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Caricature - Characters in the Oxford New Theatre's Christmas 1948 pantomime
  • Characters in the Oxford New Theatre's Christmas 1948 pantomime
    Sommerlad, Gilbert, born 1904 - died 1976
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Characters in the Oxford New Theatre's Christmas 1948 pantomime

  • Object:

    Caricature

  • Place of origin:

    Oxford (printed)

  • Date:

    24 January 1949 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sommerlad, Gilbert, born 1904 - died 1976 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Newsprint on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Michael Sommerlad

  • Museum number:

    S.131:94-2002

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This caricature printed in an Oxford newspaper shows characters in the pantomime Dick Whittington at the Oxford New Theatre, Christmas 1948. The caricatures were drawn by Gilbert Sommerlad (1904-1976), a rehearsal pianist and orchestral violinist at the Brighton Theatre Royal from 1932 until 1936, and at the Oxford New Theatre from 1936 for over forty years. Sommerlad sketched the stars on stage when he wasn't needed in the orchestra pit, compiling the sketches in a series of albums.

Dick Whittington starred the ebullient singer and actress Hy Hazell (1922-1970) as Dick. Hyacinth Hazel O'Higgins made her first West End appearance in the chorus of On Your Toes at the Palace Theatre in 1937. She toured with E.N.S.A during the war and first appeared as principal boy at Sheffield at Christmas 1946. She made her London debut as principal boy at the Prince's Theatre, December 1949, again as Dick Whittington. She performed in revues and West End musicals including Expresso Bongo (1958) and Fiddler on the Roof (1970) but liked to be known as: 'English pantomime's most distinguished post-war principal boy.' The Oxford production of Dick Whittington also featured Reg Varney, better known to television viewers of the early 1970s as Stan Butler in the London Weekend Television classic comedy series On The Buses.

Physical description

Newspaper cutting of a caricature by Gilbert Sommerlad of characters in the Oxford New Theatre's Christmas 1948 pantomime as reproduced in the Oxford Mail, 24 January 1949, surrounded by pen and ink signatures of the cast. From a hard-backed sketch book containing caricatures of theatrical performers and entertainers drawn by Gilbert Sommerlad.

Place of Origin

Oxford (printed)

Date

24 January 1949 (published)

Artist/maker

Sommerlad, Gilbert, born 1904 - died 1976 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Newsprint on paper

Dimensions

Height: 10.2 cm, Width: 13.0 cm

Object history note

Gilbert Sommerlad was a member of the resident orchestra at the New Theatre, Oxford when he drew this caricature.

Descriptive line

Pencil caricature by Gilbert Sommerlad (1904-1976) of characters in Dick Whittington, the pantomime at the Oxford New Theatre during Christmas 1948.

Materials

Paper

Techniques

Printed

Categories

Drawings; Caricatures & Cartoons; Entertainment & Leisure

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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