Celebrity for the week ending
Saturday, 14 February 2009

The Three Meers (fl. late 19th/early 20th Century),
English comedy wire act

The Three Meers
a cabinet photograph of The Three Meers
left to right, George Omo, Alf Meers and his wife, May Meers

(photo: Hana, London, probably late 1890s)

Alfred Meers, said to have been born about 1868 at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, the son of Robert Meers and his wife, Lucy (née Koplen), married May Vinson Warren in Manhattan, New York, on 12 April 1896.

'''Alfy'' Meers is now a landlord, as he writes me, having purchased two houses at Catford, London, one of which is called the ''Meers,'' and the other ''Warren'' Villa. His title must be increasing in size in consequence. When you see him, ask him what ''Pop's'' Villa comes off.'
(The Music Hall and Theatre Review, London, Friday, 21 September 1894, p. 10c)

The Royal music hall, London
'What a technically known as ''straight shows'' are apparently slowly but surely becoming almost a dead letter in the music halls. It has become quite a rarity to see either vocal or acrobatic performers who do not introduce more or less comedy into their act, skill of the most expert order often being made subservient to mere comic fooling. The Meers don't go quite as far as this, but they have re-modelled their clever wire act in such a manner as to appeal to the risible faculties of the audience, as well as to its appreciation of a distinguished exposition of the art of wire-walking. Mr. Alf Meers is responsible for most of the fun, and, together with his partner, performs a series of feats that are remarkable for extraordinary powers of balancing the body while careering on a thin, lightly-stretched wire. As a conclusion he mounts a wire which is made to travel along at a very rapid speed, maintaining his foothold in surprising fashion. After this comes tumultuous applause from the audience, who can but be delighted with what they have seen.'
(The Music Hall and Theatre Review, London, Friday, 9 August 1901, p. 91c)

'The Meers now proceed on a short provincial tour. They return to the London Pavilion early in September, and thereafter again visit the Continent.'
(The Music Hall and Theatre Review, London, Friday, 16 August 1901, p. 111d)

'The Meers, whose comic wire act, entitled ''Early Morning,'' is so popular a constituent of the Pavilion programme just now, shortly proceed on another tour of the Continent. They go to Amsterdam for a fortnight, to Brussels for a for fortnight, and to Dusselldorf for a fortnight. In December they cross the Atlantic, in fulfilment of engagements that will occupy them six months.'
(The Music Hall and Theatre Review, London, Friday, 6 September 1901, p. 157c)

'Another sensational European novelty heads the bill at Keith's Theatre this week, where the three Meers, from the Palace Theatre at St. Petersburg, make their debut.'
(The New York Times, New York, Sunday, 20 April 1902, p. 14b)

'(Alf. Meers, May Meers and Geo. Omo)
'Alf. Meers, the manager of the Three Meers, was born in Cheltenham, in the county of Gloucester, England, and made his first appearance before the public as a boy four years old, at Newsome's Circus, in Liverpool, 1872. He is the originator and first producer of three people on one wire at the same time. He is also the originator of ''the endless wire trick.'' Mr. Meers made his first American debut in 1894, with the Lottie Collins Co., and has returned three times to fulfil successful engagements. The Three Meers open on the Keith Circuit Oct. 23, 1903.'
(The New York Clipper, New York, Wednesday, 25 February 1903, p. XIIb)

'The Three Meers.
'Comedy wire artistes. Now doing a round of the chief provincial towns. In October next they sail for America, where they are under contract for twelve months. After this they return to England to fulfil an engagement at the Empire, Leicester Square.'
(The Variety Theatre, London, Friday, 14 July 1905, p.9)

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© John Culme, 2009