Emily Cross

Emily Cross (1878-80)

[Born Newcastle-upon-Tyne, died Barnstaple, Devon 4 Jan 1904]

Emily Cross made her concert debut in her native Newcastle in September 1862, and her stage debut the following Boxing Day in Cinderella in the same city.Her first appearance on the London Stage was in March 1867 when she appeared as Diana Vernon in Rob Roy at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

She joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company at the Opera Comique during the initial run of H.M.S. Pinafore, and playing Mrs. Nankeen Worcester in Cups and Saucers, a companion piece written and composed by George Grossmith, from August 1878 to February 1880.In May 1879 she gave a few performances as Little Buttercup in H.M.S. Pinafore in place of Harriett Everard.

A bizarre accident befell Miss Everard shortly before The Pirates of Penzance was to have its first London production in March 1880, when she was struck in the head by a piece of falling scenery during a rehearsal at the Opera Comique and forced to withdraw from the cast.Emily Cross was called in as an emergency replacement and with just two days study and rehearsal gave a highly creditable performance as Ruth, the pirate maid.She played the role until June 1880, when she was replaced by Miss Everard and, subsequently, by Alice Barnett, who had created Ruth some six months earlier for New York audiences.

Emily Cross left the D'Oyly Carte shortly thereafter, but continued to perform in London and elsewhere in straight plays and musicals until 1896.

Page created August 27, 2001 © 2001 David Stone