In and Out of the Limelight: Ann Matilda Distin Her Life and Times
The story of ann matilda distin chronicles the life of a minor 19th century celebrity, 1790 – 1848. Part of the musical loder family she started on the bath stage as miss loder, danced and acted in london for a decade as mrs ridgway, then emerged as mrs distin and toured the UK for seven years as the pianist to the famed distin band – described as the 'beatles of their day'. More
The theatre started to sparkle during Ann Matilda’s career. Limelight had arrived. This is the life story of Ann Matilda Distin. It is the chronicle of a minor 19th century celebrity who peeps out of history during the reigns of four British monarchs, from George III to Victoria, 1790 – 1848. A member of the musical Loder family she started her career on the Bath stage in the early years of the 1800s as Ann Matilda Loder, she danced and acted in London for a decade as Mrs Ann Matilda Ridgway, then, following a disappearing act she emerged as Mrs Distin and toured the UK for seven years as the pianist to the famed Distin band consisting of her second husband, and four sons – described as the Beatles of their day. During the three decades between her first and last public performances she had ten children, all of whom enjoyed a stage career. In her later years she was behind the piano, but also behind the scenes. Beneath the surface of respectability of her life, there lay the whiff of scandal. She did what was expected, she stayed in the background, tinkling the keys
Ann Matilda’s story touches on the theatre, music, dance and contemporary feminist issues. It features Bath, London, and European and UK wide tours.
Ann Matilda played them all: the chosen dancing pupil to the Professor of Dancing, a player of the Bath Theatre Company, the principal actress and Columbine, the wife of a middle ranking clown and Harlequin, a travelling actress, the mistress of a Grenadier Guardsman and Royal Bandsman, a composer, the pianist for a new type of band and mother to ten talented children. At the end of the day, she was an actress par excellence inventing a new life, changing identities and slipping silently out of the limelight.