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Sheet Music - Smiles!
  • Smiles!
    Mc. Glennon, Felix, born 1856 - died 1943
  • Enlarge image

Smiles!

  • Object:

    Sheet Music

  • Place of origin:

    London (published)

  • Date:

    ca.1890 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Mc. Glennon, Felix, born 1856 - died 1943 (composer)
    Francis, Day & Hunter (publishers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Coloured print, Intermediate pages composed of printed text.

  • Credit Line:

    Gabrielle Enthoven Collection

  • Museum number:

    S.1258-2014

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Sheet music for Smiles!,written and composed by Felix Mc. Glennon. Sung by the music hall comedian and dancer 'Little Tich' (1867-1928), published by Francis, Day and Hunter, London, ca. 1890.

Harry Relph (1867-1928), who used the stage name Little Tich became one of the highest paid performers of his day and a celebrity in Britain and Europe. As a child he performed comic routines in public houses but moved on to appear in music halls, calling himself 'Little Tichborne' after a notorious legal case. In 1866 the missing heir to the estate of Sir James Tichborne had mysteriously re-appeared but was subsequently revealed as a imposter. Relph borrowed the name as a a joke: the 'Tichborne Claimant' was enormously fat while Relph was 1.4m tall. When shortened to Tich his stage name gave the English language a new word for a small person.

Little Tich's size enabled him to create the most famous of his stage routines, 'A Big Boot dance'. He was not the first to perform such a routine, other artistes had used elongated 'flap shoes' in dances that derived from the clog dancing popular in the 19th century. Like clogs the 'flaps' had wooden soles, allowing the performers to beat out a rhythm by slapping their feet heavily on the floor. Tich developed the dances into a comic tour de force which would have been impossible for a tall performer and which even the agile Lupino Lane would not have been able to reproduce exactly. Tich wore 71cm boots, equivalent to half his height. The flaps balanced him while he leaned forward at 45 degrees to pick up a hat or a walking cane, keeping his legs completely straight. He was able to perform the splits by sliding his feet sideways and could balance on the square toes of the boots and walk as if on stilts. He was also an accomplished juggler, and would balance a battered top hat on his chin by its brim, make it somersault and catch it on his chin or on a boot.

Physical description

Sheet music for Smiles!,written and composed by Felix Mc. Glennon. Sung by the music hall comedian and dancer 'Little Tich' (1867-1928), published by Francis, Day and Hunter, London, ca. 1890.

Place of Origin

London (published)

Date

ca.1890 (published)

Artist/maker

Mc. Glennon, Felix, born 1856 - died 1943 (composer)
Francis, Day & Hunter (publishers)

Materials and Techniques

Coloured print, Intermediate pages composed of printed text.

Dimensions

Height: 35.8 cm front cover approx, Width: 25.6 cm front cover

Descriptive line

Sheet music for Smiles!,written and composed by Felix Mc. Glennon. Sung by the music hall comedian and dancer 'Little Tich' (1867-1928), published by Francis, Day and Hunter, London, ca. 1890.

Materials

Paper; Ink

Techniques

Printing

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Prints

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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