25th consecutive year, 1897-1898. The programme includes the sketch ‘Trapped by Magic’ which was first presented on 7 May 1898, according to the book on the Egyptian Hall by George Jenness. However, the programme does not include the sketch ‘The Gnome’s Grot’ which was introduced at the start of the Christmas shows on 16 December 1898, according to Jenness. The likely date of this programme is therefore between 7 May 1898 and 16 December 1898.

25th consecutive year, 1897-1898. The programme includes animated photographs of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Procession which was on 22 June 1897. According to the book on the Egyptian Hall by George Jenness, topical scenes from the Procession were shown from 5 July 1897. The earliest date for this programme is therefore 5 July 1897. The programme does not include the sketch ‘Trapped by Magic’ which was first presented on 7 May 1898, so the period of this programme is probably somewhere between July 1897 and May 1898. This is consistent with the hand written date on page 1 of 8 April 1898. The wording of this programme, but not the colour of the paper, is the same as programme Ref. no. N2069.

The programme is for David Devant’s Entertainment ‘direct from Maskelyne and Cooke’s Egyptian Hall, London’. The performance included songs, dancing, a ventriloquial sketch, animated photographs and Devant’s Zauberwunder!. The reader is warned that ‘this programme is subject to frequent alteration’. Mr. Walter R. Booth provides the vent. sketch and is also part of Zauberwunder. The back page names Mr. Booth as the Stage Manager for Devant’s animated photograph entertainments. The photograph of Booth in the programme is significant because, as at 2020, it is one of only two known photographs of him which allows early cinema historians to identify Booth when he appears in early films. It had long been suspected that a magician in the films was Booth, but there was no firm evidence. For more information, and both photographs, type Walter Booth into the SEARCH box at the top of the EPHEMERA page of this website.

The dedication to Devant is mentioned at the top right corner of the cover. ‘The Waif and the Wizard’ was written, composed and sung by Edward Kent. The cover tells us it was also sung by Miss Fannie Leslie. Published by Reynolds & Co., Music Publishers & Exporters, London. A search of the web reveals that there was also a 1901 R.W. Paul film ‘The Waif and the Wizard’ directed by Walter R. Booth. The song could be sung while the film was showing. Booth was an entertainer turned film maker who at one time worked with Devant.

The photograph is on page 4 of a programme for David Devant’s Entertainment at the Granville Theatre, Ramsgate in 1898. For the whole programme search for ref. no. N1928 in the PROGRAMMES section of this website. This photograph of Walter Booth is significant because, as at 2020, it is one of only two known photographs of him which allows early cinema historians to identify Booth when he appears in early films. It had long been suspected that a magician in the films was Booth, but there was no firm evidence. For the other photograph, search for ref. no. N1930 in this EPHEMERA section of the website. For more information on Booth visit his Wikipedia page.

Members of J.N. Maskelyne’s company presented the original of this testimonial, dated 26 May 1898, to JN. This particular copy is rather special because JN gave it to George Cooke for Christmas 1898. His inscription on the reverse is ‘To G.A. Cooke| Accept this copy with my [incomplete word, possibly ‘heartfelt’] reciprocation of the good wishes in the original. | J.N. Maskelyne | Christmas 1898.’