The life of one of Britain’s best loved 19th century burlesque dancers and pantomime actresses Nelly Power (1854 – 1887), has been commemorated in the form of a blue plaque which has been hung at her former Hackney home.
The commemorative sign is in situ on the wall at 97 Southgate Road which is now part of the Benyon Estate’s lettings portfolio and where the flamboyant north Londoner once lived.
Performing from the age of eight, the talented singer and performer’s vivacity and comic style brought her fame well before her sixteenth birthday.
Her stage life started out in the pantomime Robinson Crusoe when she was 14 years old and then she moved into burlesque, making a name for herself by becoming one of the first male impersonators.
Ms Power gained national acclaim through caricaturing the dandies of the time through comical performances and songs including La-di-la.
Once married, in the years before her death, Ms Power was appearing at three London dance halls a night. She performed to the end of her days, which were cut short by pleurisy.
Such was her popularity, the 32-year-old’s funeral procession was attended by some three thousand people.
She was buried at Abney Park Cemetery in Stoke Newington.
The plaque was erected on August 14th 2017 by theatre charity, the Music Hall Guild of Great Britain and America.
Estates Director, Edward Benyon, said: “Nelly’s talent and zest for the stage undoubtedly enriched the lives of the many people who went to see her perform, as well as greatly enriching the performing arts culture of the time.
“It is very nice to know that one of our rental properties was her home once upon a time, and the plaque is a fitting acknowledgement of her accomplishments in the British performing arts scene.”