Friday, June 25, 2010
The Ingenious Mr.Tich
Harry Relph was only a little over four feet tall with six digits on his hands and toes. This didn't worry him very much, however. Other people would have considered these characteristics disadvantages, but little 'Mr.Tich' used them to his advantage in his bright career.
The sixteenth child of a 77 year old Kent publican, Harry Relph was born in 1867. He soon decided that he wanted to go on the stage. At the tender age of 12, he was aa 'blackface' singer in one of London's remaining pleasure gardens,
the Rosheville. He soon started singing in the music halls, starting at the Middlesex
He decided on the name of 'Mr.Tich' because of the Tichborne Claimant. This man claimed to be the heir to an ancient baronetcy, but the real heir was lost at sea. The claimant weighed 25 stone, so Mr.Tich chose the name to emphasize the differences between them. It was catchy and short, and turned out to be a wise choice.
Mr.Tich's act was alternatively grotesque and hilarious. He became famous for impersonating many different kinds of people, including grocers, fairy queens, and Spanish dancers. He also satirized famous people, such as Louie Fuller.
One of his most popular acts was the one in which he danced on boots that were almost half his size. They were 28 inches long. Audiences loved to see him balancing on these tall boots.
Mr.Tich was very popular in Paris as well as London. He appeared at the Folies Bergere in Paris many times. The French honoured him by admitting him to the Academie Francaise.
Mr.Tich's Boot Dance