Peter’s talk traces the development of magicians’ programmes from the 19th century into the 20th century. He illustrates this with a wide range of Maskelyne programmes, as well as those of numerous other performers, from Signor Blitz to Carmo – around 50 programmes in all. On the way Peter highlights intriguing facts that can be discovered about the performers by careful study of the programmes.
It is very difficult to find reliable information on the salaries paid to variety acts. In this article Anne Goulden reports on Oswald Williams’ act at the Leicester Palace and compares his salary with the other acts on the bill. These are recorded in a salaries book which belongs to the British Music Hall Society Archive.
The bill includes Lewis Davenport. It was common for continental variety theatres to book a show in for a month rather than a week, as in the United Kingdom. The bill covers a number of pages of the programme and so two compilation images are shown, one for each half of the show.
The Davenports was Lewis Davenport with his first wife Julia. As part of the act Julia did card manipulations, hence her billing as Lady Card Manipulator.
No date, but the bill includes Jasper Maskelyne who is said to be ‘Direct from the Duke of York’s Theatre, London. Farewell visit prior to South African Tour.’ This will make it a week in 1950.
Based on the information in the book by George Jenness on the Egyptian Hall, it looks as though the date of this programme is sometime on tour in October – mid-December 1886.
The printer’s date is 9 April 1928.
The printer’s date is 28 October 1929.
The printer’s date is 28 November 1932.
There is no date, but the bill implies Easter 1905 for a short time. This was the first magic show at St. George’s Hall after the failure of ‘The Coming Race’.