Arthur Reed Ropes , better known under the pseudonym ADRIAN ROSS, was a prolific writer of lyrics, contributing songs to more than sixty British musical comedies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was the most important lyricist of the British stage during a career that spanned five decades. At a time when few shows had long runs, nineteen of his West End shows ran for over 400 performances. Starting out in the late 1880s, Ross wrote the lyrics for the earliest British musical theatre hits, including In Town (1892), The Shop Girl (1894) and The Circus Girl (1896). Ross next wrote the lyrics for a string of hit musicals, beginning with A Greek Slave (1898), San Toy (1899), The Messenger Boy (1900) and The Toreador (1901) and continuing without a break through World War I. He also wrote the English lyrics for a series of hit adaptations of European operettas beginning with The Merry Widow in 1907. During World War I, Ross was one of the founders of the Performing Rights Society. He continued writing until 1930, producing several more successes after the war. He also wrote the popular novel The Hole of the Pit and a number of short stories.
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