Herbert Garry as Luiz in The Gondoliers

Herbert Garry (1922-25, 1940-46)

[Born c.1894]

Tenor Herbert Garry, whose real name was Herbert W. Robinson, appeared in the D'Oyly Carte "New" Opera Company chorus from September to December 1922, appearing on occasion in place of Charles Goulding as Nanki-Poo in The Mikado. From January 1923 to March 1924 he was with the main (Repertory) Company, at which point he returned to the "New" Company, where he took over the role of the Defendant in Trial by Jury from the departing Dewey Gibson, and Earl Tolloller in Iolanthe from Hugh Friel who assumed Gibson's other roles. Those roles (Nanki-Poo in The Mikado and Marco in The Gondoliers) Garry also played on infrequent occasions.

The "New" Company dropped Trial, Iolanthe, and Gondoliers for the 1924-24 season, reviving Cox and Box, Ruddigore, and The Yeomen of the Guard in their place. Garry played Mr. Box, Richard Dauntless (shared with Leo Darnton, newly demoted from the Repertory Company), and Leonard Meryll in the new operas and continued to fill in on occasion as Nanki-Poo for Darnton. Garry left the D'Oyly Carte organization at the end of that season in June 1925.

Soon after leaving the "New" Company, Garry had a couple of London engagements taking small or chorus parts in Betty in Mayfair, a musical play at the Adelphi and, later, Shaftesbury Theatres (November 1925-March 1926), and Merely Molly, a musical comedy at the Adelphi (September-December 1926).

His next named part on the London Stage was Tokeramo Yagani in the operetta Viktoria and Her Hussar (Palace, September-December 1931). He was in the chorus for Ball at the Savoy (Drury Lane, 1933-34), Three Sisters (Drury Lane, 1934), and Alec Fraser's revival of Merrie England (Princes, 1934-35). He appeared at the Savoy as the Lieutenant in Kurt Weill's A Kingdom for a Cow (June-July 1936), and as an extra in an operatic adaptation of Sheridan called Rivals! (Kingsway, October 1935-January 1936). He was part of a 1937 revue 1066 and All That at the Cambridge, and a play with music Paprika at His Majesty's in 1938 and again in 1939.

In March 1940 Garry returned the D'Oyly Carte as a wartime replacement, appearing that season as Francesco in Gondoliers, and perhaps the Duke of Dunstable in Patience and Earl Tolloller in Iolanthe in place of John Dean.

Garry began the 1940-41 season with Leonard Meryll in Yeomen and Francesco as his only two named parts, but in March 1941 swapped Francesco for Luiz in The Gondoliers. He also deputized that season as the Defendant in Trial (February 1941). The following season (1941-42) he reclaimed the Defendant (Ben Williams having left the Company), was the primary Leonard and Luiz, and sometimes went on as the Duke, Tolloller, and Nanki-Poo, and Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance when Dean had a night off.

In 1942-43, Garry took the Duke for himself, and beginning in 1943-44 took Tolloller alone. Garry also filled in for Dean on occasion as Nanki-Poo, Colonel Fairfax in Yeomen (1942-43 and 1945-46) and Marco in The Gondoliers (1941-44 and 1945-46).

Herbert Garry married former D'Oyly Carte artist Mary Forest in 1945. He left the Company for the second and final time in August 1946, but that was not the end of his stage career. He appeared in the chorus of two Herbert & Ellis musicals at the Adelphi:Bless the Bride (April 1947-June 1949) and Tough at the Top (July-November 1949).

Page modified July 10, 2002 © 2002 David Stone