Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thomas MacLarnie - "Sureluck Hoomes".

MacLarnie in "On Parole" from Oregon City Enterprise, Jan 06, 1911.
Christmas 1906. Howell Hansel is playing Sherlock Holmes in the GIllette play from 24th to 30th at Boston's Castle Square Theater. Meanwhile (as reported in The Boston Evening Transcript ) the Bijou on Wellington Street is preparing "a Boston-made Christmas Extravaganza, Jack and Jill & Co". 

The company is John Craig's as previewed by the Cambridge Chronicle of 1 September, 1906 . The same newspaper details on 22 December, the forthcoming Yuletide offering "Jack and Jill and Company", which, despite its title, is built around "A Christmas Carol", with Craig himself as "Scrooge"...and "Jack". Indeed, most of the company get to play two parts and (oh! to have seen this!) our man of the moment, Thomas MacLarnie, is to play both "the Wicked Sister" to "Cinderella" and "Sureluck Hoomes". (see the Cambridge Chronicle 22 December, 1906.  right page, column 2).

The only photograph I can discover of MacLarnie heads this post.
His scant biography is HERE and Internet Broadway Database entry HERE .

Two interesting asides to close this brief report on a little-known early portrayer of Holmes:

-He was well acquainted with Howell Hansel, the two having appeared together in "Camille" at the Castle Square, Boston in 1903. (see Camille Programme ).

-MacLarnie actually settled in Cambridge and had left the John Craig Stock Company by July 1907. The New York Dramatic Mirror for that month provides the perfect postscript revealing the actor as a book collector of rare volumes. NYDM July 20, 1907. (see final paragraph). I wonder if he had a copy of "British Birds", "Catullus" or "The Holy War".

Jeremy Brett's Holmes disguised as an Old Bookseller in The Empty House. Granada TV.

© Ray Wilcockson (2014) All rights Reserved


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