Poster advertising a farewell benefit performance for Thomas Holmes at the Canterbury Palace of Varieties
Printer: Andrews, Arliss
This poster advertises a benefit performance for Thomas Holmes, who was about to tour America with the Moore and Holmes Royal British Stars. The artistes featured on a benefit programme were not paid, so it was usually only the most successful performers who could afford to appear. The 57 acts on this programme include many well known and loved performers, including G H Macdermott (1845-1901), the "Great Macdermott", famous for his patriotic songs, and Bessie Bellwood (1847-1896), known for her cockney humour and rousing songs.
Also listed is Arthur Lloyd (1839-1904), perhaps one of the most outrageous of the 'Lions Comiques' - a group of performers who specialised in parodying the fashionable young 'man about town' or 'swell'. Known for his character studies and his meticulous attention to detail, Arthur Lloyd sang as many as eight songs a night when performing for Charles Morton at the Canterbury. He wrote much of his own material, including over 1000 songs. From 1883, Arthur Lloyd toured Britain with his wife Kitty King, another music-hall performer. After Kitty died in 1892, their son and daughter joined the touring act and later performed in Vaudeville theatre in America.