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William Gardiner, English comedian, in a pantomime role, circa 1890

January 1, 2015

William Gardiner (active circa 1880-1893), English actor and comedian, probably in the part of Scorchina in the pantomime, The Bold Bad Baron, which was produced at the Britannia Theatre, Hoxton, London, on 26 December 1889
(photo: unknown, probably London, circa 1889/90)

‘… Scorchina was well played by Mr William Gardiner, and although the young lady had to appear and take part in more than one ”rough and tumble,” nothing verging on vulgarity could be laid to Mr Gardiner’s charge, and this more than anything will show the care which he took of the part entrusted to him… .’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 28 December 1889, p. 8e)

‘… Mr. William Gardiner, as the saucy girl Scorchina, deserves credit for his efforts to amuse… .’
(Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper, London, Sunday, 29 December 1889, p. 4b)

‘… Dicky Darkdeeds is represented by Mr William Crackles, who is what a pantomime actor should be, full of resource and droll business. This gentleman’s dancing is remarkable for its grace, energy, and vigour. As a policeman his comicalities in the trial scene with a dummy jury proved excessively funny. His burlesque of a sand dance and his topical and comical statue scene are shared by Mr William Gardiner, a member of the regular dramatic company, who as Scorchina manages to be funny in petticoats without being vulgar, a consummation often devoutly wished for but not always secured. Mr Gardiner and Mr Crackles work well into each other’s hands, and the best testimonial of their united efforts to amuse is the laughter that resounds at the battle of words that is continually in progress between Dicky Darkdeeds and the fair Scorchina. She is a young lady who sets a value upon herself, and, not content with one lover, is always longing for another – to wit, Eldred, represented with winning frankness and vivacity by Miss Millie Howes, a capable singer, dancer, and actress, who animates every scene with gaiety and brightness… .’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 15 February 1890, p. 12c)

* * * * *

‘A new recruit to the halls is Mr. William Gardiner, a clever eccentric comedian, who has been a big favourite at the Britannia Theatre for the last five or six years. Mr. Gardiner is now playing in the Britannia pantomime, but will make a start on the variety stage in the month of April [1893].’
(London Evening News and Post, London, Monday, 20 February 1893, p. 4b)

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