Miss Marie Studholme [1875-1930], a popular Edwardian performer, played the title role in a 1905 production of the musical comedy Lady Madcap. The music was by Paul Rubens who wrote the lyrics with Percy Greenbank, while the book was written by Nathaniel Newnham-Davis, The show had originally opened at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1904 before touring the provinces. The tale is a classic of its time with the daughter of an Earl holding a ball at her father’s castle without, of course, telling him. Once she decides to pose as her maid, mayhem ensues.
Born Caroline Maria Lupton in Bradford, Marie Studholme made her debut at the Lyric Theatre in London during the late 19th century although her later career would show that she was particularly popular with provincial audiences. It is said that she charged sixpence for autographs so she could donate the money to theatrical and animal charities, a practice I think should be introduced across the board today.
She apparently took Jujitsu lessons and invented an early form of air conditioning by blowing air from an electric fan over iced water. One 21st century commentator has referred to her as the ‘original Spice Girl’. No comment!
Miss Marie Studholme retired in 1915 but not before rounding off her career by performing at the opening of the Alhambra music hall in her home town the previous year.