This caricature is of the comedian George Gilbey when he was performing at the Grand Theatre of Varieties, Hanley, during the week of 26 December 1904. He was billed as ‘Mr George Gilbey. From the Principal London Variety Theatres’. This is one of the many superb caricatures of Edwardian music hall performers that were drawn by the artist George Cooke when he was based at the Grand Theatre. He compiled them in a series of albums.
Gilbey was a support act on the evening’s programme, which starred Charles Prinz and his 17 Lions. But the review in the local newspaper noted,
A patter comedian of the first water is Mr George Gilbey who was last night cheered to the echo for his account of a football match, and his no less funny song ‘Why Should I?’ Gilbey has a style all his own, and his jokes have the virtue of being strictly original.
When he appeared at the Grand the following September the reviewer noted the excellence of Gilbey as Spouty the footballer. ( Source: V and A)