Albert Whelan (1875-1961) is remembered as a music hall entertainer, emigrating to England from his native Australia fairly early in his career. Given the nature of his career, it becomes hard to be sure whether these Dickens performances are intended sincerely or not. Certainly, The Death of Little Nell is worked for every ounce of sentimentality, and the orchestral backing carries it literally into the realms of melodrama as originally understood. This kind of performance makes one appreciate the reasons for Oscar Wilde’s withering put down of the scene, and is not easy to listen to after hearing more modern acting styles.
Dickens - The Old Curiosity Shop: The Death of Little Nell Dickens - David Copperfield: Little Emily Albert Whelan, actor with Orchestra