The Hopkins family must stand alone in terms of their joint contribution to the history of Welsh performers. In addition to Ted, who has his own page on this site, there was his sister May and four brothers, two of whom were performers.


May Hopkins became famous for her work with Ted at the London Coliseum and on the Stoll-Moss circuit after they were noticed by Oswald Stoll's talent spotter on the sands at Porthcawl. Their famous "Welsh Courtship" sketch was recorded for posterity on the Edison Bell cylinder system. May toured to South Africa with Ted in 1912 and, during World War One, they toured the Uk and entertained the troops and the wounded at camps and hospitals. May often worked on her own and continued performing until the late 1940s.


The family formed their own production company in which brothers Richard (Dick) and William (Bill) were involved. Dick and Ted managed several small theatre and cinema venues in the 1920s and 1930s. Before World War One the family presented Concert Parties (entertainment groups) at popular seaside resorts such as Weston, Porthcawl, The Mumbles and Penslade. Among the groups were The Blackbirds, The Merry Cadets [photo right] and a Pierrot Troupe. Bill Hopkins was especially active in the Concert Parties.


The Hopkins Family company was well known in the early 1900s for their production of The Maid of Cefn Ydfa", a well known Welsh folk tale.


In 1914, during the Welsh National Drama movement of that time, while Ted was producing the selected Welsh Dramas at the New Theatre, Cardiff and touring the valleys of Wales, Dick and Bill had been involved as actors and both sailed to America with the company of Welsh Players[photo right] which took the J. O. Francis play "Change" to the U.S.A.. This was the company in which Tom Owen, Gareth Hughes and Eleanor Daniels also performed: all of whom have their own pages here.


Of the other brothers neither Arthur nor Hopkin seem to have been performers but the remaining brother, Daniel, worked asTed's chauffeur when Ted had a car.

 

 

 

 

May Hopkins

May Hopkins

Merry Cadets

The Merry Cadets 1909

Welsh Players

The Welsh Players 1914