Sunday, 10 January 2016

The wives of Walter HALSTEAD

Not all newspaper reports are true

Whilst searching the British Newspaper archive today to try and unravel the wives of Walter HALSTEAD who appears to have married two Ruth's I came across a number of entries in the early 1900's that I couldn't place in the Halstead files. Why do they always seem to have a wife with the same name as the first.

 The reason is that they have nothing to do with family history and she is in actual fact a character in a play called the "The Scarlet Sin" by G R Sims and Arthur SHIRLEY, which features a character called Rube Halstead, a reformed burglar.

It was given its first production in September 1900 at the New Theatre Royal, Rochdale and the following write-up appears in The Era (the newspaper of the stage and fully indexed on the British Newspaper Archive where this is taken from

NEW THEATRE ROYAL, LIMITED.-General Manager, Mr Otto C. Culling; Resident Manager, Mr Chas. Clucas.-The Scarlet Sin, a new play by G. R. Sims and Arthur Shirley, honoured Rochdale with its first visit on Monday evening. A good house had assembled and accorded the play a hearty welcome. The drama has a strong and interesting plot, and is certain of a successful career. Mr Robert Forsyth stands out pro- minently with a really fine portrayal of the reformed burglar Rube Halstead ; Mr Charles Kean Chute powerfully impersonates the scheming villainy of James Royston ; Mr W. E. Asheroft cleverly depicts the dual part of the free-hearted sailor and the deranged wanderer Frank Stanley. Miss Frances Dillon as Ruth Halstead and Bliss May Chevalier as Mary Halstead both secure high praise for their realistic efforts. Miss Beryl Mercer has established herself a favourite as Dick. Mr Percy Bell as Ben Orarge, Mr Harry Buss as Teddy Tiddlecombe, Mr James E. Thurlow as Summers, and Miss Jessie Danvers as Lottie Summers are a diverting quartet, and create much amusement.

George Robert SIMS appears to have been a prolific writer and his works seem to be at the John Rylands Library, Manchester. Details of works are available in the Archive Hub as "George R. Sims Collection, GRS/1/1 etc., John Rylands University Library, The University of Manchester." and can be found here.

 John Hanson - email

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