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20 May 2014

Solser & Hesse

Piet Hesse (1872-1936) and Abraham (Lion) Solser (1877-1915) were two Dutch comedians of the late 19th and early 20th century.

Solser & Hesse
Dutch postcard.

The Ladies Wip and Snip


Solser came from a family of stage actors and variety artists. After the death of his brother Michel, he joined the stage company of his father. His sister was variety artist and comedian Adrienne Solser, who starred in several Dutch film comedies of the 1920s.

With his brother Louis, Lion formed a comic duo that performed in varieties and at fairs. After they split up, Lion formed a comedy duo with Piet Hesse in 1896. It was an immediate success.

They also had a popular acting company, Het gezelschap Solser & Hesse, and they acted in some of the first Dutch films of the late 19th and early 20th Century.

Solser & Hesse played in the first Dutch fiction film Gestoorde hengelaar/Disturbed Angler (M.H. Laddé, 1896). Later they also appeared in two short films from 1900 and 1906, both titled Solser en Hesse. All three films are missing.

For Edison they also made some records. In 1899, Lion married actress Adrienne Willemsens, and he often worked together with her on stage.

Solser often played roles in drag and with Hesse, he created the ladies Wip and Snip. They probably inspired Jacques van Tol when he later wrote the famous drag act Snip and Snap for Dutch comedians Piet Muyselaar and Willy Walden.

In 1915, Lion Solser committed suicide at the age of 38.

Piet Hesse continued their popular duo with Lion's brother Louis. During the late 1920s and 1930s he worked as an impresario and exploited with Simon Delmonte the traveling theatre, Loge Schouwburg.

Hesse's life partner was Anna Slauderhof. Piet Hesse died in 1936.

Willy Walden and Piet Muyselaar
Dutch postcard by L. Nieweg, Amersfoort. Photo: W. Schuurman, Den Haag. Piet Muyselaar and Willy Walden as Snip and Snap.

Sources: Piet Hein Honig (Acteurs- en kleinkunstenaarslexicon) (Dutch), Film in the Netherlands, Joods Amsterdam (Dutch) and Wikipedia.

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