Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Oh beware, all ye who juggle!

For juggling is the work of the devil...

read below and ponder your acts of legerdemain

The drunken juggler of 1848

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Treasures of Paris

So I was having a bit of a sulk that I won't be going to Paris until July next year- and then I remembered that I had purchased some beautiful postcards whilst there in February this year...

So here they are.

Firstly my old favourite Saharet...lurking in a Parisian post card shop...

This card is from the Folies Bergere, so it confirms that she performed there.


The beautiful colour postcard above is of Sarah Bernhardt, who had a very successful tour of Australia.

I'm not sure who  Mereilli was...but it's a nice postcard.


Finally this beautiful postcard of Paris L'Opera. Ahh Paris! I'll see you soon...

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Mathematics and juggling

Some light reading for mathematically inclined jugglers..

My eyes started to glaze when it got technical...Let me know if the  links don't work.

Mathematics and juggling

Juggling Drops and Descents

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Another trip to the postcard fair.

Every two months the NSW postcards collectors society have a fair where they lure poor unsuspecting theatre historians into buying beautiful postcards which date back to the early part of the 20th century or earlier.

So this is what I found today.

Firstly, a uni-cyclist whose name is Leo Leo. Possibly French, but I have no idea of the date. Below Leo is the English Pierrots, a musical group which played in Australia in the early 20th Century. The postcard is from Melbourne.

Next we have Annie Reid on the left who was one of the "Mitzi Girls' in the Girls of Gotenberg. This is a card from Newcastle NSW, so it could be from an amateur production, It's dated 1913

Next to Annie is Ella Caspers, a very famous Australian singer. Below Annie is the duo of Diamond and Beatrice or Beatrice and Diamond, they were musicians at the Tivoli theatre around the turn of the last century. This card is another in the Tivoli series which showcases regulars from the theatre in Sydney. Next to them is Nellie Wilson, one of the JC Williamson's Royal Comic Opera Company.

Below is one of the world's most famous theatrical couples, Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier. This postcard is from London Films and is advertising their movie, Fire Over England..Aren't they gorgeous? Next to the golden couple is Andrew Mack, a singer. Below them is a wonderful comic postcard which references juggling, which I was thrilled to find. Next to that is a postcard of Maisie Rowlands, a monologue entertainer who worked at the National Amphitheatre in Sydney in 1909

Below we have another Williamson performer, Dolly Castles. Next to Dolly is a photo from Happy Harry Salmon's company. Below her is another Williamson star, Madge Crichton, and next to her the comic duo of George Lauri and William Percy, both stars of the Royal Comic Opera Company. 

More Williamson stars below with Florence Young and Margaret Thomas, pictured from the Royal Comic Opera Company's production of Veronique.

And finally, pictures from the Williamson 1908 production of the Merry Widow, which starred Carrie Moore, who is looking quite pensive in the top photo.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Images, postcards, photos and more

Just a reminder that my complete collection of postcards can be browsed, downloaded and looked at for free at Flicker. Just click the link to the side of this page.

There's about 800 postcards there...

Thursday, August 27, 2015

More postcards

Above is Tod Calloway, a comedian and fixture on the Tivoli circuit. The post card is addressed to Eileen Capel, a fellow performer on the Clay's circuit. It's signed on both sides.

Arthur Foldesy, Hungarian Cellist who toured Australia in 1905. Also signed.

Another postcard of my mate George Lauri, a JCW comedian who met a tragic end.

Connie Milne, a regular for JCW's Royal Comic Opera Company.

Advertising card for the Percy Hutchison tour of 1928.

You can search the HAT collection of photos, postcards and other memorabilia at flickr.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Lennon, Hyman and Lennon- Australian Jugglers

I'm posting this because I really just wanted to post the photo. 

Albert Lennon, Ted Lennon and Frank Hyman were an Australian acrobatic juggling trio who were very well known in Australia during the early 20th Century.

Burt was the best known of the three. His real name was Albert Spinks and he was a Sydney man. He and his 'brother' Ted began their career as the Lennon Brothers, working in an amateur group called the Electric Minstrels in Sydney.

Ted and Burt then toured Australia with a troupe which included a very famous former minstrel performer, Irving Sayles. Sayles was an African American man who had arrived in Australia with an American minstrel touring group and never left. He was a mainstay of the Tivoli circuit for many years.

Being associated with Irving gave Ted and Burt some cache with managers and audiences. Irving was very well regarded by both. It was during this time that they met Frank Hyman, a contortionist, and formed a trio, becoming Lennon, Hyman and Lennon. It was as this trio that they gained fame at home and abroad.

Around  1901 the three left Australia and visited England. Whilst there they created a short skit focusing on an Australian outback bush theme. The skit included tumbling and acrobatics and was presented as a novelty act. It was a very popular turn in England.

Their fame overseas led to them being recruited for pantomimes in Australia . And in 1906 they had a feature role in the Sinbad the Sailor pantomime, staged by William Anderson .
This role featured the trio doing comedic juggling, and this aspect of their work was included in all their future vaudeville performances.

Their act seemed to be primarily a club passing act. A review of their vaudeville turn described it as follows.
'The first turn was a display of juggling with Indian clubs which they handled with remarkable proficiency, exchanging flying clubs with one another and sometimes surrendering three clubs in mid air with an air of perfect nonchalance.'

Their juggling was characterised by very fast passing and deft catching that had onlookers seeing the clubs as a blur.
"the varied manipulations were really astounding, the concluding turn in which the nine clubs were kept twirling in the air created the greatest enthusiasm.'

After several pantomime performances, the three men created their own vaudeville touring troupe, which apparently included their wives. The troupe, known as the Lennon, Hyman, Lennon troupe, toured country towns in Australia. During 1908 they visited Rockhampton, the Darling Downs, Lismore and Mackay. In each place they demonstrated their excellent juggling and acrobatic skills.

By 1910, the trio had made enough money to settle down, and they invested in their own theatre, The Empire in Adelaide. They soon became respectable citizens of the city. Originally the Empire showed vaudeville shows, but gradually the theatre changed from a mixture of vaudeville and movies to showing exclusively movies.

They were in partnership for some time, however, during the War years, references to Ted and Frank become scarce and it seems that the partnership dissolved shortly after the end of the war.

Burt, however, continued to be an entrepreneur. He invested with the Fullers in the Majestic Theatre in Adelaide and remained a prominent member of the Adelaide theatrical community for some time.

Burt died in 1954, but I have yet to discover what happened to Frank and Ted.