Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (drawn)

  • Date:

    ca.1897 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    pen and ink on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Gabrielle Enthoven Collection

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This pen and ink caricature shows the comedian and music hall star Dan Leno (1860-1904) in the role of Widow Twankey in the pantomime Aladdin at Drury Lane. Reputed to have made his stage debut at the age of four, Leno was first engaged by the then manager of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Augustus Harris in 1889 and appeared in the annual pantomime there for a number of years. In 1896 he made a famous appearance as Widow Twankey opposite Marie Lloyd as the principal boy, Aladdin, and in 1901 he performed for King Edward VII at Sandringham, after which he was dubbed 'the King's jester'.

At this time the pantomimes at Drury Lane were mounted on an epic scale. Months in the planning those mounted by Augustus Harris (between circa 1879 and 1896) often cost between £6000 and £8000 to produce. These spectacular productions were mounted on an annual basis and often featured stars of the day in leading roles

Physical description

Caricature of Dan Leno in the role of Widow Twankey. He is shown seated with his hair in the distinctive upright ponytail and side knots associated with this role. He is also wearing the loose kimono and skirt that appear in other contemporary illustrations of this character.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (drawn)


ca.1897 (drawn)


Unknown (artist)

Materials and Techniques

pen and ink on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Yours Mrs Dan Leno Twankey/ Drury Lane [?]1897'
handwritten inscription on the right hand side of the sketch.


Height: 26.2 cm mount, Width: 19.2 cm mount

Descriptive line

Pen and ink caricature of the comedian and music hall star Dan Leno (1860-1904) in the role of Widow Twankey, Drury Lane.


Paper; Pen and ink


Drawing (image-making); Sketching; Writing (processes)


Entertainment & Leisure; Drawings

Production Type



Theatre and Performance Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.