Posts tagged ‘H. A. Vachell’

December 17, 2019

Quinneys is now open for bookings!

We thought you would be interested to hear that the bookings for the re-staging of the play ‘Quinneys’ are now open. The performance will be at The Witham Community Theatre in Barnard Castle, County Durham. You can book here:

Playbill for the performance of Quinneys at Birmingham theatre in 1925.

As you may know, we are re-staging the play as part of the AHRC funded ‘SOLD! The Year of the Dealer: antique dealers, art markets and museums’ project, which runs until May 2020.  The performance will be by student actors from the University of Leeds, School of Performance & Cultural Industries; the play is to be directed by Dr George Rodosthenous, who leads on the MA in Theatre Directing at the University of Leeds.
   Quinneys was written in 1914 by the prolific writer Horace A. Vachell and is about the life and activities of the fictional antique dealer ‘Joseph Quinney’.  It was regularly performed during the period 1914 until the 1950s – it even made it to theatres in New York!  The character of Joe Quinney was based on the real-life antique dealer Thomas Rohan, who was trading in Bournemouth and Southampton during the early 1900s until the 1930s – for more on Quinneys and Thomas Rohan do take a look at some of the previous posts in the antique dealers research blog.
And as fiction mirrors fact, the play (and the subsequent novel of the same name, published by Horace Vachell in 1915) led to the growth in the number of antique shops called ‘Quinneys’ – we have so far traced about 20 shops called ‘Quinneys’ in the UK…as far as we know there’s only one left…Quinneys of Warwick, which is still trading after nearly 90 years!….
We hope that you will be able to make it to the performance of Quinneys. There is a wine reception at 6.30pm, prior to the performance, where you can have a glass of wine and some nibbles and chat and meet with many people involved in, or following the ‘Antique Dealers Research Projects’.  The Year of the Dealer project is covering the costs for the wine reception and all performance fees and costs, but as The Witham is a community theatre, we are hoping to support them with some funding and have agreed with them that there should be a nominal £5.00 cost for the tickets for the performance – all the ticket monies will go towards the projects at the The Witham.
The performance will take place on SATURDAY 28th March 2020. Wine Reception at 6.30pm; Play at 7.30pm; close by 9.30pm at the latest.
We do hope that you will be able to make it – and enjoy a rare performance of a key document on the history and characterization of Antique Dealers!
Mark
December 23, 2015

And even more on Quinneys

I’ve been undertaking some further research on the play ‘Quinneys’  – as readers of the project blog now know, I hope – it’s the fictional story of the life of an antique dealer, Joe Quinney, composed as a play by Horace Annesley Vachell in 1914, and a novel in 1915 – see previous blog posts on ‘Quinney’ and on Thomas Rohan. In a recent post I posted about the playbill for Quinneys, at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, which was staged in 1915 (see blog entry for December 2015), and drew attention to the fact that the London antique trade had supplied much of the antique furniture and etc for the stage-set.

I recently found another playbill for Quinneys, this time from 1925, for a staging of the play at the New Theatre, St. Martin’s Lane, London.

Quinneys New Theatre 1925

Playbill, ‘Quinneys’, New Theatre, St. Martin’s Lane, London, 1925. Image, copyright Antique Dealers project 2015.

henry ainley

Henry Ainley as ‘Quinney’, c.1915.

As in the 1915 play, the lead (Joe Quinney) is still played by the Shakespearian actor Henry Ainley (looking much older, as one would expect, to his youthful self in the 1915 photograph – see above, and in our earlier blog post).

There are a few other photographs of Ainley as the character ‘Quinney’ in the 1925 playbill – here’s one with the aged Ainley suitably posed as the ‘connoisseur’ inspecting an antique cup –

Henry Ainley as Quinney 1925

Henry Ainley as ‘Quinney’, 1925; ‘Camera Portrait by Dorothy Wilding’. Image copyright Antique Dealer project 2015.

The 1925 playbill is a much more extensive document than the 1915 one (which was effectively just a single, folded, page), and amounts to 12 pages, mostly of advertisements. The adverts, as one might expect, included many of the leading antique dealers of the day; including the antique glass specialist Arthur Churchill (then in Dover Street); Joe Sale, of Kensington Church Street; John Sparks; Dreyfous of Mount Street; Frank Partridge; Charles J. Pratt; M. Harris & Sons; Hotspur Ltd; Stoner & Evans, the ceramics specialists, as well as lesser know dealers such as C. Rose, Edith Lee, C. Griffiths, Mrs. Mellor, and H. Fisher.

And, just as the 1915 play had antique furniture and objects loaned by dealers, (in 1915 it was Keeble, Parkenthorpe and Spillmans), in 1925 the antique furniture for the stage-set was supplied by leading antique furniture dealers Moss Harris & Sons, New Oxford Street.

If anyone knows anything else about the staging of the play ‘Quinneys’ we would be very interested to hear!

Mark..

Oh and Merry Christmas to all our readers of the project blog!

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