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Silk programme

  • Place of origin:

    London, England (probably, Printed)

  • Date:

    1899 (Printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed silk

  • Museum number:

    S.32-2007

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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This theatre programme with its decorative panels and lithographic images of the theatre, the Chairman, and the Managing Director Oswald Stoll, was made to be folded in three like a paper programme, but was printed on silk to commemorate the opening night of The Empire Palace Theatre of Varieties, Stratford East, on 4th December 1897. This one of the music halls built by Horace Edward Moss (1852-1912) in the late 19th century, and was part of the group known then as 'The London District Empire Palaces, Limited'. Later the group became known as the Moss Empires Variety Theatres, and at its peak was a huge concern comprising thirty-three theatres, the largest chain known in the world.

The earliest silk playbills which dated from the late18th century, were never illustrated. During the 19th century simple line illustrations were added, by woodcuts or engravings, but as lithographic techniques progressed, photographs could be reproduced. The profusion of illustrations on some of the programmes produced to mark the opening of the Stoll Moss Palaces of Variety was nevertheless remarkable, and unique to this lucrative Variety empire.

Physical description

Silk programme for the opening night of the Stratford Palace Theatre, Broadway, Stratford, East London, Monday April 3rd 1899, made to fold into three and printed in blue on both sides with 3 panels. The centre front panel has a picture of the exterior front façade of the theatre, an image of a couple within a box, a view of the auditorium and stage, a view of a trapeze act over an audience in a different-looking auditorium, a dancing girl, a minstrel-type boy holiding a glass in his right hand and a lute in his left had, with photographic images of Mr H. E. Moss, Chairman, and Oswald Stoll, Managing Director, below.

The reverse of the programme is again in three panels, the left hand side: ‘Grand Opening Night Monday April 3rd 1899’ and the same information on the right hand panel. The centre panel gives the name and address of the theatre ‘The Stratford Empire Theatre of Varieities, Broadway, Stratford, E.' the name of the Proprietors 'The London District Empire Palaces, Limited', the name of the Chairman, H.E. Moss, the Managing Director Oswald Stoll and the Acting Manager, S. Gething. The programme consisted of 11 items beginning with an overture from Ramon, and including Sandow, The Leading Authority on Physical Culture; The Borrellis, Musical Comedy and Burlesque Artistes; Mark Melford and his Amusing Company in the Amusing Playlet Between the Turns; Mr Edgar Granville, Singing and Patter Comedian; Miss Ruby Verdi, the Charming Cinderella of the recent Pantomime at the Borough Theatre; The Wee Sisters Webster, Duettists and Dancers; Colby and Way, The New Ventriloquists; Mora and Lola, Continental Musical Artistes; J. S. Thomas, Tenor Vocalist; and finally, The Gotham Quartette, Singing Comedians of a New Type.

Place of Origin

London, England (probably, Printed)

Date

1899 (Printed)

Artist/maker

Unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Printed silk

Dimensions

Height: 25.5 cm approximately, excluding fringe, Height: 27.4 cm approximately, including fringe, Width: 38.5 cm approximately

Object history note

This silk programme was printed for the Grand Opening Night of the Empire Palace Theatre of Varieties, Stratford, London, 6 December 1897. This was one of the chain of Moss Empires Variety Theatres that opened around the country between 1890 and 1912 when Moss died.

There were 11 items of entertainment on offer for the opening: the overture Raymond by Ambroise Thomas; Sandow, The Leading Authority on Physical Culture; The Borrellis, Musical Comedy and Burlesque Artistes; Mark Melford and his Amusing Company in the Amusing Playlet Between the Turns; Mr Edgar Granville, Singing and Patter Comedian; Miss Ruby Verdi, the Charming Cinderella of the recent Pantomime at the Borough Theatre; The Wee Sisters Webster, Duettists and Dancers; Colby and Way, The New Ventriloquists; Mora and Lola, Continental Musical Artistes; J.S.Thomas, Tenor Vocalist; and finally, The Gotham Quartette, Singing Comedians of a New Type.

Descriptive line

Silk programme printed for the 'Grand Opening Night' of the Empire Palace Theatre Stratford, London, Monday 4th April 1899, featuring a Variety programme with among others Sandow, The Borrellis, Mark Melford, Edgar Granville and Miss Ruby Verdi.

Materials

Printing ink; Silk

Subjects depicted

Dancing girls; Minstrel; Moss, H.E. (Mr); Trapeze artists; Stoll, Oswald (Sir)

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure

Collection code

T&P

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Qr_O133854
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