20 December 2014

20th December 2014

Our third and final Saturday on the calendar takes us all the way back to 1864. This is the year that Christ Church, Ottershaw was founded by Sir Edward Colebrooke, and we have had a year of celebrations and commemorations.

So when looking for an 1864 theme for today, I was astounded to find this:
Cinderella, or, Harlequin and the Magic Pumpkin, and the Great Fairy of the Little Glass Slipper: A Pantomime written by the Brothers Grinn. 
London: Published and sold in the [Royal English Opera] Theatre, [1864]. First performed Monday, 26 December 1864. 
Cast: Hobgoblin, a discontented Demon who lives by himself and won't give up his Hermit for any quantity of spirits (Mr. Lingham); Papillion, a Fairy who's "beautiful as a Butterfly" (Miss Craven); Prince Ugolino, who has carried out the direction "laugh and grow fat" (Mr. E. Danvers); Grimguffin, his Private Tutor (Mr. Naylor); The Baron Pumpolino (Mr. W. H. Payne); Pedro, his head man and foot-man (Mr. F. Payne). Thisbe and Clotilda, the Baron's haughty daughters (Mademoiselle Parkinu and Douglasoni); Cinderella, the youngest daughter (Miss Clara Denvil); Squaretoso, the Grand Chamberlain (Mr. Dixon); Herald, with a solo on his own trumpet (Mr. Blowhard); Harlequin (Mr. Fred Payne); Columbine (Mademoiselle Esther); Clown (Mr. Harry Payne), Pantaloon (Mr. Paul Herring).
This is the first recorded pantomime version of Cinderella, which is, according to A. E. Wilson in 1949:
[Cinderella] is the most popular of the pantomimes. In 1948 alone, there were 37 different Cinderella productions in England.
And THIS is a photo of Clara Denvil, from the V&A Photography Collection:

Bonus beats:
  • W. S. Gilbert (of Gilbert & Sullivan fame) went to a London pantomime rehearsal on 10th December 1864
  • Bradford's Theatre Royal originally opened as the Alexandra Theatre on Monday the 26th of December 1864 with the pantomime 'All That Glitters is not Gold'.
  • Lewis Carroll's illustrator Tenniel produced the Punch's Pocket Book in 1864:

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