Horace and Edna Mashford, performers: papers

Scope and Content

Notes detailing plans for Horace and Edna Mashford's shows, including song choices. Notebook also contains loose letter from H. Snowdon to Horace and Edna.

Administrative / Biographical History

Horace Mashford (b. 1908?) was a light comedy entertainer and part of the Oval Entertainers. He toured extensively in the UK and performed in music hall, vaudeville, revue and pantomime, often with his wife and stage partner Edna. Together they are best known for sketches such as a Comedy Hunting Episode and Crinoline Days.

Horace was brought up in the hotel business but in 1926, at the age of eighteen and without any previous experience, he had a resident season in his hometown of Cleethorpes. He then performed for two years with a concert party at Dunoon, Scotland, before touring with Reg. A. Maddox’s concert party, Fun o’ the Fayre and from 1931 to 1934 he toured with Cecil Morley’s Masquerade Follies. In 1939 he produced Arcadian Follies, the resident show at the Seabourn Pavilion in Sunderland and in the Autumn he performed in Ronald Brandon’s company Here We Are with E.N.S.A.

In 1940 a resident season at the Scala, Southport, was cancelled owing to the sudden death of Edna in an accident. On his way to sign a contract for the juvenile lead at the Prince of Wales’ Theatre in London, Horace was offered the opportunity to go to the Middle East, where he broadcast from Cairo, Alexandria, Nairobi, Jerusalem and Baghdad. On his return to England, in December 1944, he toured with a hospital unit for a few months.

Access Information

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Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Gwendoleyne Playle, 2008.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/archives/.

Appraisal Information

This collection was appraised in line with the collection management policy.


No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Theatre and Performance Department. Material relating to this collection may be found in several collections, including the biographical, productions, company and photographs files.

Unless there were duplicate copies, the original programmes and flyers have been transferred.

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