Silk Playbill thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Silk Playbill

1879
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Silk playbills celebrate special occasions at the theatre, and this is for a benefit performance for Mrs. Wanborough to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Swanborough management of the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. The celebration of a theatre's management is not a practice which would have happened after the early 20th century, and is an interesting point of theatrical history.

The performance took place in the afternoon, starting at 12.45pm and featured a selection of songs, scenes from plays and a recitation, meaning that the afternoon's proceedings would have lasted a very long time. The playbill shows that Mrs. Swanborough even hosted a reception on stage during which an address was delivered by Mrs. Keeley, written by H.J. Byron.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
printing ink on silk
Brief description
Silk playbill advertising a Benefit performance for Mrs. Swanborough at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, 19 June 1879, featuring a selection of performers, songs, scenes from plays and a recitation.
Physical description
Cream silk playbill with black lettering, produced for the Benefit performance for Mrs. Swanborough on the afternoon of 19 June 1879, headed with the title THEATRE ROYAL HAYMARKET, the word 'Haymarket' in decorative font. The playbill lists the programme of entertainment on offer for the afternoon's programme.
Dimensions
  • Length: 45.2cm
  • Width: 23.5cm
The long edges are fraying slightly and the measurement of width cannot therefore be accurate at all points.
Marks and inscriptions
Object history
This playbill was produced for a Beneft performance for Mrs. Swanborough at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket on the afternoon of 19th June 1879, to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Swanborough management of the Haymarket Theatre. It featured a selection by The Moore and Burgess Minstrels; a rendition by Mr. Edward Terry of the song 'My 'Art, My Hangelina'!; the fourth act of the play 'The New Babylon'; Miss Lydia Thompson singing the song 'I've Been Photographed Like This' from the burlesque of 'The Lady of Lyons'; the first act of Offenbach's 'Madame Favart'; two acts of the comedy 'The Ladies' Battle'; a recitation by Miss Genevieve Ward of 'Nell' by Robert Buchanan; the second act of H.J. Byron's comedy 'The Girls'; a reception on stage held by Mrs. Swanborough during which Mrs. Keeley delivered an address; Mr. Lionel Brough singing 'The Muddle Puddle Junction Porter' by George Grossmith Jnr., and a selection from Planquette's opera 'Les Cloches de Corneville'. Performers in the scenes from plays included Caroline Hill, May Holt, Sophie Eyre, Florence St. John, Kate Santley and Messrs. Arnold, Bell, Finch, Vernon, Gordon, Ellerman, Brand and Payne. The services of the costumiers M.and Mme. Alias and Mr. Clarkson were given on this occasion.
Summary
Silk playbills celebrate special occasions at the theatre, and this is for a benefit performance for Mrs. Wanborough to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Swanborough management of the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. The celebration of a theatre's management is not a practice which would have happened after the early 20th century, and is an interesting point of theatrical history.



The performance took place in the afternoon, starting at 12.45pm and featured a selection of songs, scenes from plays and a recitation, meaning that the afternoon's proceedings would have lasted a very long time. The playbill shows that Mrs. Swanborough even hosted a reception on stage during which an address was delivered by Mrs. Keeley, written by H.J. Byron.
Collection
Accession number
S.144-1988

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Record createdFebruary 13, 2003
Record URL
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