Sunday, 5 February 2012

Nicholas Vlieland Actor

Nicholas Vlieland was born 21 Dec.1908 died 18 Sept 1982.
He is the son of Reginald Peel and Frances Maude Vlieland .
He used the name Nicholas Vlieland as stage name .
His real name is Clifford Nicholas Vlieland Peel .
In later life he seems to legally change his name as well.
Because his mother died he stayed with his grandparents.
Here is probably his first role as Bubbles at a fancy dress party in his grandparents house .
Other chilldren from Reginald and Frances Maude are,
1.Francis Reginald V. Peel Registered Apr May Jun 1907 - Exeter 5b 412
2.Clifford Nicholas Vlieland Peel born 1909
3.Barbara Peel born 25 November 1911.
Clifford Vlieland Peel grandson 2 b ExeterThis Clifford is the son of Frances Maude and Reginald Peel .
He was sickly and after his birth stayed with his grandparents,
He is the boy on the right at the opening of the Rougemont Gardens.
His sister Barbara came after the death of their mother also to stay with him at his grandparents house.
He was an actor.
Thanks to Barbara here is his stage career .
Nicholas Vlieland’s stage career
Nicholas' career seems to have been made by his appearance, at not yet 22, in the first public performance of Oscar Wilde's Salomé at the Savoy Theatre on 5 October 1931. The play had been written in 1891 but Wilde did not live to see an English performance since that in 1892 was banned by the Lord Chamberlain (who licensed all theatrical performances in England) under the law prohibiting the depiction of Biblical characters on stage. After two private performances in 1905 and 1906 it finally reached the London stage in 1931.

In London
Richard of Bordeaux
An early success was on tour in Richard of Bordeaux, the play that made John Gielgud a star overnight on 2 February 1933, when it opened at The New Theatre, London. The play, that covered much the same ground as Shakespeare’s Richard II but concentrated more on the romance between Richard and Anne of Bohemia, was a sell-out and played for 472 performances in the 1933–4 season, including the tour to theatres such as The Theatre Royal, Newcastle, and The Prince’s Theatre, Bristol, at both of which venues Nicholas was in the cast. Gielgud produced and played the lead and the cast and sets were gorgeously dressed, and scenes from the play featured in the leading stage magazine Theatre World, No. 98, in March 1933, with Gielgud as Richard on the cover .
The Hangman
Another part was in a 1935 play new to London, adapted from Pär Lagerkvist’s 1933 novella, The Hangman (Bödeln), with Peter Glenville in the lead. This was a dark, cutting-edge modern drama, premiered in Bergen, Norway, earlier in 1934. The Swedish novelist and dramatist, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1951, wrote throughout his life on questions of good and evil in modern life. The Hangman sits alone in a medieval tavern (first part) and a modern club with loud jazz and psychedelic lighting (second part). Tableau and a final monologue for The Hangman ponder the rise of totalitarianism and brutality in Europe. Nicholas seems to have played a small part, probably in the tavern or the club.
On tour in repertory theatre
While Parents Sleep
Another important West End success, While Parents Sleep, was a 1933 play by Anthony Kimmins that was made into a film in 1935. A sharply-paced social comedy that is at a deeper level an essay on British class and manners in the 1930s, it concerns the amorous adventures of the two young sons of Colonel Hammond (Neville and Jerry, one of which Nicholas would have played on tour).
The Shop at Sly Corner
An edge-of-the-seat crime thriller by Edward Percy which premiered in 1945 and ran in the West End for 800 performances, the play is set in the Aladdin’s cave of an antique shop and features corruption, blackmail and murder. By this stage in his career, Nicholas on tour probably played the lead, Descius Heiss, the master jeweller at the heart of the plot.

Ladies in Retirement
This was a tense and taut melodrama by Edward Percy and Reginald Denham, based on a real-life French crime with a body hidden onstage in the baking oven. It was a massive West End hit in 1939, clocking up 311 performances at the St James’s Theatre and making the name of Flora Robson as Ellen Creed, the murderess. Nicholas’ most likely part on tour seems to be that of Albert Feather, Ellen’s nephew, whose arrival sets the plot in motion.
Robert’s Wife
A serious study of family morality by the Irish playwright, novelist and drama critic St John Ervine, premiered with great success at the Globe Theatre in 1937 and making the name of Edith Evans as the eponymous heroine.
The Light of Heart
A play by the playwright and actor Emlyn Williams that premiered at the Apollo Theatre in 1940, centring round an actor called Maddoc Thomas, originally played by Williams, whose career moves from the heights to the depths.
No. 17
A 1920s play by J. Jefferson Farjeon, made into a Hitchcock film in 1932, with a highly-wrought and convoluted plot concerning a jewel theft, a body in an empty house and a shooting by the gardener, skilfully unravelled by the detective Gilbert Fordyce, played by Nicholas on tour.
British repertory theatre
The majority of actors between 1920 and 1970 made their career in a repertory company, taking London hits out to the provinces. The resident company were usually about 7–8 strong, with a director/artistic director responsible for getting the whole show on, a leading lady/man, a juvenile lady/man, a ‘character’ actor and a more mature lady/man. Sometimes (but this cost), there was a ‘guest star’ from London as well. The schedule for a six-month season was emotionally and physically punishing, with the next week’s play being rehearsed while the current week’s play was being played at night. Usually two or three plays were put on in rotation. Nicholas’ regular company in the 1930s and 1940s seems to have included Catherine Smith, Barbara Miller, Barbara Cavan and June Spencer, and Henry Hutteroth and Antony Barrett. The New Theatre Hull was the successor (after 1939) to the Hull Repertory Theatre, and it seems to have shown variety acts as well as ‘straight’ plays, since George Elliott played there with his famous musical hall song-and-dance act ‘The Chocolate Coloured Coon’, the product of a time when there was no thought of racial offence in a ‘blacked-up’ actor singing American and British ballads.

White Birds (1927)
This was a revue – a series of often satirical turns, interspersed with songs and dances – with music by the famous pianist/composer Billy Mayerl, which ran for 80 performances. This may have been Nicholas’ first stage appearance, at His Majesty’s Theatre, aged 15 or 16!  <pic of theatre on web>
The Command of Love (1930)
A comedy in three acts, voted one of the best plays of 1927–8, this opened on Broadway, New York in 1929, as The Command to Love, starring the famous film star Basil Rathbone.<pics of the play on web under the American name + Basil Rathbone>It looks as if, because the title comes from Corinthians in the Bible, the censor had it changed when it came to England. Nicholas probably played the Spanish War Minister, Don Estaban Galvez. Daly’s was a popular musical comedy and operetta theatre. <pic on web>
Salomé (1931)
At the Savoy Theatre, Nicholas played a Slave, with only a few lines to say, but it was something, at only 21, to be given the role in such prestigious company (Joan Maude as Salomé, Nancy Price as Herodias, Robert Farquarson as a malevolent Herod and Lawrence Anderson as John the Baptist).
A Night at an Inn (1931)
This was a one-act thriller written in 1916 by the Irish playwright Lord Edward Dunsany, concerning the theft by three merchant seamen of a ruby from an Indian temple statue and the successful attempt of Indian priests of Klesh (one played by Nicholas) to retrieve it. It played on Broadway before being produced in Britain
Stage manager (SM)/assistant stage manager (ASM)
Afraid of the Dark (SM, 1929)
The Royalty Theatre was a small long-established theatre in Soho that had its biggest hit in 1932 with While Parents Sleep, in which Nicholas played in repertory. <pic of theatre on web, I can’t yet find anything about the play>
The Devil in the Cheese (ASM, 1929 <no info on theatre or play>)
Through the Veil (SM, 1929)
The Duchess opened as a theatre in 1929, with the stalls below street level; it featured plays by modern playwrights such as Noël Coward, Hubert Griffith and Emlyn Williams <I can’t yet find anything about the play>
The Gay Princess (SM, 1931)
The Kingsway Theatre, originally the Novelty Theatre, was another venue for musicals, blitzed in 1941 during the run of While Parents Sleep.<pics of the Novelty Theatre on web, I can’t yet find anything  about the play

 Nicholas in Hull

Nicholas acted in several plays in the 1930s and 1940s at the Hull Repertory Theatre Company, which opened in 1924 and became the Hull New Theatre in 1939, under the dynamic managership of Peppino Santangelo.
Nicholas in Gainsborough
In the 1950s and 1960s, Nicholas was actor-manager at The Theatre Royal Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, a busy repertory company that had started life as The Royal Albert Hall in 1885 (it closed as a theatre in 1989). He was responsible for getting plays and musicals on on a two-week cycle, including Oscar Wilde’s Salomé and adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Theatre programme advertising a play produced at the Duke of York's Theatre entitled THE HANGMAN. The programme is dated, "21st October, 1935"
Duke of York's Theatre, St Martin's Lane, Westminster, London, England
author : Lagerkvist, Par, Mr., 1891-1974
actor : Vosper, Frank, Mr., 1899-1937 (actor and dramatist)
actor : Lomas, Herbert, Mr.
actor : Seabrooke, Elliott, Mr.
actor : Lefeaux, Charles, Mr.
actor : Fletcher, Wilfred, Mr.
actor : Glenville, Peter, Mr.
actor : Banbury, Frith, Mr., b.1912
actor : Seymour, Barbara, Miss
actor : Stewart, Marjorie, Miss
actor : Edwards, Kathleen, Miss
actor : Carr, Marjorie, Miss
actor : Vlieland, Nicholas, Mr.
actor : Goring, Marius, Mr., 1912-1988
actor : Jones, Wickham, Mr.
actor : Howell, Kenneth, Mr.
actor : Wheatleigh, Edward, Mr.
actor : Church, Esme, Miss
actor : Merrett, Viola, Miss
actor : Blomfield, Derek, Mr., 1920-1964
actor : Wickham, Tony, Mr.
actor : Collis, Margot, Miss
actor : Pusey, Arthur, Mr.
actor : Anderson, Betty, Miss
actor : Moore, John, Mr.
actor : Davey, Murray, Mr.
actor : Grey, Earle, Mr.
actor : Clifford, John, Mr.
actor : Skillan, George, Mr.
actor : Swinton, Edward, Mr.
actor : Gamble, Rollo, Mr.
actor : Langton, Basil, Mr.
actor : Gart, John, Mr.
actor : Fletcher, Wilfred, Mr.
actor : West, Edward, Mr.
actor : Edmundsen, Phyl, Miss
actor : Hume, Muriel, Miss
actor : Carr, Marjorie, Miss
actor : Edwards, Kathleen, Miss
actor : Stewart, Marjorie, Miss
actor : Downes, Hubert, Mr.
actor : Hart, Jake, Mr.
actor : Murray, William, Mr.
actor : Davis, Frank, Mr.
actor : Morgan, John, Mr.
actor : Williams, Charles, Mr.
actor : Gray, Andrew B, Mr.
actor : Edwards, Alan, Mr., 1892-1954 (sometimes credited as Allan or Allen Edwards)
actor : John, Christian, Mr.
actor : Crossman, C, Mr.
actor : Johnson, Onie, Mr.
actor : Coleman, John, Mr.
actor : Straker, Roy, Mr.
actor : Garman, Jean, Miss
actor : Wickham, Roma, Miss
actor : Greene, Margaret, Miss
actor : Best, Frank, Mr.
actor : Marriott, Digby, Mr.
actor : Woolgar-Mellon, May, Miss
actor : Wickham, Tony, Mr.

Elizabeth Chater

Actor, working for the King's Theatre Gainsborough, 'outreach' theatre for Holloway Prison in the 1950s, acting in repertory.

conducted by
Ewan Jeffrey 10/03/05

So I arrived up there and was met by Mr Nicholas Vlieland who was a wonderful character who had been in theatre all his life, he couldn't bear to live without a theatre, so he met me and took all the cases and I think took me to my digs of course, because apart from during the war when I'd been billetted for a year in Bletchley Park, because that where I was working, I hadn't really been into digs. However that was a detail, I soon got used to that, and they got used to me somehow. And that probably that first evening I went down to theatre and there was my name on the programme "Elizabeth Havelock" as Stage Management, so I thought, well that was alright, and I think probably the second evening I was backstage watching a lot of things happening, and during the day I started off tramping round G looking for props because if there was anything the prop company hadn't got in, I think props were kept above the theatre entrance, I think upstairs in the theatre loft. There was obviously a collection of props that was a s good as they could muster. I by this time was getting terribly excited and cycled from the King's Theatre which is still there in Gainsborough, and sort of 19th-century, I could draw it but I can't describe it, but it doesn't really matter.
Richard of Bordeaux" (Touring Company Production of the Drama at Theatre Royal, Newcastle) - Theatre Programme
Newcastle, Theatre Royal. 1934, First Edition. Pamphlet, 5.5 x 8.5". Unpaginated, but 8pp - This is the souvenir programme for the touring company production of Gordon Daviot's "Richard of Bordeaux". at The Theatre Royal, Newcastle where it played for one week beginning on 23 April, 1934. The play premiered at New Theatre St Martin's Lane in 1933, where it ran for more than 14 months. Daviot was a pseudonym of Elizabeth Macintosh, whose better-known pen-name is Josephine Tey. The cast included Glen Byam Shaw as Richard, and Patricia Bradfield as his wife and queen, Anne of Bohemia. Others in the cast were: Paul Dornhorst, Graham Watson, Bellenden Powell, Charles Cautley, Frederick Keen, Robert Morley, T. A. Shannon, Cyril Fairlie, Alan Webb, Helen Fuller, Mavis Edwards, Richard Warner, Antony Eustrel, Frith Banbury, Peter Du Calion, Evelyn Russell, Felix Irwin, Godfrey Bond, Nicholas Vlieland, Katherine Carlton, and Noel Cass. Roy Langford was General Stage Director, Fred Dixon was Stage Manager, Frederick Thompson was Assistant Stage Manager and, J. G. Grahame was Business Manager. Hermann McLeod conducted The Theatre Royal Piano-String Quartette featuring Leo Beers on Violin, James Griffiths on Cello, and Karl Livock at the piano. The show was produced by Bernard Gordon, PROVENANCE: this item comes from the collection of H. W. Roxburgh's extensive collection of theatrical ephemera. It was purchased at Fellows and Sons Auction, Birmingham (UK) in Aug, 2007.

stage yearbook 1957 

The play pictorial volumes 56/57
Nicholas Vlieland in the pages of The Stage, 1929–55
The Stage was the premier newspaper of the performing arts, and particularly the theatre, founded as The Stage Directory – A London and Provincial Theatrical Advertiser in 1880 and published weekly as The Stage after 1881. They have kindly given Barbara the cuttings from their archives that they have on Nicholas Vlieland.
31 October 1929: Nicholas is appearing at the King’s Theatre Glasgow
12 June 1930: Nicholas is mentioned in a big piece on ‘London Theatres’
8 and 17 June 1943:  Nicholas is appearing at the Theatre Royal Nottingham, which may have been one of his bases during the war
3Jul1943-NottsEveningPost.jpg wordt weergegeven

2Jun1943-NottsEveningPost.jpg wordt weergegeven
23 July 1943: Nicholas is appearing at the Golders Green Orpheum in North London, which opened in 1930 and featured hearthrob stars such as Ronald Colman

10 MARCH 1944 Biggleswade chronicle.
Torquay Pavilion.—Drama makes a welcome return this week in the form of Mr. Charles Bennett's, ' Blackmail." This is one of those plays which owes its appeal to the fact that the incidents and dramatic situations might occur in any girl's ordinary life, but it is nevertheless highly dramatic. The unfortunate young is played by Collette Richards, who has recently finished a successful term playing in repertory at Newcastle, and she is ably supported by Mr. Roger Snowdon, Miss Joan Byford, Mr. Kenneth McClellan, Mr. Alan Rolfe. Mr. David Ashe, Miss Leila Forde. Mr. Nicholas Vlieland. and Mr. Donald Cresswell. 
15 November 1946 Devon gazette
22 november 1946 Exeter Gazette

The play was written by Edward Percy Smith 

14 July 1949: The cutting mentions the Theatrical Employers’ Registration Acts, 1925–1928, so one guesses Nicholas had infringed the law in some way
18 December 1952, King’s Theatre Gainsborough: ‘Nicholas Vlieland presents The Christmas Card, A new and seasonal comedy in three acts by Ralph Timberlake’
8 July 1954: ‘Rep Manager fined £20 [for] Insurance Offences’
1 December 1955: Nicholas was in the Magistrates’ Court for breaking the Theatres Act 1843 by presenting ‘plays on unlicensed premises’

The Gainsborough Evening News
Barbara has been hunting in the pages of the Gainsborough Evening News, which had a regular column on productions from the King’s Theatre, where Nicholas Vlieland was producer and then producer-manager of the repertory company in the 1940s and 1950s, staging 270 different plays.
22 July 1952: Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, starring Nicholas as Maxim De Winter
29 July 1952: Nicholas plays in An Apple a Day, a comedy by Ralph Timberlake; a cutting of 5 August has ‘Author Praises “Rep” Company’, where Timberlake enthuses about the acting standards at the King’s Theatre
19 August 1952: ‘Terrific Success of Nicholas Vlieland’s 200th Production’, Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband; a cutting headed ‘Big Success of 200th Production’ mentions ‘a full house and an audience that showed its appreciation’
15 December 1952: The professional players were given a week’s notice and the theatre temporarily closed during the run of The Tiger Lily, after Nicholas had had a breakdown following a collapse on stage
28 April 1953: Nicholas and his company returned with Ted Willis’ No Trees in the Street, a noir piece set in the slums of London before the Second World War
November 1953: Nicholas plays Max Blacker in another Ralph Timberlake play, The Quiet Streets, again set in the morally uncertain climate of post-war Britain
Also in 1953 theatre programme from The King's Theatre, Gainsborough; the 1953 production of 'Moths' by the 'Kings Theatre Company' produced by Nicholas Vlieland; Program advertisements for businesses in Gainsborough are included
University of Bristol Theatre Collection: index of performers on the London stage, 1920s and 1930s
Jill at the University of Bristol Theatre Collection very kindly searched their archives for us and found Nicholas listed for ten productions, as actor, stage manager or assistant stage manager.
1927: The Revue, White Birds, at His Majesty’s Theatre, London, which ran for 80 performances.
1927: The Heroic comedy in 5 scenes, Cyrano de Bergerac, at the Apollo Theatre, London; Nicholas played 1st Lackey and Baron d’Antignac-Juzet. The play was also broadcast on Radio 2LO London (the fledgling BBC), on 11 April 1927 and had originally opened at the Garrick Theatre, London, in March 1919, when Robert Loraine created the lead role that he reprised in the radio broadcast. He was famed as an intellectual actor, who could portray the thoughts of the character he was playing as if they were his own.
1930: The Comedy, The Command to Love, at Daly’s Theatre, later transferring to the Savoy Theatre, London; Nicholas played Don Esteban Galvez. The play had opened at the Longacre Theatre, Forty Eighth Street New York, on 7 November 1927, with Mary Nash and Basil Rathbone in the leads, and run for 247 performances.
1931: The 1-act drama, A Night at an Inn, at the Savoy Theatre; Nicholas played the 1st Priest of Kesh.
1931: The Tragedy, Salome, at the Savoy Theatre; Nicholas played a Slave.
1935: The Play in 2 parts, The Hangman, at the Duke of York’s Theatre; Nicholas played the Young Man.
Stage manager
1929: The Exciting improbability in 3 acts, Afraid of the Dark, at the Royalty Theatre, London.
1930: The Psychic drama in 3 acts, Through the Veil, at the Duchess Theatre, London. The play’s author, Cecil Madden, was later instrumental in the birth of BBC TV.
1931: Farce with music, The Gay Princess, at the Kingsway Theatre, London.
Assistant stage manager
1929: The Fantasy, The Devil in the Cheese, at the Comedy Theatre, London. On Broadway, in 1925–6, the play had starred both Frederick March and Bela Lugosi.
This information is drawn from J.P. Wearing’s indexes of performers on the London stage: The London Stage 1920–1929: A Calendar of Plays and Players, vol. I: 1925–1929 (Metuchen, NJ and London: The Scarecrow Press, 1984); vol. II: 1930–1934 (1990); vol. III: 1935–1939 (1990).

We like to thank the University of Bristol for their help .

In his will the only heir was Reginald  Score

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