I’ve not been researching for this blog for very long but one name keeps popping up. Frank Sylvo isn’t well known today, but he was clearly well respected by the promoters of his era.The earliest appearance that I’ve found isn’t from North East England but the Palace, Greenwich, London – strangely enough the article is in the New York Clipper and the date isn’t made clear, but it seems to be April 1901 or 1902. He also appeared in Empire Palace Theatre, Dublin in 1904, as advertised in the Evening Telegraph; and at the opening of the Grand Theatre of Varieties, Birmingham and is listed on the special silk commemorative programme for this event, which is held in the Victoria and Albert museum.
I’ve first found him in the North East on 25 January 1909 at the Sunderland Empire:
All these venues have one thing in common – they were all owned by Moss Empires. This was the largest chain of variety theatres in the UK, and they clearly liked what Frank had to offer, despite the rather lukewarm review that he received in the Newcastle Journal and Courant of 23 January 1909 after he’d appeared at the Newcastle Empire. All they could manage to say was that he was “quite acceptable”:
Despite that faint praise he was still working in the Empires empire 14 years later; he was back at the Sunderland Empire on 2 July 1923:
I look forward to seeing where else he shows up!