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Felicia Firmin and Roy Lorraine Collection

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This material is held at V&A Department of Theatre and Performance
Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115
Dates of Creation c. 1900s - 1930s
Name of Creator Felicia Firmin and Roy Lorraine
Language of Material English
Physical Description 16 folders, 9 items and 1 volume (1 boxe)

Scope and Content

This collection contains materials relating to the lives and stage careers of the actress, comedienne and musical comedy performer Felicia Firmin and her husband, actor Roy Lorraine. Materials in the collection include programmes, playbills, photographs, postcards, correspondence, contracts, cuttings, a music manuscript, a diary and a selection of personal ephemera.

The collection also contains a number of materials relating to Reg and Amy Lorraine, who may have been related to Roy Lorraine.

Administrative / Biographical History

The earliest references to Felicia Firmin's performing career within this collection mention her appearing in concerts as early as 1904, billed as 'Little Felice'. Other line-ups have Firmin listed variously as 'Little Felicia' and 'Felicia Blackley'. Throughout her career she regularly appeared in pantomime and in the chorus of musical shows as well as taking part in concert parties (popular in Britain from the 1920s to 1940s, concert parties originated from the French Pierrot shows and consisted of travelling shows with a mixture of comedy, songs and dance, often performed at seaside venues); specifically with a Pierrot show in 1910 and in various entertainments during the First World War. Later she would play roles such as Pekoe in Aladdin and in 1912 she toured England with Charley's Aunt, playing the role of Ela.

In 1904 'Master Roy Lorraine' sailed with Edward Terry's Company to New York, and appeared with him there in the following year at the Princess's Theatre in New York. In 1918 he produced and appeared in a pantomime at the Opera House in Camiers, France.

By 1920 Firmin and Lorraine were managers of the Harmony Concert Party.

Arrangement

This collection has been arranged into the following series:

  • THM/115/1 - Correspondence
  • THM/115/2 - Contracts and signed agreements
  • THM/115/3 - Photographs
  • THM/115/4 - Roy Lorraine's diary
  • THM/115/5 - Production programmes
  • THM/115/6 - Firmin and Lorraine personal effects
  • THM/115/7 - Florodora typescript
  • THM/115/8 - Picture-plays
  • THM/115/9 - Press cuttings
  • THM/115/10 - Music manuscript
  • THM/115/11 - The Arcadians promotional postcards
  • THM/115/12 - Playbills and posters

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for consultation in the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance's Reading Room, which is located at Blythe House, 23 Blythe Rd, Olympia, London, W14 0QX. The Reading Room is open Tuesday to Friday between 10.15 am and 4.30 pm. Access to it is by appointment only. To request an appointment please email tmenquiries@vam.ac.uk or telephone 020 7942 2698.

Access to some of these files may be restricted. These are identified at file level.

Conditions Governing Use

Archival material may not be photocopied. Arrangements can be made to photograph material in the reading room using non-flash photography.

Appraisal Information

This collection was appraised in line with the collection management policy. A number of unrelated production programmes have been removed from the collection.

Acquisition Information

Gift

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Theatre and Performance Department. Material relating to these productions as well as British concert parties and variety and wartime entertainment in general may be found in several collections, including the productions and photographs files as well as the library collections.

Please ask for details.

Personal Names

Terry, Edward. ( 1839 - 1882)
Firmin, Felicia
Lorraine, Roy

Cataloguing Info

Title Felicia Firmin and Roy Lorraine Collection
Creation Created by Veronica Castro using the cheshire for archives ead creation tool 2012-05-15

Correspondence

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/1
Dates of Creation 1905 - 1937
Physical Description 2 folders

Scope and Content

These folders contain correspondence sent to and from Firmin and Roy Lorraine.


Felicia Firmin correspondence

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/1/1
Dates of Creation 1905-1918
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains a number of letters sent to Firmin from a variety of correspondents, items dated from 1905 to 1918. The folder also includes an envelope addressed to Felicia which refers to her as Miss F. L. Hill.


Roy Lorraine correspondence

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/1/2
Dates of Creation 1937
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains correspondence between Roy Lorraine Hill and theatre producer J. Bannister-Howard, dated 1937.

Personal Names

Bannister Howard, James

Contracts and signed agreements

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/2
Dates of Creation 1906 - 1915
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Folder contains 13 signed contracts engaging Firmin to work in a variety of touring shows, pantomimes, musical plays and dramas. Dates vary from 1906 to 1915.


Photographs

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/3
Dates of Creation c. 1850s - 1920s
Physical Description 3 folders

Scope and Content

These folders contain production and publicity photographs of Firmin and Reg Lorraine, a male relation to Roy Lorraine.


Felicia Firmin promotional photographs and portraits

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/3/1
Dates of Creation c. 1910s - 1920s
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains 15 promotional and portrait photos of Firmin, two of which are signed with messages to her husband Roy, two are signed to another individual and one is annotated. All images are black and white except for one hand-coloured photograph, signed 'Felicia Lorraine'.


Felicia Firmin production photographs

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/3/2
Dates of Creation c. 1910s - 1920s
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains 16 Firmin production photos, two of which are dedicated to Firmin from unknown individuals. All images are black and white.


Reg Lorraine photographs

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/3/3
Dates of Creation c. 1850s - 1910s
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains 4 photos of Reg Lorraine, two of which are signed by him, one being dedicated to Roy Lorraine. All images are black and white.


Roy Lorraine's diary

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/4
Dates of Creation 1907
Physical Description 1 volume

Scope and Content

Small leather-bound diary for 1907, belonging to Roy Lorraine. Annotated throughout in pencil.


Production programmes

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/5
Dates of Creation c. 1900s - 1920s
Physical Description 3 folders

Scope and Content

These folders contain production programmes for shows in which Firmin, Roy Lorraine or Amy Lorraine appeared, with a small number of other programmes and a special commemorative program.


Felicia Firmin programmes

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/5/1
Dates of Creation c. 1900s - 1920s
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains a number of programmes for productions in which Firmin appeared. Most are undated. Also included is an annotated programme for a Costume Concert Party, undated.


Roy Lorraine programmes

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/5/2
Dates of Creation 1904 - 1918
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains a number of programmes for productions in which Roy Lorraine appeared or produced, including The House of Burnside in New York and Mark Lupino's Robinson Crusoe in France. This last programme is signed and dedicated to Firmin. Programmes are dated from 1904 to 1918.

Personal Names

Lupino, Mark. ( d.1930)

Amy Lorraine programmes

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/5/3
Dates of Creation 1910s
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains a number of programmes for the Shell Out! revue, which featured Amy Lorraine. Dated 1915-1916.


The Artists commemorative programme

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/5/4
Dates of Creation c. 1910s - 1920s
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Special commemorative programme for The Artists with tissue-paper concertina-fan fold-out. Undated.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this item is at the discretion of the archivist for conservation reasons.


Firmin and Lorraine personal effects

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/6
Dates of Creation c. 1900s - 1930s
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder includes handwritten copies of two songs, a typed list of Lorraine's stage performances covering the years 1898 to 1921, financial receipts and Firmin's National Health Insurance card. Dated items range from 1905 to 1933.


Florodora typescript

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/7
Dates of Creation c. 1900s - 1930s
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains a copy of the typescript for Florodora, a comic opera by Owen Hall, annotated with cues for the chorus. Undated.

Personal Names

Hall, Owen. ( 1853 - 1907)

Picture-plays

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/8
Dates of Creation c. 1890s - 1920s
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains copies of picture-plays (story-board representations of a stage-play, with images and text) for the following plays, all of which starred Amy Lorraine:

  • Aylwin, by Theodore Watts-Dunton: undated.
  • Doorsteps by Henry Edwards: three copies, undated.
  • The Great Adventure by Arnold Bennett: undated.
  • Sunken Rocks by E. Temple Thurston: undated.
  • Trelawny of the "Wells" by Sir Arthur W. Pinero: 2 copies, undated.

Personal Names

Watts-Dunton, Theodore. ( 1832 - 1914)
Edwards, Henry. ( 1882 - 1952)
Bennett, Arnold. ( 1867 - 1931)
Temple Thurston, Ernest . ( 1879 - 1933)
Pinero, Sir Arthur Wing. ( 1855 - 1934)

Press cuttings

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/9
Dates of Creation c. 1910s - 1920s
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains loose national newspaper review cuttings for productions such as Alice in Wonderland and Mark Ambient (real name Harold Harvey) and A. M. Thompson's The Arcadians as well as a caricature of Firmin. Dated items range from 1914 to 1921.

Personal Names

Thompson, Alexander Matlock. ( 1961 - 1948)
Harvey, Harold. ( b. 1860)

Music manuscript

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/10
Dates of Creation c. 1910s - 1920s
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains a handwritten music manuscript for the song Kleptomania, undated.


The Arcadians promotional postcards

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/11
Dates of Creation 1900s - 1920s
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

This folder contains ten full-colour promotional postcards for a production of The Arcadians, undated.


Playbills and posters

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/115/12
Dates of Creation c. 1900s - 1920s
Physical Description 9 items

Scope and Content

Nine posters and playbills advertising productions in which either Firmin or Roy Lorraine or both were involved. All undated.