The programme is for David Devant’s Entertainment ‘direct from Maskelyne and Cooke’s Egyptian Hall, London’. The bill consists of Animated Photographs and Mr. Maurice Victor. It’s interesting to note that on the week of this performance, starting Monday 29 August 1898, Devant had another group performing in Ramsgate. The programme for the Ramsgate performances is N1928. We know that Devant had four cine projectors to make use of, including the one permanently at the Egyptian Hall. The details may be found in item N2979, although no doubt the names of the people involved would have changed over time. See Devant and early cinema for similar items.
Devant and early cinema
The top of the front page has been left blank so that the name of future performance venues can be overprinted. The programme contains a review of the show dated 28 December 1897, so the probable date of this programme is 1898. See Devant and early cinema for similar items.
Pages 2 and 3, also illustrated here, show a specimen programme. Page 4 has a full page illustration advertising Devant’s magic and hand shadows. See Devant and early cinema for similar items.
Page 3 includes the Saturday Popular Concert on 11 December 1897 of Mr. David Devant’s Cinematographe. See Devant and early cinema for similar items.
Page 1 mentions the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee which was in June 1897, so the likely date is 1897 or 1898. Pages 2 and 3 are most interesting because they state that Devant has four ‘Cinematographes’: No. 1 is used twice daily at the Egyptian Hall, No. 2 is on tour, No. 3 and No. 4 are for Public or Private Engagements. The names of the operators and others involved in these performances are also given. All the pages are illustrated here. See Devant and early cinema for similar items.
This early publicity piece for animated photographs allows us to realise just how novel the entertainment was at the time. It is necessary to make the point that the animated photographs are “reproduced on a canvas screen, with all the actual movements of real life”. We are also told “The apparatus used is the most perfect, complete and portable yet constructed, and is the invention of Mr. R.W. Paul”. See Devant and early cinema for similar items.
The printer’s date on the programme is 5 February 1898. The Devant advertisement is apparently hand-written along the bottom of pages 2 and 3. It reads: ‘Notice. Mr. David Devant’s “Animated Photos” can be sent anywhere; are suitable for any audience; 40 finest subjects at each performance. Mr. Devant, the famous conjurer, attends evening parties, etc. For particulars address The Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, W.’ All pages of the programme are illustrated here. See Devant and early cinema for similar items.
This advertisement can be folded to show The Box Trick in action. The words explain: ‘The performer enters the box which he completely fills so that no part can collapse inwards. It is then locked, enveloped in a sack, corded and sealed thus preventing any section giving outwards. Yet in a few seconds the gentleman escapes without disturbing a single knot, leaving the box perfectly empty.’ The year is not stated, but we know from other publicity that the year is 1899. The same novelty design was used by Maskelyne and Cooke’s Mysteries when they were performing in Dublin in 1901 (item N2592).
This is a programme from Devant’s cinevariety tour 1898-1899. The programme tells us that Devant was actually performing twice nightly at the Egyptian Hall. See Devant and early cinema for similar items.
This item could act as advance publicity, as well as serving as a brief programme. The show was cinevariety, including Animated Photographs and many of Devant’s illusions in Zauberwunder. See Devant and early cinema for similar items.
This was one of the venues for Devant’s touring cinevariety show. See Devant and early cinema for similar items.
The information about the show makes use of a glowing report from the Herne Bay Argus, 20 August 1898. It is likely that the publicity would have been used to promote the appearance of the show in Ramsgate starting 29 August 1998. The same performers are listed – see N1928. See Devant and early cinema for similar items.