M. R. Morand

M. R. Morand (1894-97, 1898-1903)

[Born Bury, Lancashire 17 Dec 1860, died 5 Mar 1922]

After several years of amateur and touring experience, in which he played a variety of parts from Shakespeare to burlesque, Marcellus Raymond Morand made his London Stage debut at the Avenue Theatre in September 1889 as Domino in W. S. Gilbert's version of Offenbach's The Brigands.

His first role with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company was Jose in Burnand & Sullivan's The Chieftain, a part he created at the Savoy on December 12, 1894. On December 31 of that year Cox and Box was added to the bill and Morand played Mr. Cox, the journeyman hatter. The Chieftain and Cox and Box ran together until March 16, 1895, at which point the Company toured the London suburbs. In April 1895 Morand joined Carte's touring Company "D" as Jose in The Chieftain and Phantis in Utopia Limited. He again played Cox when Cox and Box joined the tour in May, and added Florian to his repertoire when Princess Ida was revived in September. Company "D" took an extended vacation from December 1895 to March 1896, when on the 16th of that month they were reformed to tour The Grand Duke. Morand played Rudolph in the new opera, and for the last two months of the tour was Phantis as well when Utopia was restored. Company "D" was disbanded in November 1896.

He appeared in London on December 3, 1896, as an extra in a benefit matinee performance of Trial by Jury at the Lyceum, and in April 1897 he joined Carte's Company "C" on tour, appearing as Ko-Ko in The Mikado, Wilfred Shadbolt in The Yeomen of the Guard, and Boodel in His Majesty. In August 1897 he swapped Shadbolt for Jack Point in Yeomen and added Major-General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance and the Duke of Plaza-Toro in The Gondoliers to his roles. When H.M.S. Pinafore and Patience were added to the repertoire in October, Morand took on Sir Joseph Porter and Reginald Bunthorne, as well. He revisited Phantis when Utopia was restored in November, before switching to King Paramount later that month.

Morand then took a year away from the D'Oyly Carte organization:leaving December 11, 1897 and returning (to D'Oyly Carte Opera Company "D") on Boxing Day 1898 as Bedford Rowe in The Vicar of Bray. He played Rowe exclusively until February 1899 when the Company took up The Lucky Star instead, Morand appearing as Tobasco until April, then as Sirocco. From July (when Haddon Hall was added to the tour) until September 1899 Morand appeared as Sirocco and The McCrankie. Company "D" was disbanded again on September 30, 1899.

Company "D" was finally revived in April 1900. They toured The Rose of Persia until December with Morand as Hassan. Their next engagement was from September to December 1901, when Company "D" (by then known as the "Savoy Touring Company") played The Emerald Isle, Morand as Professor Bunn.

Morand would finally return to the Savoy in November 1902 as Silas Simpkins in Merrie England, replacing Mark Kinghorne who had created the role in July. Morand also played the part on tour beginning in August. When A Princess of Kensington was premiered in January 1903, M. R. Morand created the part of Yapp, a policeman.

After A Princess of Kensington at the Savoy and on tour, Morand, along with many of his Savoy colleagues, next appeared at the Adelphi in The Earl and the Girl (December 1903). He subsequently performed at the Lyric in The Talk of the Town (1905), the Criterion in The White Chrysanthemum (1905-06), the Adelphi in Aladdin (1907-08), and the Queen's in The Belle of Brittany (1908-09) and A Persian Princess (1909). Apart from a season of repertory in Glasgow (1910) and a tour of South Africa with Ethel Irving (1916), Morand was a regular on the London Stage until July 1921 when he made his last appearance at the Aldwych as Admiral Dale in James the Less.

Morand also served as the Chairman of the charitable Royal General Theatrical Fund from 1912 until his death in March 1922 at the age of 61.He was married to fellow D'Oyly Carte artist Lena Leibrandt.

Page modified July 14, 2008 © 2001-08 David Stone