Tom Arnold, OBE (1897 – 2 February 1969) was a theatrical producer in the United Kingdom.
Born in Yorkshire, Thomas Charles Arnold spent much of his life travelling, although he considered Brighton to be his second home.His business activities were extensive, and included opera, classical plays, films, revues, American rodeo and variety, ice spectaculars and circuses. He had interests in seaside piers and pleasure steamers and controlled the Ice Palace in Brighton. One of the most versatile and successful theatrical businessmen of his day, his empire extended to the continent and South Africa. He started in the theatre world shortly after the First World War, as a promoter and manager of touring revues seen mainly in provincial theatres and music halls.
When Julian Wylie died suddenly in December 1934, he had several Pantomime productions ongoing, and they were taken over by Arnold.
Arnold staged his first London pantomime in 1937, a production of Aladdin . He made at least one venture into Shakespeare with a production casting Ivor Novello as Henry V at Drury Lane in 1938.He also produced films in which George Formby appeared, and produced the Alfred Hitchcock movie Waltzes from Vienna (1934).
He is remembered in particular for his ice shows and circuses, some at the Stoll Theatre in Kingsway. Some of the most lavish and expensive ice shows ever produced were shown at Harringay Arena and the Wembley Arena. Harringay Arena was also home to his circus productions from 1947 to 1958.
Dubbed the King of Pantomime, it is perhaps his staging of pantomimes for which he is best remembered. pantomimes in his lifetime.In the year he died he was responsible for the production of fifteen pantomimes with a total cost of half a million pounds. He claimed to have staged 400
He left a widow Helen, daughter Louise and a son Tom who became a Conservative Member of Parliament for Hazel Grove (1974-1997).
The London Palladium is a Grade II* West End theatre located on Argyll Street, London, in Soho. The auditorium holds 2,286 people. Hundreds of stars have played there, many with televised performances. Between 1955 and 1969 Sunday Night at the London Palladium was staged at the venue, produced for the ITV network. The show included a performance by the Beatles on 13 October 1963. One national paper's headlines in the following days coined the term "Beatlemania" to describe the increasingly hysterical interest in the band.
Douglas Coy Byng was an English comic singer and songwriter in West End theatre, revue and cabaret. Billed as "Bawdy but British", Byng was famous for his female impersonations. His songs are full of sexual innuendo and double entendres. Due to the prejudices of the law and of the public at that time, Byng was a closeted gay performer. To have been out, would have been social and professional suicide. He was noted for his camp performances in the music halls and in cabaret. Byng made a large number of recordings, many of which have been transferred to CD. Byng was also a noted pantomime dame and appeared in over 30 pantomimes.
Evelyn Laye was an English actress and singer.
Hermione Ferdinanda Gingold was an English actress known for her sharp-tongued, eccentric character.
Dame Esmerelda Cicely Courtneidge, was an Australian-born British actress, comedian and singer. The daughter of the producer and playwright Robert Courtneidge, she was appearing in his productions in the West End by the age of 16, and was quickly promoted from minor to major roles in his Edwardian musical comedies.
A pantomime dame is a traditional role in British pantomime. It is part of the theatrical tradition of travesti portrayal of female characters by male actors in drag. Dame characters are often played either in an extremely camp style, or else by men acting butch in women's clothing. They usually wear heavy make up and big hair, have exaggerated physical features, and perform in an over-the-top style.
The Lyceum is a 1,068-seat theatre in the City of Sheffield, England.
Harringay Arena was a sporting and events venue on Green Lanes in Harringay, North London, England. Built in 1936, it lasted as a venue until 1958.
Sir George Edward Wade, CBE, known professionally as George Robey, was an English comedian, singer and actor in musical theatre, who became known as one of the greatest music hall performers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As a comedian, he mixed everyday situations and observations with comic absurdity. Apart from his music hall acts, he was a popular Christmas pantomime performer in the English provinces, where he excelled in the dame roles. He scored notable successes in musical revues during and after the First World War, particularly with the song "If You Were the Only Girl ", which he performed with Violet Loraine in the revue The Bing Boys Are Here (1916). One of his best-known original characters in his six-decade long career was the Prime Minister of Mirth.
Robert Courtneidge was a British theatrical manager-producer and playwright. He is best remembered as the co-author of the light opera Tom Jones (1907) and the producer of The Arcadians (1909). He was the father of the actress Cicely Courtneidge, who played in many of his early 20th century productions.
Walter Leigh was an English composer. Leigh is best known for his Concertino for harpsichord and string orchestra, written in 1934. Other famous works include the overture Agincourt and The Frogs of Aristophanes for chorus and orchestra. He wrote music for documentary films and there is an unfinished sketch for a symphony.
Albert John Moffatt was an English character actor and playwright, known for his portrayal of Hercule Poirot on BBC Radio in twenty-five productions and for a wide range of stage roles in the West End from the 1950s to the 1980s.
George Black was a British theatrical impresario who controlled many entertainment venues during the 1930s and 1940s and was a pioneer of the motion picture business.
Nat Jackley was an English comic actor who starred in revue, variety, film and pantomime from the 1920s to the mid-1980s. His trademark rubber-neck dance, skeletal frame and peculiar speech impediment made him a formidable and funny comedian and pantomime dame. His later years were spent as a character actor in film and television, and appearing in pantomime. Jackley appeared in three Royal Variety shows, topping the bill in summer shows throughout Britain's seaside resorts and in London.
Philip Braham was an English composer of the early twentieth century, chiefly associated with theatrical work. From 1914, he composed music for such musicals and revues as Theodore & Co (1916) and London Calling! (1923), including several revues produced by André Charlot. His best-known song is "Limehouse Blues," which has been recorded by many artists. He wrote for film in the 1930s.
Beryl May Jessie Toye,, known professionally as Wendy Toye, was a British dancer, stage and film director and actress.
George Windsor Graves was an English comic actor. Although he could neither sing nor dance, he became a leading comedian in musical comedies, adapting the French and Viennese opéra-bouffe style of light comic relief into a broader comedy popular with English audiences of the period. His comic portrayals did much to ensure the West End success of Véronique (1904) The Little Michus, and The Merry Widow (1907).
Connie Ediss was an English actress and singer best known as a buxom, good-humoured comedian in many of the popular Edwardian musical comedies around the turn of the 20th century.
Julian Wylie, originally Julian Ulrich Samuelson Metzenberg, was a British theatrical agent and producer. He began as an accountant and took an interest in entertainment through his brothers, Lauri Wylie and G. B. Samuelson. About 1910, he became the business manager and agent of David Devant, an illusionist, then took on other clients, and formed a partnership with James W. Tate. By the end of his life he was known as the 'King of Pantomime'.
Walter Augustus Pink was an English music hall performer, writer and theatre producer.