All of the dramas


This is the famous English music hall singer, Marie Lloyd. She has nothing to do with this story, but I quite like the picture.

Dramatis personae

Priscilla Verne: serio-comic singer, with a lusty singing voice, sparkling personality, golden hair and a shapely form

Gus McBride: civil servant, variety show patron, front row seat occupier

Alice Chalmers: Miss Verne’s nom de guerre

George A. Jones: co-manager of the Olde Englishe Fayre, co-conspirator with Miss Verne

George B. Lawrence: co-manager of the Fayre, co-conspirator

Mrs Jones: lady with no first name, wife of George A., co-conspirator

Madge Stackpole: mezzo-soprano singer, apparently talented, co-conspirator

A Malacca cane: pliable weapon, first concealed in a parasol, subsequently in Miss Verne’s dress

PC Bailey: witness to the assault, apparently sympathised with Miss Verne

Chorus: 200 to 300 onlookers, none of whom apparently wished to assist Mr McBride Continue reading →

Miss Verne knows how to be interviewed

As your attorney, I advise you…

Miss Priscilla Verne readily consented to be interviewed.

“Let me tell you how the trouble originated,” said the artiste to our reporter. “On Tuesday night I was singing a song called ‘He Sits in the Front Row,’ and, as I usually do, pointed to a person in the front row. Mr. M’Bride was there, and, looking at him, I sang—

He sits in the front row; he is blushing like a maid,
I love you, darling; be my hub; now, don’t be afraid.
Don’t turn away in anger, dear; I always will be true,
Accept this kiss, and give me one; for I love you.

“To this,” resumed Miss Verne, “I distinctly heard a reply that made my blood boil, and I determined to do something. I consulted a solicitor, and he advised me to horsewhip the man.

“Very reluctantly I did so, but I considered that I had been grossly insulted, and only wanted to revenge myself.

“Accordingly, on Wednesday I penned a letter to Mr. M’Bride, and signed it ‘Alice Chalmers.’ I wrote that I was enraptured by his charms, and asked him to meet me at 1.45 p.m. on Thursday at the Town Hall corner. I added that he, perhaps, would not remember my name, but, doubtless, when he saw me he would remember me.

“I ascertained that he had received the letter, and, accompanied by several other Fayre artistes, I lay in wait for him at the appointed place. He arrived with a punctuality that did him credit, and forthwith I proceeded to interview him.

“I had a neat little, though strong, cane concealed in the folds of my dress, and as he saw me I called out, ‘Come here; I want to speak to you.’

“He began to run, and I followed, and lashed him as frequently as I could. I said ‘You cad; I’ll teach you not to insult another woman as you did me.’

“He broke away from me, and hastily proceeded across the street. I followed, and with each stroke I took good care to let him know what it was for.

“Soon a crowd collected, and I heard him appeal to a policeman. Messrs. Jones and Lawrence, however, put matters right.”

“Have you ever had any such experience before?” queried our reporter.

“Never,” replied Miss Verne. “It is entirely new for me, and I can assure you I was nervous for the time being. In all my years in the business I have always got on remarkably well with gentlemen. The remark, however, was as venom to me, and I plucked up courage and did it.”