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Pantomime Collection

"Pantomime: A Timeless Theatrical Tradition" Step into the enchanting world of pantomime, where characters come alive and laughter fills the air

Background imagePantomime Collection: Wonder Bar by Rowland Leigh

Wonder Bar by Rowland Leigh
Promotional postcard for Wonder Bar by Rowland Leigh from Die Wunder-Bar by Geza Herczeg and Karl Farkas (Wiener Kammerspiele, Vienna, 17th February 1930); music Robert Katscher

Background imagePantomime Collection: Joseph Grimaldi Clown

Joseph Grimaldi Clown
JOSEPH GRIMALDI 1778 - 1837 As a clown in the pantomime of Mother Goose. " Sir, I ll just trouble you with a line"

Background imagePantomime Collection: Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, have been awarded the Joint Showbiz Award by the Variety

Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, have been awarded the Joint Showbiz Award by the Variety Cub of Great Britain, enjoy a quick celebratory drink before going on stage at the Palace Theatre, Manchester

Background imagePantomime Collection: Swindon Mechanics Institute Pantomime poster, February 1860

Swindon Mechanics Institute Pantomime poster, February 1860
This pantomime poster is an early example of the type of performances that took place at the GWRs Mechanics Institute in Swindon

Background imagePantomime Collection: No, No Nanette by Frank Mandel

No, No Nanette by Frank Mandel
Promotional postcard for No No Nanette by Frank Mandel, Otto Harbach and Irving Caesar; music Vincent Youmans. (Globe Theatre, New York, 16th September 1925)

Background imagePantomime Collection: Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
Promotional postcard for Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. First produced in England at His Majestys Theatre, 11th April 1914

Background imagePantomime Collection: John Inman gets fitted for his role in Mother Goose at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool

John Inman gets fitted for his role in Mother Goose at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool. 17th December 1982

Background imagePantomime Collection: Was She To Blame? by Mrs F G Kimberley

Was She To Blame? by Mrs F G Kimberley
Promotional postcard for Was She To Blame? By Mrs F. G. Kimberley. First produced at the Junction Theatre, Manchester, 12th April 1909 and Woolwich, 7th February 1910

Background imagePantomime Collection: Pantomime Characters, Commedia dell Arte

Pantomime Characters, Commedia dell Arte - Clown, Harlequin, Columbine and Pantaloon. 19th century

Background imagePantomime Collection: The Land of Christmas Plays by Pauline Baynes

The Land of Christmas Plays by Pauline Baynes
Charming illustration showing a land populated by all the characters from Christmas plays and pantomimes including Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Robinson Crusoe

Background imagePantomime Collection: Cinderella theatre poster

Cinderella theatre poster
Theatre poster for the pantomime Cinderella, showing Cinders arriving in a glass carriage for the ball, complete with fan and glamorous dress and wig

Background imagePantomime Collection: Waldorf Theatre, London

Waldorf Theatre, London
Promotional postcard for the Waldorf Theatre, London. Designed by the well known theatre architect W. G. R. Sprague it originally opened in 1905 as the Waldorf Theatre

Background imagePantomime Collection: A Scrape of the Pen by Graham Moffatt

A Scrape of the Pen by Graham Moffatt
Promotional postcard for A Scrape of the Pen by Graham Moffatt. First produced at the Athenaeum, Glasgow, 23rd April 1909 and Comedy Theatre, 4th September 1912

Background imagePantomime Collection: La Poupee by Arthur Sturgess

La Poupee by Arthur Sturgess
Promotional postcard for La Poupee, a comic operetta by Arthur Sturgess from the French of Maurice Ordonneau (Theatre de la Gaiete, Paris, 21st October 1896); music Edmond Audran

Background imagePantomime Collection: The Mikado by Ws Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

The Mikado by Ws Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan
Promotional postcard for the Mikado by Ws Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, first produced Savoy Theatre, 14th March 1885 Date: circa 1885

Background imagePantomime Collection: Florrie Forde music hall singer 1875-1940

Florrie Forde music hall singer 1875-1940
Florrie Forde (Flora Flanagan) born in Australia, music hall singer known for popular chorus songs, pantomime principal boy. Sang ?It?s a long way to Tipperary? in World War I

Background imagePantomime Collection: Pantomime at Liverpool Empire Theatre. Getting together for rehearsals at the Empire

Pantomime at Liverpool Empire Theatre. Getting together for rehearsals at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool, are (left to right), Georgina Moon (Sleeping Beauty), Barbara New (Tea Lady)

Background imagePantomime Collection: Marie Loftus music hall dancer and singer 1857-1940

Marie Loftus music hall dancer and singer 1857-1940
Marie Loftus music hall dancer and singer, pantomime star. Reputation for singing risqu songs. Mother of Cissie Loftus, music hall mimic. In costume holding rose

Background imagePantomime Collection: Sheffield Theatre Royal - the pantomime Harlequin Hey Diddle Diddle His Cat

Sheffield Theatre Royal - the pantomime Harlequin Hey Diddle Diddle His Cat and Comical Fiddle or King Snowball
From an original at Sheffield Local Studies Library: y12706

Background imagePantomime Collection: A Pair of Silk Stockings by Cecil Harcourt

A Pair of Silk Stockings by Cecil Harcourt
Promotional postcard for A Pair of Silk Stockings by Cecil Harcourt. First produced at the Criterion Theatre, 23rd February 1914

Background imagePantomime Collection: The Great Tally Ho Mystery - Charles Morritt

The Great Tally Ho Mystery - Charles Morritt
Promotional postcard for Charles Morritts Great Tally Ho Mystery, in which an " entire fox hunt" : two huntsmen with rifles, a hunting dog

Background imagePantomime Collection: Rose Marie by Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein

Rose Marie by Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein
Promotional postcard for Rose Marie by Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein; music Rudolf Friml & Herbert Stothart. First produced in England, at Drury Lane

Background imagePantomime Collection: On and Off by Fred Karno

On and Off by Fred Karno
Promotional postcard for On and Off revue by Fred Karno, circa 1909 Date: circa 1909

Background imagePantomime Collection: Funny Face by Fred Thomson & Paul Gerard Smith

Funny Face by Fred Thomson & Paul Gerard Smith
Promotional postcard for Funny Face by Fred Thomson and Paul Gerard Smith; lyrics Ira Gershwin; music George Gershwin which was first produced in the Princes Theatre on 8th November 1928

Background imagePantomime Collection: Scenery for Aladdin, Pollocks Toy Theatre

Scenery for Aladdin, Pollocks Toy Theatre, with two rounded arches opening onto a seascape. Date: late 19th century

Background imagePantomime Collection: Maskelyne and Cookes 'The Artists Dream'. John Nevil Maskelyne and George Co

Maskelyne and Cookes "The Artists Dream". John Nevil Maskelyne and George Co
Maskelyne and Cookes " The Artists Dream". John Nevil Maskelyne and George Cooke, presented for the first time to a West End audience an entertainment they had been giving for several years

Background imagePantomime Collection: Poster, Aladdin at Grand Theatre, Halifax

Poster, Aladdin at Grand Theatre, Halifax
Pantomime poster, Milton Rays production of Aladdin at the Grand Theatre, Halifax. circa 1900

Background imagePantomime Collection: Dan Leno, music hall comedian, as Sister Anne

Dan Leno, music hall comedian, as Sister Anne
Dan Leno (George Wild Galvin), music hall comedian and musical theatre actor, as Sister Anne in a pantomime entitled Bluebeard, at Drury Lane Theatre, London. Date: circa 1901

Background imagePantomime Collection: Arthur Askey and Dickie Henderson appear in Cinderella at the Birmingham Hippodrome

Arthur Askey and Dickie Henderson appear in Cinderella at the Birmingham Hippodrome. 3rd January 1973

Background imagePantomime Collection: Stars of Panto Sleeping Beauty, Eric Morecambe The King

Stars of Panto Sleeping Beauty, Eric Morecambe The King, actress Denny Dayviss as his daughter Princess Mleanie, and Ernie Wise as The Jester, at the Palace, Westminster, London, December 1964

Background imagePantomime Collection: The Folly Theatre, Peter Street, Manchester

The Folly Theatre, Peter Street, Manchester
Promotional postcard showing a playbill of the acts playing at the Folly Theatre of Varieties, (known as the Folly) Peter Street, Manchester for the week commencing Monday, 24th March 1889

Background imagePantomime Collection: Dan Leno as Mrs. Twankey 1897

Dan Leno as Mrs. Twankey 1897
Dan Leno (1860 1904), as Mrs.Twankey in Aladdin at Drury Lane Theatre, London. Leading English music hall comedian and musical theatre actor during the late Victorian era. Date: 1897

Background imagePantomime Collection: Aladdin, touring to the Opera House, Northampton

Aladdin, touring to the Opera House, Northampton, 22 February 1909(?) This seems to be a stock poster. The reverse boasts of The Funniest Pantomime ever produced. circa 1909

Background imagePantomime Collection: Victoria Palace Theatre playbill

Victoria Palace Theatre playbill
Front and back page of a promotional booklet for the Victoria Palace Theatre, London for the week commencing December 19th, 1927

Background imagePantomime Collection: Rookery Nook by Ben Travers

Rookery Nook by Ben Travers
Promotional postcard for Rookery Nook by Ben Travers. First produced at the Kings Theatre, Southsea, 21st June and the Aldwych Theatre

Background imagePantomime Collection: The O Mara Opera Company

The O Mara Opera Company
Promotional postcard for the O Mara Opera Company. Joseph O Mara (1864-1927) was an Irish opera singer, who ran his own company between 1912 and 1926

Background imagePantomime Collection: The Merry Widow by Edward Morton

The Merry Widow by Edward Morton
Promotional postcard for The Merry Widow by Edward Morton from the German of Victor Leon and Leo Stein (Theater an der Wien, Vienna, , 30th December 1905); music Franz Lehar

Background imagePantomime Collection: London Coliseum - auditorium

London Coliseum - auditorium
Promotional postcard showing the auditorium at The London Coliseum. The theatre was built by the theatrical architect Frank Matcham who intended it to be one of Londons largest

Background imagePantomime Collection: London Coliseum - the Royal Box

London Coliseum - the Royal Box
Promotional postcard of the Royal Box of the London Coliseum. A Royal party visiting the Coliseum would enter by a private entrance into a richly furnished lounge

Background imagePantomime Collection: The Little Duchess by Robert Courtneidge and Bertram Davis

The Little Duchess by Robert Courtneidge and Bertram Davis
Promotional postcard for The Little Duchess, a musical play by Robert Courtneidge and Bertram Davis, lyrics Bertrand Davis and Percy Greenbank

Background imagePantomime Collection: Life by Maurice Cowan and Fred Rome

Life by Maurice Cowan and Fred Rome
Life revue by Maurice Cowan & Fred Rome; music Frederick Chappelle. First produced Hippodrome, Portsmouth, 3th May and London Palladium 30th August 1926

Background imagePantomime Collection: The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde

The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde
Promotional postcard for The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde. First produced at the St. Jamess Theatre, on 14th February 1895. For the St. James revival, 25th November 1909

Background imagePantomime Collection: The Headmaster by Wilfrid Coleby and Edward Knoblauch

The Headmaster by Wilfrid Coleby and Edward Knoblauch
Promotional postcard for The Headmaster by Wilfrid T. Coleby and Edward Knoblauch. First produced at the Playhouse theatre, 22nd January 1913

Background imagePantomime Collection: Good Morning, Bill! By P. G. Wodehouse

Good Morning, Bill! By P. G. Wodehouse
Promotional postcard for Good Morning, Bill! By P. G. Wodehouse, based on the Hungarian of Ladislas Fodor. First produced at the Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne

Background imagePantomime Collection: Patti Tootell, Mike Newman and Helene Hunt, appearing at the Liverpool Empire in Jack

Patti Tootell, Mike Newman and Helene Hunt, appearing at the Liverpool Empire in Jack and the Beanstalk. December 1979

Background imagePantomime Collection: Cinderella at the London Hippodrome

Cinderella at the London Hippodrome
Cinderella, the first pantomime at the London Hippodrome, which received rave reviews. Top photographs show Hetty Chattel as the Prince, Ruth Lytton as Dandini and Amy Farrell as Cinderella

Background imagePantomime Collection: The Babes in the Wood, 1903

The Babes in the Wood, 1903. From A Peep into Fairyland, by E. F. & C. Manning. [Frederick Warne & Co. London, New York, 1903]

Background imagePantomime Collection: Aladdin pantomime design

Aladdin pantomime design, unidentified production. Showing Aladdin in the cave with the lamp, and the genie materialising. Date: circa 1910



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"Pantomime: A Timeless Theatrical Tradition" Step into the enchanting world of pantomime, where characters come alive and laughter fills the air. From the vibrant Commedia dell Arte to George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, this captivating art form has captured hearts for centuries. In February 1860, a Swindon Mechanics Institute Pantomime poster adorned the streets, promising an evening of magical entertainment. Audiences eagerly awaited productions like W. S Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan's The Mikado or Pauline Baynes' whimsical creation, The Land of Christmas Plays. The legendary duo Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise were honored with the prestigious Joint Showbiz Award by Variety for their outstanding contributions to pantomime. Their performances at London's Waldorf Theatre left audiences in stitches and created memories that would last a lifetime. Graham Moffatt's A Scrape of the Pen brought tears of joy as his comedic genius shone through every scene. Meanwhile, Arthur Sturgess' La Poupee transported spectators into a world filled with wonder and imagination. From Mother Goose at Liverpool's Empire Theatre to Cinderella gracing theater posters across towns, iconic figures like John Inman delighted both young and old alike with their unforgettable portrayals on stage. And who could forget Florrie Forde? This music hall singer from 1875-1940 captivated audiences with her powerful voice and charismatic presence during pantomimes that still resonate today. Pantomime is more than just entertainment; it is an experience that transcends time. It allows us to escape reality momentarily while immersing ourselves in tales woven together by talented performers who bring these stories to life before our very eyes. So step inside this magical realm where dreams become reality – welcome to the extraordinary world of pantomime.