1 February 2024

Sedos was recently given copies of photographs of productions which took place between 1926 and 1948.

William Molesworth kindly sent in the photos, which feature his grandparents, John Cohen and Annie Kelham.

William gave us the following information about the actors:

"John Mark Freeman Cohen (1884-1971) and his wife, Anne Catherine Kelham (1884-1950), took leading roles in several Sedos productions between the 1920s and 1940s.

"John was a second-generation Jewish immigrant who arrived in London in 1898 at the age of 14. There he got a job as a runner boy in the City, delivering messages between buildings in the days before these had telephone connection. In 1904 he was admitted to the Stock Exchange, joined the firm of Falkenheim & de Smitt some four years later, went into partnership with the latter as De Smitt & Cohen in 1915 and became senior partner in 1935. In 1967 the firm changed to Cohen de Smitt Greener Dreyfus in prime location of Finsbury Circus.

"By this time he had been a member of the Stock Exchange for 63 years, but still visited every department each morning. As on stage, he believed success required collective effort: on one of his daily rounds a young man told him, ‘I have done a lot of business today’ to which he rejoined, ‘No, we have done it’.

"Anne, who was known as ‘Nan’, came from Welsh Baptist stock but was born in Los Angeles. A gifted singer-actress, she sang to the wounded during World War One to lift their spirits. Together with John, whom she had married in 1910, they appeared in Ambrose Applejohn’s Adventure (1926), The Best People (1928), Road House (1934) and Arsenic and Old Lace (1948)."

The photo archive also includes a picture of Annie in a 1927 production of The Duchess of Danzig and a couple of shots of Annie’s sister Avice in a production of Gipsy Love in 1912. We don’t believe these were Sedos shows, cross-referencing to our complete list of productions (although Sedos did stage The Duchess of Dantzic in 1908), but if anyone has any more infomation, please do get in touch on admin@sedos.co.uk.

Ambrose Applejohn’s Adventure (1926)

Sedos archive: Ambrose Applejohn’s Adventure

Sedos archive: Ambrose Applejohn’s Adventure

The Best People (1928)

Sedos archive: The Best People

Road House (1934)

Sedos archive: Road House

Arsenic and Old Lace (1948)

Sedos archive: Arsenic and Old Lace

The Duchess of Danzig (1927, not believed to be a Sedos production)

The Duchess of Danzig

Gipsy Love (1912, not believed to be a Sedos production)

Gipsy Love

Gipsy Love

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