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John F. Sheridan as Widow Twankey in the pantomime Aladdin, Metropole Theatre, Camberwell, South London, Christmas, 1896

January 21, 2013

a colour lithograph song-sheet cover for Richard Morton’s ‘The Motor Car,’
with portrait of John F. Sheridan (1848-1908), English actor, singer and dramatist,
as Widow Twankey in the pantomime Aladdin,
Metropole Theatre, Camberwell, South London, Christmas, 1896
(probably after a photograph, lithograph by Banks,
published by G. Ricordi & Co, London, copyright 1897)

The other day we had a short vacation,
I and mamma, also papa;
We fixed on Brighton as our destination,
By motor car; by motor car.
We started off from Camberwell ‘hooraying,’
With loud ‘hurrah!,’ also ‘ha-ha!’
The people in the road stood still, and saying,
‘Oh, there they are! a motor car!’

(refrain)
Puffing, snorting, so peculiar!
People shouting, ‘They don’t know where they are!’
They laughed at us – they laughed at pa,
They laughed at me – they laughed at ma!
When we went to Brighton on our famous motor car!

”The Motor Car’ is the title of Mr Richard Morton’s new parody on the tuneful drinking song of Denza’s “Funiculi funicular.” It was sung in the recent Metropole pantomime by Mr John F. Sheridan, and as an up-to-date and humorous lyric should be welcomed.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 20 February 1897, p. 21c)

Aladdin, Christmas pantomime written by Wilton Jones, Lloyd Townrow and J.B. Mulholland, produced on Boxing Day, 1896, Metropole Theatre, Camberwell, South London, with Rose Dearing in the title role, John F. Sheridan as Widow Trankey and Lucy Weston as Princess Badroulbadour. The cast also included Lily Lena, Godwynne Earle and Florence Hewitt.
‘Miss Rose Dearing as Aladdin was distinctly good, looked handsome, and sang and danced capitally, making a sprightly and exuberant hero; and with Miss Weston made a charming Princess, her manner being winsome and her acting, singing, and dances particularly pleasing. Mr John F. Sheridan played the Widow Twankey admirably, his excellent make-up gifts as a comedian contributed largely to the success he achieved. Mr. Sheridan will certainly make himself a great favourite in Camberwell…’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 2 January 1897, p. 11c/d)

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