This vintage real photo postcard features actress and singer, Miss Catherine Ferguson ( 1895-1972). At first glance, this image appears to be a photograph of a pretty woman on a bad hair day. However, this is actually a photograph of Miss Ferguson playing the role of “Mad Margaret” in “Ruddigore”. The comic opera was also known as “The Witches Curse”. The production was presented by the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company and the music and libretto was written by Gilbert and Sullivan. It was first performed in 1887 for a run of 288 performances and was revived in 1920. During World War 1, interest in Gilbert and Sullivan was waning. The company’s main soubrette, Nellie Briarcliffe, left the company. In 1918, the company signed Miss Ferguson to replace Briarcliffe. Ferguson’s stage debut occurred in 1915, in “The Girl in the Taxi”. Ferguson took advantage of the opportunity at D’Oyly and she received much recognition and praise for her performances. In fact, it was thought that she had won the role of principal soubrette on a permanent basis rather than on an interim one. However, in 1919, Briarcliffe returned to the company and resumed her position as major soubrette while Ferguson was relegated to minor roles. Briarcliffe only stayed for one season, and upon her departure, Ferguson returned to being principal soubrette. She left the company in 1923 because of hearing loss. This photo postcard was published by Parkslee Pictures as part of a series (No. 36). The Cabinet Card Gallery has another real photo postcard of an actress playing “Mad Margaret”. You can view it by placing the name, “Aileen Davies” in the search box. SOLD 


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi, is the attached card available for purchase?  Thank you,Gail   

    • Yes. The original vintage real photo postcard is available for sale. Below the description of the card are two options to buy the card via pay pal. The first option is for purchasing the card for delivery within the US. The second option is for purchasing the card outside the US. The transaction is easier to make on a desktop, laptop or tablet. It is a little more difficult to do on a mobile phone. Thanks for your interest.

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