland.[1]

Old Mother Riley was an Irish washerwoman character, devised by Lucan (born Arthur Towle).[1][2] His wife Kitty McShane played Old Mother Riley's daughter, Kitty.[1][2] It was essentially a drag act but also a double act. They were hugely successful at the time, playing music halls, theatres, radio and films. They also gave Jimmy Clitheroe his big break in 1939 in an Old Mother Riley pantomime called The Old Woman who Lives in a Shoe,[3] and then the following year a part in their film, Old Mother Riley in Society.

After Lucan's death, the Old Mother Riley character was played by Roy Rolland (1921–1977), although occasionally called Old Mother Kelly and, for pantomime, Old Mother Goose[1]. Rolland's Old Mother Riley was a regular on the 1970's children's variety show Junior Showtime[1], and at the end of his life he performed with Danny La Rue, who played daughter Kitty.

Old Mother Riley is referenced in the Kinks song "The Village Green Preservation Society" from their 1968 album The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society.[4]

The Old Mother Riley films

Made on a minuscule budget, but extremely profitable, 16 of the 17 films made by Arthur Lucan featured Old Mother Riley:

At the time of Lucan's death he was scheduled to film Old Mother Riley's Trip to Mars.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Obituary Roy Rolland". The Independent on Sunday. 26 August 1997. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/obituary-roy-rolland-1247384.html. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Britmovie". Old Mother Riley: The Life and Career of Arthur Lucan. Britmovie. http://www.britmovie.co.uk/2007/01/19/old-mother-riley-the-life-and-career-of-arthur-lucan/. Retrieved 13 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "Vintage British Comedy". Old Mother Riley. http://www.vintagebritishcomedy.co.uk/#/old-mother-riley-theatre/4547927999. Retrieved 13 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "Magnet Magazine". Ray Davies revisits The Kinks "The Village Green Preservation Society". Magnet Magazine. http://www.magnetmagazine.com/2009/12/02/ray-davies-revisits-the-kinks-the-village-green-preservation-society-old-mother-riley/. Retrieved 13 June 2011. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Old Mother Riley in Paris — is a 1938 British comedy film directed by Oswald Mitchell and starring Arthur Lucan, Kitty McShane, Magda Kun and C. Denier Warren.[1] It is part of the Old Mother Riley series of films. Synopsis Old Mother Riley gets onto a boat bound for France …   Wikipedia

  • Old Mother Riley Overseas — is a 1943 British comedy film directed by Oswald Mitchell and starring Arthur Lucan, Kitty McShane and Anthony Holles.[1] Old Mother Riley relocates to Portugal. Cast Arthur Lucan ... Mrs. Riley Kitty McShane ... Kitty Riley Morris Harvey ...… …   Wikipedia

  • Old Mother Riley's Ghosts — is a 1941 British comedy film directed by John Baxter and starring Arthur Lucan, Kitty McShane and John Stuart.[1] It was part of the long running Old Mother Riley series. Old Mother Riley inherits a castle in Scotland, but it appears to be… …   Wikipedia

  • Old Mother Riley at Home — is a 1945 British comedy film directed by Oswald Mitchell and starring Arthur Lucan, Kitty McShane and Freddie Forbes.[1] Cast Arthur Lucan Mrs Riley Kitty McShane Kitty Riley Freddie Forbes Mr Bumpton Richard George Dan Willer Neal Bill Wally… …   Wikipedia

  • Old Mother Riley in Business — is a 1941 British comedy film directed by John Baxter and starring Arthur Lucan, Kitty McShane and Cyril Chamberlain.[1] It was part of the long running Old Mother Riley series of films. Old Mother Riley s pub faces competition from a large chain …   Wikipedia

  • Old Mother Riley's Circus — is a 1941 British comedy film directed by Thomas Bentley and starring Arthur Lucan, Kitty McShane and John Longden.[1] Old Mother Riley takes over a struggling circus and makes a huge success of it. Cast Arthur Lucan – Mrs. Riley Kitty McShane –… …   Wikipedia

  • Old Mother Riley Detective — is a 1943 British comedy film directed by Lance Comfort and starring Arthur Lucan, Kitty McShane and Hal Gordon.[1] It was part of the long running Old Mother Riley series. Old Mother Riley investigates the disappearance of food during the war, a …   Wikipedia

  • Old Mother Riley Joins Up — is a 1940 British comedy film directed by Maclean Rogers and starring Arthur Lucan, Kitty McShane, Garry Marsh and Bruce Seton.[1] It was part of the long running Old Mother Riley series. Cast Arthur Lucan ... Mrs. Riley Kitty McShane ... Kitty… …   Wikipedia


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