Do you know about the auspicious life of Austin Rudd? Rudd (1868-1929) was a music hall songwriter and performer, and is considered one of the nation’s greatest comedians. He was also a resident of Edgware Road for the majority of his successful career. We’re not attributing his success solely to this fact, but we think it’s a special anecdote.
Rudd was born and raised in Holborn on Lambs Conduit Street, which was close to Deacon’s Music Hall in Clerkenwell where he had his first performance at the age of 22. He was praised by London and Provincial Entr’acte for being a “comedian of decidedly modern stamp”. and so began the beginning of an illustrious 40 year career.
Part of Rudd’s appeal to audiences and producers alike was his talent for writing, as well as performing the acts. He was the perfect one-man-show.
He steadily worked his way up the bill becoming a household name across the country and sharing the top billing with some of most celebrated performers in the music hall industry of the time, including Dan Leno, Marie Lloyd, Lottie Collins, Little Tich and Bessie Bellwood. He has been featured in various exhibitions, such as ‘Behind the scenes: Marking objects with Museum numbers‘ and ‘Sheet Music Covers‘ both at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
During his career, he appeared in nearly every leading Music Hall in the UK. As a result, he was known to perform up to seven shows in a day! His popularity knew no bounds leading him to tour in America, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia – no easy feet in the early 1900s. However, London was his home and he remained in Edgware Road for the majority of his career. Thanks to The Music Hall Guild of Great Britain and America, a blue plaque is placed at 254 Edgware Road, W2 to commemorate his life and work.
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