The 26th of May is World Dracula Day, the day that Bram Stoker’s book of the same name was published in 1897. The Irish born author Abraham Stoker was born in 1847 but had also been perhaps more famous in his lifetime as the manager of the Royal Lyceum Theatre which was owned by actor Sir Henry Irving. Stoker died in 1912.
There is a peculiar connection between James Allison and the Irving – Stoker collaboration. In Dec 1896 James & Lucy Allison gave an interview to an Australian publication called The Referee while they were on tour in Sydney. In the interview James Allison talks about his early career including his first jobs as an opera chorus dancer, including in 1879 at the Lyceum with Henry Irving in The Corsican Brothers. James says he was one of six Pierrots. Henry Irving was indeed rehearsing in 1879 for The Corsican Brothers but delays meant that it did not open until later in 1880. The original 1880 programme does not mention James Allison by name, but then as a junior chorus dancer it wouldn’t.