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German Reed Entertainment

GERMAN REED ENTERTAINMENT. The dramatic and musical entertainment which for many years was known in London by the title of "German Reed" was a form of theatrical enterprise deserving of commemoration in connexion with those who made it successful. Mr Thomas German Reed (born in Bristol in 1817, died 1888) married in 1844 Miss Priscilla Horton (1818-1895), and in 1855 they started their entertainment at the "Gallery of Illustration," in Waterloo Place, London. From 1860 to 1877 they were assisted by John Orlando Parry (1810-1879), an accomplished pianoforte player, mimic, parodist and humorous singer; and the latter created a new type of musical and dramatic monologue which became very popular. His tradition was carried on after 1870 by Mr Corney Grain (1844-1895), who, as a clever, refined, and yet highly humorous society entertainer (originally a barrister), was one of the best-known figures of his day. After the retirement of the elder German Reeds, their son, Alfred German Reed (1846-1895), himself a capital actor, carried on the business in partnership with Corney Grain. The "German Reed Entertainment" - which was always patronized by a large class of people, many of whom objected on principle to going or taking their children to a regular theatre or a music-hall - retained its vogue for forty years at Waterloo Place and at the St George's Hall, Regent Street. But the death of Mr Corney Grain almost simultaneously with Mr Alfred German Reed, in 1895, together with the changed public attitude towards the regular theatre, ended its career.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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