Marie Wilton in Good for Nothing

Marie Wilton in Good for Nothing

Marie Bancroft is seen here as the 'unruly girl' Nan, who leads her two 'well meaning but erratic guardians' a merry dance in Good for Nothing. This had been a favourite part since her earliest days on stage, before her marriage, when she was known as Marie Wilton. In 1879 she played Nan in a mixed bill alongside WS Gilbert's Sweethearts, in which she played Jenny Northcott. As her husband, Squire Bancroft (he dropped his last two names, White Butterfield, when he went on the stage) recalled: 'The audience could scarcely believe their eyes when they saw the delicate-minded and silvery-toned Miss Northcott turned into [Nan] the dirty-faced, touzle-headed little reprobate, whose knowledge of the Cockney vernacular was so absolute and complete'. As one paper reported, Good for Nothing was 'associated with the familiar process of playing the audience in, or out, as the case may be'.