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Fan - Souvenir Japanese fan commemorating the 1000th performance of  'The Mikado' at the Savoy Theatre
  • Souvenir Japanese fan commemorating the 1000th performance of 'The Mikado' at the Savoy Theatre
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Souvenir Japanese fan commemorating the 1000th performance of 'The Mikado' at the Savoy Theatre

  • Object:

    Fan

  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)
    Great Britain (The fan was made in Japan but the programme information was printed and added in Britain., printed)

  • Date:

    1896 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (makers)

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the British Theatre Museum Association

  • Museum number:

    S.1210-1984

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The Mikado, or, The Town of Titipu by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan originally opened at the Savoy Theatre, built and owned by Richard D'Oyly Carte, on Saturday 14 March 1885. It ran there for 672 performances, until 19 January 1887. The Mikado became the most successful of Gilbert and Sullivan's to be produced by D'Oyly Carte. It was revived at the Savoy in 1888 and again in 1895 and 1896, when it passed its 1000th performance on 31 October. The cast that night included the principals Scott Fishe, Charles Kenningham, Walter Passmore, Fred Billington, Jones Hewson, and Florence and Beatrice Perry, with Rosina Brandram as Katisha and Jessie Bond as Pitti-Sing, the roles they created and played in all the early revivals.

D'Oyly Carte was a brilliant publicist. To mark the 1000th performance of an opera set in Japan, he provided programmes in the form of souvenir Japanese fans. The cast list and scene details were printed on fine paper were glued to the fans, which had supplied by Liberty & Co. of Regent Street, well-known importers of everything oriental. Liberty also provided the fabric for drapes in the theatre. The programme also notes that the flower arrangements for the evening were supplied by florist's Messrs. Gerard & Co. of Regent Street, while Birthday Souvenir books - another audience treat for the occasion - were from the publishers Messrs. Saxon and Co. of Bouverie Street, the suppliers' names on the fans being good advertising for them and a link to the huge success of The Mikako.

Physical description

Flat Japanese fan with bamboo handle and sticks and red silk tassel. The fan is printed with images of foliage and birds, verso, and a printed sheet with green typeface added, recto, giving the programme information for the 1000th performance of The Mikado at the Savoy Theatre, 31 October 1896.

Place of Origin

Japan (made)
Great Britain (The fan was made in Japan but the programme information was printed and added in Britain., printed)

Date

1896 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown (makers)

Object history note

Given to the British Theatre Museum Association by Mr and Mrs D.R. Olna-Travers in February 1966.

Descriptive line

Japanese fan produced as a souvenir programme to commemorate the 1000th performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's opera The Mikado, Savoy Theatre, 31 October 1896. Also featuring the afterpiece Weather or No by Adrian Ross and W. Beach, with music by Bernard Luard Selby

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Opera; Fans

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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