Saturday, 9 June 2012
I watched a wonderful documentary this evening by Jools Holland about the Sounds of London. It included some remarkable footage of the Music Hall star Little Tich. Enjoy! According to Wikipedia, Harry Relph (July 21, 1867 – February 10, 1928), known on the stage as "Little Tich", was an English music hall comedian. He was noted for the characters of The Spanish Señora, The Gendarme and The Tax Collector, but his most popular routine was his Big Boot dance, which involved a pair of 28-inch boots, commonly called "slapshoes" in the days of vaudeville. He was also popular as a pantomime dame; in one season he appeared with Marie Lloyd and Dan Leno also in the cast. The surviving film of the Big Boot dance, made by Clément-Maurice for the Phono-Cinéma-Théâtre in 1900, was described by Jacques Tati as "a foundation for everything that has been realised in comedy on the screen". Relph was a polydactyl, having five fingers and a thumb on each hand, and six toes on both feet.