Paris, 1912 and the Folies Bergère

James Eadie and Cissie Ramsden were married at Brixton Registry Office on 27 February 1912. An announcement in The Stage newspaper declared they left for Paris that day to perform at the Folies Bergère.

The Stage 29 Feb 1912 [British Newspaper Archive]

Eadie & Ramsden did indeed perform at the Folies Bergère in March 1912. This was their second visit to Paris, their first engagement was at the Alhambra in Jan 1911. Eadie and Ramsden returned to Paris in November 1913 to perform at the Moulin Rouge.

La Lanterne (Paris) 6 March 1912 page 3 : At the Folies Bergere…

In Parisien memory, we have never seen a more sensational and newer attraction than Eadie and Ramsden. These extraordinary artists play a completely new sketch that is a pretty and an amusing tableaux where all the grace of Miss Eadie blends harmoniously with the elegance and suppleness of Ramsden. The latter -is the most dislocated man in the world and his fantasy of the best tone, makes him a unique artist of his kind, you must see Eadie and Ramsden in Folies Bergère review

[retronews.fr] Translated from French
Le Figaro 23 March 1912 (RetroNews.Fr)

Also at the Folies Bergère in March 1912 was comedy dance duo Moon & Morris shown here from a photo dated 1909.

We can only imagine how exciting Paris would have been for them in these last years of the Belle Epoque or what might had been if not for the outbreak of war. Eadie & Ramsden left Paris at the end of April 1914 and returned to London. On 28th June 1914 the heir to the Austrian throne Archduke Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated, events thereafter took Europe to war. On 1st August 1914 Germany declared war on Russia, two days later Germany declared war on France.

Mistinguett and Chevalier

In March 1912 when Eadie & Ramsden were performing at the Folies Bergere, the magnificent Mistinguett and a young Maurice Chevalier were on the same Spring Folies Revue. Mistinguett performed from the 12th March and was on the same daily programme as Eadie & Ramsden although it is doubtful they ever really knew her as she was already a major star. In her memoir Queen of the Paris Night, Mistinguett describes the years 1912-1914 as a period of intense work but for her a lessening of the tension. And it was the era that she met Maurice Chevalier with whom she later had a long relationship. Mistinguett says that “I don’t think I have ever been so paralysed with first-night nerves as I was before that first Revue at the Folies-Bergere. I was frightened, not only for myself but for Maurice. Stage fright is the nearest thing to a nightmare I know“.

The Brixton connection

In between touring commitments James and Lucy Allison stayed in several addresses in Brixton, south London. In the 1890s Brixton was becoming popular as a place to live whether that was in boarding houses or to put down roots. It was a meeting place for music hall entertainers, managers and agents. The Water Rat’s earliest meetings were at Ye Old White Horse public house in Brixton Road in 1890. Over the next decade Brixton, and the surrounding area was to becoming the beating heart and spiritual home of music hall.

The Allisons lived at several prominent address in Brixton between the 1890s and 1915.

1897-1898

Evandale Rd

The 1911 census records that James, now 52 years of age, and Lucy together with their son James Eadie and his wife Cissie Ramsden lived in a house at 89 Loughborough Park, Brixton together with Florence Lane, their domestic servant. The house is no longer there but historical records indicate that 89 & 91 and 93-95 Loughborough Park were “the most striking houses” on the south east side. Loughborough Park was laid out around 1844.

1912

32 Stockwell Park Road

1912 Marriage certificate of James Eadie (otherwise Beddoe) 32 Stockwell Park Road

1901

Harbour Road, very close to Fred Karno’s fun factory

Other records suggest James & Lucy Allison, together with their children lived at 22 Burton Road and this electoral register list from 1899 appears to confirm (Ancestry.com)

The Era 18 June 1898