The Elephant and Castle

Print
1873 (published)
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This cartoon by the prolific cartoonist Alfred Bryan (1852-1899) was produced to celebrate the opening of the Elephant and Castle Theatre in 1872 by the Victorian showman and entrepreneur Edward Tyrrell Smith (1804-1877). It shows Tyrrell, his body in the form of a castle, riding an elephant. He holds a banner marked ‘Success’. Smith opened the theatre in 1872 with a staircase connecting it to the station, taking advantage of the Chatham and Dover railway stop at the Elephant and Castle which he knew would easily attract customers travelling into the metropolis by railway. The theatre was destroyed by fire in March 1878.

E.T. Smith had an interest in a wide variety of theatrical concerns in London, including Vauxhall Gardens, the Marylebone Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, of which he became a lessee in 1852, the Alhambra Palace, which he opened as a circus in 1858, Cremorne Gardens, which he leased from 1861 to 1869, Astley’s Circus, of which he was the lessee from 1863, the Lyceum, which he leased from 1867, the Surrey Theatre from 1870 and Highbury Barn from 1871.




object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Printing ink on paper
Brief Description
Caricature of Edward Tyrrell Smith (1804-1877) entitled The Elephant and Castle showing E.T. Smith with a castle for his body riding an elephant, a reference to his construction of The Elephant and Castle Theatre, 1872. From a lithograph by Alfred Bryan (1852-1899)
Physical Description
Caricature of Edward Tyrrell Smith (1804-1877) entitled The Elephant and Castle showing E.T. Smith with a castle for his body riding an elephant, a reference to his construction of The Elephant and Castle Theatre, 1872. Illustration from a newspaper.
Dimensions
  • Width: 15.8cm
Credit line
Gabrielle Enthoven Collection
Subject depicted
Summary
This cartoon by the prolific cartoonist Alfred Bryan (1852-1899) was produced to celebrate the opening of the Elephant and Castle Theatre in 1872 by the Victorian showman and entrepreneur Edward Tyrrell Smith (1804-1877). It shows Tyrrell, his body in the form of a castle, riding an elephant. He holds a banner marked ‘Success’. Smith opened the theatre in 1872 with a staircase connecting it to the station, taking advantage of the Chatham and Dover railway stop at the Elephant and Castle which he knew would easily attract customers travelling into the metropolis by railway. The theatre was destroyed by fire in March 1878.



E.T. Smith had an interest in a wide variety of theatrical concerns in London, including Vauxhall Gardens, the Marylebone Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, of which he became a lessee in 1852, the Alhambra Palace, which he opened as a circus in 1858, Cremorne Gardens, which he leased from 1861 to 1869, Astley’s Circus, of which he was the lessee from 1863, the Lyceum, which he leased from 1867, the Surrey Theatre from 1870 and Highbury Barn from 1871.





Bibliographic Reference
The Economics of the British Stage 1800-1914 by Tracy C. Davis, p.205
Other Number
Collection
Accession Number
S.1605-2012

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record createdDecember 21, 2012
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