Ada Blanche as Robinson Crusoe
The Sketch Magazine, 27th December, 1893
Black and white photolithograph
Museum no. 131655
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Ada Blanche was a music hall and pantomime performer, the daughter of singer who first appeared in pantomime at the age of 13. She was a huge hit and within a few years was playing principal boys and girls at Drury Lane and elsewhere. She held the record for being offered the most consecutive seasons as principal boy at Drury Lane: seven years from 1892- 98. Unlike music hall stars such as Vesta Tilley, Ada Blanche did not make a career out of playing men. She also played female parts in the theatre, and performed in women's clothes for her music hall act. She admitted in a newspaper interview that she preferred skirts.