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Theatre costume

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1920s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    B. J. Simmons & Co. (wig-makers)

  • Credit Line:

    In memory of Bay Harrington - given by Mrs. P. Farley

  • Museum number:

    S.243:1-2002

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This costume was worn by Bay Harrington. Bay (a corruption of 'Baby', the name by which she was known to her family in which she was the only girl) trained at the Tree Academy as an opera singer and appeared in performances at Covent Garden and at Her Majesty's Theatre. She had the opportunity of continuing her singing studies at La Scala, but her family felt she was too young, and after a bout of TB affected her voice she abandoned grand opera for the variety stage. Bay appeared with concert groups, including The Seven Romps in 1912, and then in various double acts with other girls including The Trilbies with Eileen Lawler in 1913, touring the Near East and Asia as well as Britain, and with Evelyn Kirkby as Kirkby & Harrington. She appeared in pantomime in London and the regions as well as in variety.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

ca. 1920s (made)

Artist/maker

B. J. Simmons & Co. (wig-makers)

Marks and inscriptions

At nape of wig: "B. J. Simmons & co. Kings street Covent Garden"

Dimensions

Circumference: 55.5 cm Wig

Object history note

The costume was worn by Bay (neé Florence Charlotte) Harrington (1891-1983) in an unidentified variety act with Evelyn Kirkby, possibly in the 1920s.

Historical significance: The costume one of a group of variety costumes worn by Bay Harrington in various acts in the 1920s and 1930s. It is rare to have several costumes for a variety artist from the different acts they devised over their careers.

Descriptive line

Hat, wig and monocle worn by Bay Harrington in the variety act Kirkby and Harrington, ca. 1920s

Materials

Human hair; Netting; Cotton gauze

Techniques

Wig-making

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Variety; Theatre costume

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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