Helen Kinnaird as Mrs. Shimmering Black in The Earl and the Girl

Helen Kinnaird (1884-85)

[Born London]

Helen Kinnaird was hired by Mr. D'Oyly Carte's "E" Company in December 1884, touring as the Lady Jane in Patience and the Queen of the Fairies in Iolanthe for a month. In January 1885 she yielded Jane to Edith Blair but continued to play the Queen until May 21, 1885. After that brief engagement she went into elocution and stage training under Hermann Vezin.

She made her London stage debut in 1886 as leader of the chorus in John Todhunter's Helena in Troas. After a period on tour with the Court Comedy Company, she returned to London where she appeared at the Strand and the Criterion in 1888. After some pantomime work, she traveled to Australia, appearing for two years with the Williamson and Musgrove Company in several works including Cellier's Dorothy. She spent four years in America in the early 1890s, then returned to England where she appeared at the Vaudeville and at the Duke of York's before retiring from the stage in 1896 or 1897.

Miss Kinnaird made a comeback in 1903, as Mrs. Shimmering Black, "a strong lady," in The Earl and the Girl at the Adelphi. She went on to write a sketch based on the part. Entitled "Poor Weak Woman," it was reported to have been very successful in "the halls."

Her subsequent London appearances were in My Darling (Hicks, 1907), Irene (Empire, 1920-21), Zozo (Little and Strand, 1922), and The Vagabond King (Winter Garden and Gaiety, 1927-28).

Page created August 27, 2001 © 2001 David Stone