elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
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elisa_rolle

Bobbie Andrews & Ivor Novello

Robert Tobias "Bobbie" Andrews (20 February 1895 – 1976) was a British stage actor. He also briefly appeared in films. Actor, singer, composer and film star Ivor Novello and his lover, musical comedy star Bobbie Andrews, were at the very hub of London's theatrical gay society, dubbed "the Ivor/Noel naughty set" by Cecil Beaton in his diaries. (P: The actor Bobbie Andrews – image printed in and scanned from "The Betrothal", The Play Pictorial, January 1921, p.34)

Amongst his many character parts was the Prime Minister in Ivor Novello's musical play King's Rhapsody at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. (
George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Ivor Novello, Welsh actor and songwriter, presumed 1920s/1930s)

When Andrews, who was homosexual, met Ivor Novello in 1916 they became close friends, and eventually lovers. Their relationship lasted 35 years until Novello's death, during which they performed together many times in Novello's musicals and plays. 

David Ivor Davies (15 January 1893 – 6 March 1951), better known as Ivor Novello, was a Welsh composer and actor who became one of the most popular British entertainers of the first half of the 20th century.


Bobbie Andrews was a British stage actor. Actor, singer, composer and film star Ivor Novello and his lover, musical comedy star Bobbie Andrews, were at the very hub of London's theatrical gay society, dubbed "the Ivor/Noel naughty set" by Cecil Beaton in his diaries. When Andrews met Ivor Novello in 1916 they became close friends, and eventually lovers. Their relationship lasted 35 years until Novello's death, during which they performed together many times in Novello's musicals and plays.

Ivor Novello continued to write songs while serving in the RNAS. He had his first stage success with Theodore & Co in 1916, a production by George Grossmith, Jr. and Edward Laurillard with a score composed by Novello and the young Jerome Kern. In the same year, Novello contributed to André Charlot's revue See-Saw. In 1917 he wrote for another Grossmith and Laurillard production, the operette Arlette, for which he contributed additional numbers to an existing French score by Jane Vieu and Guy le Feuvre. In the same year, Marsh introduced him to the actor Bobbie Andrews, who became Novello's life partner. Andrews introduced Novello to the young Noël Coward. Coward, six years Novello's junior, was deeply envious of Novello's effortless glamour. He wrote, "I just felt suddenly conscious of the long way I had to go before I could break into the magic atmosphere in which he moved and breathed with such nonchalance".

Novello made his stage debut in 1921 in Deburau by Sacha Guitry with Robert Loraine, Madge Titheradge and Bobbie Andrews, and among other stage engagements, in the next years he played Bingley in an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice with Ben Webster as D'Arcy and Mary Jerrold as Elizabeth, in a cast that included Ellen Terry, May Whitty and Joyce Carey. At about this time, Novello had an affair with the writer Siegfried Sassoon; it was short lived, but in the words of Sassoon's biographer John Stuart Roberts, Novello "was a consummate flirt who collected lovers as he gathered lilacs."

Novello's last full-scale production in this style, King's Rhapsody (1949), was, in Webb's words, "a selfconsciously romantic counter-blast to the modern musical: crown princes, ballrooms, royal yachts, beautiful princesses and a full-scale coronation". After the rigours of war, this escapist entertainment had strong box-office appeal, and ran for 841 performances. The show starred Novello and the cast included Phyllis Dare, Zena Dare, Olive Gilbert and Bobbie Andrews. It was still running, at the Palace Theatre, when Novello's last show opened. This was Gay's the Word (1951). Novello had written no role for himself; the show starred the comedy actress Cicely Courtneidge and was a departure from his established pattern, balancing the contrasting styles of European operetta and post-war American musicals. The Times commented that the show "cheerfully parodied the very Ruritanian romances to which he owed his most triumphant successes."

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Andrews_(actor)

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher


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