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no. 511

Saturday, 30 June 2007

images of theatre and other popular entertainment

Marquéz Gonza

carte de visite photograph of Marquéz Gonza (fl. 1860s-1880s),
actrobat and trapezist, at the time of his appearance at the Crystal Palace, south London, circa 1870

(photo: J. Norris, Upper Norwood, south London, circa 1870)

'I presume that there are some competent stage carpenters to be found. I never happen to have met with one, but I am ready to believe anything - even this. The only thing wrong about the first performance of Mr. Alfred Thompson's latest production [Yolande], at the Alhambra [Leicester Square], was the bungling of the carpenters [i.e. stage hands], and their voices were the only voices heard through the whole piece - a fact which might probably have been accounted for by the new production being a ballet. It is a very good ballet, very prettily dressed, and very well danced, and out to be seen at once.
'Something else to see, supposing that the entertainment may not be altogether to your taste, is a crowded audience at the Oxford Music Hall, which, on the night of my visit, filled every part to overflowing. The programmed contains plenty of variety. Captain Rose Fox and her Oxford "cadets" are enthusiastically received. Miss Emmeline Cole sings every sweetly. Gonza and his brother acrobats do some astounding feats, and the Phoites [acrobatic dancers], in a different way, are more wonderful still.
'At the Canterbury, which appears to be an extensively patronized as ever, the great feature is a well-arranged and brightly-costumed ballet, with the somewhat startling title of The Reign of Love; or, Age, Youth, and Wine, and in it Mlle. Pitteri dances with much grace and is deservedly applauded.'
(Judy, or The London Serio-Comic Journal, London, Wednesday, 29 August 1877, p.201b)


Yolande, a Dream of far Cathay,
'New Grand Ballet in Four Tableaux,
invented and designed by Alfred Thompson',
including 'Cascades of real Water and Novel Effects',
Alhambra Theatre of Varieties, Leicester Square, London, 18 August 1877

Incidents from the ballet, Yolande, a Dream of far Cathay,
Alhambra Theatre of Varieties, Leicester Square, London, 18 August 1877

(from original artwork by Alfred Thompson,
The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, London, Saturday, 22 September 1877, p.12)

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