Posts Tagged ‘gymnast’

h1

Edward Trevanion’s pupils, Tell and Tell, English juvenile gymnasts and trapezists

July 21, 2014

Edward Trevanion’s pupils, Tell and Tell (active 1876-1879), ‘Trevanion’s Wonders,’ briefly known in 1876 as Sillo and Vertie, English juvenile gymnasts and trapezists
(carte de visite photo: T. Pope, 36 New Street, Birmingham, 1876-1879)

Edward Trevanion (a pseudonym) was born in Bolton, Lancashire, about 1846. He is recorded in the 1871 Census as a lodger at The Lord Nelson public house, Smithfield Street, Coventry, with his wife, Cerissa Trevanion (a pseudonym), who was born in Middlesborough, Yorkshire, about 1851. Both were described as gymnasts. Cerissa (or Mdlle. Cerissa as she was known professionally) died in childbirth on 19 June 1871 following an accident at the Alhambra music hall, Nottingham, a few days earlier on 8 June. (The Era, London, Sunday, 3 July 1871, p. 6d) During the next decade Edward Trevanion trained several pairs of young boys as acrobats and trapeze performers, including Tell and Tell. There is reason to believe that Trevanion subsequently changed his professional name to Tom Rezene (not to be confused with Charles F. Rezene, who was born about 1870, of Rezene and Robini, comic acrobats), who was responsible for training and exhibiting Lillo and Zetti, ‘Rezene’s Wonders,’ another pair of boy acrobats.

‘CAMBRIDGE … … . 9.15
‘ROYAL, HOLBORN . . 10.25
‘TELL and TELL.
‘Trevanion’s Wonders.’
‘Innumerable inquiries have been made to ascertain Mr Trevanion’s reasons for changing the celebrated names of his celebrated pupils to the novel and mysterious titles of TELL and TELL.
‘All who are acquainted with Edward Trevanion, his habits, nature, and history, can understand his determination not to be classed with a would-be Comic Song Singer, who has hesitated at nothing to achieve mercenary ends. The most daring and desperate rapacity of the Bashi Bazouks, was preceded by the kidnapping violence of the liquor vault fellow alluded to; he who, as for mercy, implored the aid of the law, that children might be taken from the lawful and loving care of their legal and experienced master, to become his victims – victims of his glaring and deplorable incapacity to ensure their safety. The ignorant abuse of such an unnatural creature will never again be notices.
‘Agent, Charles Roberts.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 27 August 1876, p. 13d)

The Cambridge music hall, London, week beginning Monday, 28 August 1876
‘The flying children Tell and Tell meet with remarkable success. They succeed better without artificial aid then some who attempt flying do with all the resources of science.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 3 September 1876, p. 5a)

The Cambridge music hall, London, week beginning, Monday, 4 September 1876
‘The wonderful juvenile gymnasts Tell and Tell went through their aerial trapeze performance with their accustomed intrepidity and neatness.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 10 September 1876, p. 4d)

J.S. Sweasey’s Benefit, The Royal music hall, London, Wednesday evening, 1 November 1876
‘… the youthful trapeze performers Tell and Tell one of whom was on this occasion presented with a silver medal at the hands of Mr. Sweasey, jun.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 5 November 1876, p. 5a)

‘PRESENTATION. Tell and Tell, the wonderfully clever youthful gymnasts, have been presented by Mr and Mrs Johnson, of the ”Alexandra,” Wigan, with handsome gold rings, set with rubies, in recognition of their ability, and as memorials of their great success at the establishment named.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 18 February 1877, p. 7c)

The Sun music hall, Knightsbridge, London, week beginning Monday, 23 April 1877
‘The daring youths Tell and Tell keep the spectators in a state of breathless excitement by their marvellous flights through space from bar to bar, a huge net precluding all sense of peril.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 29 April 1877, p. 4a)

Royal Alhambra music hall, Barrow-in-Furness, week beginning Monday, 17 July 1877
‘Trevanion’s pupils, Tell and Tell are the principal attractions, and their marvellous performance on the lofty trapeze is both graceful, daring, and clever, bringing down the house with thunders of applause.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 22 July 1877, p. 6a)

The Royal music hall, London, week beginning Monday, 6 January 1879
‘the first name on the list of those who appear on the stage is that of Mr Cavendish, whose buffo songs never fail to find deserved favour. We are sorry to learn that this gentleman has recently suffered to some considerable extent by reason of an accident, in which he was the victim of somebody’s carelessness in connection with a gymnastic entertainment which just now forms one of the main features of the programme. We may as well say at once that it is provided by the marvellously clever and daring children Tell and Tell, who are very properly described as flying trapeze wonders. Their extraordinary feats, performed on the high swinging bar, are positively astounding. They are characterised by an amount of neatness, precision, grace, and rapidity that we have never seen excelled even by gymnasts of more extended experience and of less tender years. The flights through space taken by the more youthful of the pair are watched with breathless interest and excitement, and call forth the most vociferous plaudits, no small share of the honours going, of course, to the plucky youngster, who, hanging head downwards, never fails to catch his flying confrère, who once at least makes his seemingly perilous journey while enveloped in a sack. We say ”seemingly” perilous because in reality danger is precluded by the presence beneath the performers of a huge net, and, indeed, by their own coolness and skill.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 12 January 1879, p. 7c)

h1

Thomas S. Dare, gymnast, clown and pantomimist

August 1, 2013

Thomas S. Dare (about 1855-after 1910), American gymnast, clown and pantomimist
(photo: H.T. Reed & Co, London, 16 Tottenham Court Road, London, circa 1877)

Thomas S. Dare, whose real name was Thomas S. Hall, was born in New York and for a time worked with his brothers, George and Stewart, both of whom were also gymnasts. He was married for the first time on 1 July 1871 in New York City [(The Sun, New York, New York, Thursday, 12 February 1885, p. 2g)] to Susan Adeline Stuart/Stewart (1854/55-1922) who became internationally celebrated as the trapeze artist, Leona Dare. T.S. Dare subsequently married in 1882 Frances Mary Stevenson, whose stage name was Ada Dare, and was later professionally associated with the boxer James J. Corbett (1866-1933).

Mr. W. Knowles’s Benefit, Cambridge music hall, London, Tuesday evening, 29 May 1877
‘… Mr Steward [sic] Dare (the one-legged gymnast) and Little Hall (the American Clown) gave an exceedingly clever and also amusing exhibition of their talent as performers on the horizontal bar… .’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 3 June 1877, p. 4b)

‘Original, Sensational, Amusing.
‘STEWART H. DARE,
‘the Unipedal, or One-Legged, Gymnast,
‘and
‘THOMAS S. DARE,
‘the Merry Gymnastic Clown,
‘in their Wonderful and Mirthful Gymnastic entertainments. Big success everywhere. Splendidly dressed, and the handsomest Apparatus I the country. Read extracts from Testimonials:-
”’Gentlemen, – We take great pleasure in bearing testimony to the merit and success of your wonderful and unique entertainment. – J.H. JENNINGS, Oxford.”
”’Gentlemen, – I take great pleasure in recommending your wonderful performance to all Managers. – F. ABRAHAMS.”’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 11 November 1877, p. 17d, advertisement)

‘MARRIED [in London], at the Register office, Brixton, on Wednesday, the 20th inst. [December 1882], Thomas S. Hall, better known as Thomas Dare, of the Dare Brothers, to Miss Frances Mary Stevenson.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 23 December 1882, p. 4b)

Springfield, Ohio, September 1886
‘Tony Pastor’s Own Company Tonight At the Grand.
‘Tony Pastor and company arrived this morning and are stopping at the Arcade. His company this season is stronger and better than ever. The Boston Press speaks as follows of the company: … Thomas S. and Stewart Dare, the marvelous gymnasts, and the performance of the latter, the one-legged acrobat, on the horizontal bar are truly marvelous, while the former is too well known in the role of grotesque clown and facial comedian to need any commendation… .’
(Springfield Globe-Republic, Springfield, Ohio, Wednesday, 15 September 1886, p. 1g)

ADA DARE SUED FOR DIVORCE.
‘She is in Lillian Russell’s Company and Her Husband is a Well-known Acrobat.
‘Thomas S. Dare, the well-known clown, pantomimist, and acrobat, has brought suit for absolute divorce against his wife, Ada Dare, an actress, who appeared last season in Sinbad, the Sailor, at the Madison Square Garden. She is now a member of the Lillian Russell comic opera company, which is on its way to San Francisco. Mr. Dare asks for a decree on the statutory grounds, naming as co-respondents several men said to be prominent in commercial and theatrical circles. Mr. Dare also asks for the custody of his seven-year-old son. According to the not of issue of the case, which has been filed for the September term of the Superior Court, Mr. Dare’s real name is Thomas S. Hall. The papers were served on Mrs. Dare early in August, when she was playing at the Madison Square Garden, but she was allowed the usual twenty days’ notice to pass by without making an answer, and it is probably that the decree will be granted without opposition.
‘Mr. Dare is widely known as a circus and variety performer both in this country and abroad. For eleven years he and his brother, Stewart H. Dare, a one-legged acrobat, travelled in Europe and met with great success. Another brother, George H. Dare, is also an acrobat. Dare’s first wife was Leona Dare, the trapezist, whom he met in New Orleans in 1869, and in 1871 they were married in this city. He taught her to perform on the trapeze and she accumulated a fortune in the business, but she left Dare in 1876. in 1880 she secretly obtained a divorce in Illinois in order to marry Baron Greenebaugh, an Austrian whom she met while performing abroad. The Baron was disinherited by his father and soon after abandoned his wife.
‘Dare was managing a music hall in Paris in 1882 when he met his second wife, whom he is now suing for divorce. Her name then was Frances Mary Stevenson, and she was a member of the Zento troupe of bicyclists. They were married in London, and performed together on the Continent until 1885, when they came to America.’
(The Sun, New York, Thursday, 1 September 1892, p. 9f)

‘PIQUO AND HIS LITTLE DECEPTION
‘If You Would Succeed in the Acrobatic Art Take a Foreign Name.
‘So Says a Clever Impersonator of That Highly Mischievous Character.
‘A gymnastic team which was billed under the names of Paulinetti and Piquo lately appeared at the Orpheum Theater in this city [San Francisco] and presented an act on the horizontal bar that was probably as entertaining as any that has ever been witnessed on the stage. One would infer from the Italian nature of the names that the possessors were born and reared in Italy’s sunny country, but would be somewhat surprised to learn that instead of being of foreign extraction the two gentlemen are both natives of these glorious United States, and to use the words of Piquo himself they are proud of it. There are tricks in all trades, and the theatrical profession is no exception to this general rule, but in an interesting talk with Piquo the reasons for this assumption of foreign cognomens were readily understood and it must be granted that the little deception practised on the American public is fully warranted by the attendant circumstances. It is a well known fact, says Piquo, that a variety artist who appears under a name peculiar to European countries is almost invariably assured of being well received by an American audience simply because there is a mistaken impression that whatever is foreign must be good. This, says he, militates against the American artist, especially in acrobatic performances, and Piquo evidently knows whereof he speaks, for he is no novice in the theatrical business. He first commenced to earn regular salary and thereby professionalized himself in 1868 in the city of New York, where he was born. His proper every day name is T.S. Dare, or Tommy Dare, as he is familiarly called by those who know him best. He played the part of the clown in the act, and will be remembered as having caused considerable merriment in that character. His partner, who rejoices under the name of Paulinetti when he is doing his turn, is Ph. Thurber when he is not going through his very clever and difficult scientific work on the horizontal bar.
‘Piquo says that the immediate cause of their taking the foreign names was the fact that they had traveled extensively throughout Europe, showing at the best music halls in the principal cities, and on returning to this country conceived the scheme. The first manager to whom they applied for an engagement, on learning that they had just arrived from across the pond and had closed a successful season of several months at the Folies Bergeres, in Paris, immediately contracted for their appearance at his theater and paid them double salary for the European name. When they first went to England as the American artists, ”Dare and Thurber,” they were coldly received by the English managers, who said there was a surfeit of that horizontal bar business in the theatrical market, ”don’t you know,” but condescended to give them a trial. The managers soon thawed out, however, on the opening night, when they saw how well the team was received by the languid English audiences, who really became enthusiastic in their applause. After that long engagements were the rule. Mr. Dare (of Piquo), for his identity must be preserved, is authority for the statement that English acrobatic artists cannot compare with the Americans engaged in the same line. In their gymnastic work, while the former are slow, studied and lumbering, the latter are more easy, quick and graceful. Piquo also says that the feats which he and Paulinetti perform are not on-half as difficult as answering to their foreign aliases. After a performance one evening a gentleman of color was overhead to remark to his companion, ”Say, Johnson, dem fellers, Polinaris and Pie-cut, were de best on de programme.”
‘Piquo’s countenance became sad when he said that there was some danger of the team separating, on account of some little misunderstand, but it is to be hoped that such an event will not occur, for two people who work so well together in public should experience no difficulty in getting along in their private life. But Piquo says that it is the gratitude of the world. To use his language: ”I have had a score of partners in the course of my theatrical career; have given them all the benefit of my thirty years’ experience in the acrobatic business, and the they gave me the frigid shake. But, never mind, if this one leaves me I will soon get another one, and we will hold on to the name of ‘Paulinetti and Piquo’ even if the new man should be Scandinavian.”’
(The San Francisco Call, Friday, 14 January 1898, p. 9b)

h1

Marquez de Gonza

July 13, 2013

Marquez de Gonza (né George Edwin Algar, 1847?-1885), English gymnast and trapeze artist, as he appeared at the Crystal Palace
(carte de visite photo: J. Norris, Upper Norwood, circa 1870)

‘IMPORTANT ARRIVAL.
‘MESSRS. PARRAVICINI and CORBYN announce the arrival in England of the renowned Artistes, Senores GONZA and ROMAH, the ”Mexican Athletes of the Golden Wings,” from El Teatro Rubio, in the city of Mexico. The most simple and truthful description of the marvellous feats of these extraordinary Artistes would surpass all powers of belief. They must be seen to be credited. They make their first appearance in Europe at the CRYSTAL PALACE on Monday next, October 31st [1870]. sole and exclusive Agents, Messrs Parravicini and Corbyn, 49, Duke-street, St. James’s, London, S.W.’
(The Era, London, 30 October 1870, p. 14c, advertisement)

‘GRAN CIRQUE LOISSET, CHEMNITZ, SAXONY.
‘MARQUEZ DE GONZA, the World-famed Gymnaste, of the Golden Wing, and his confrere DESMONTI and DARIAN VOLTA, have just finished the most enormously successful Engagement imaginable in Dresden. ”Vast crowds thronged the Theatre for two months.” M. De Gonza did not exhibit his new sensation in the Teatro Italiano, Prague, as arranged, owing to the Direction breaking up. Is now Nightly creating a most marvellous sensation at the above celebrated Cirque.
‘Engaged in Leipzig for July, at a salary of £480 per Month.
‘M. De Gonza has pleasure in announcing that he had Engaged the World-renowned flying Trapeze Artiste, Mademoiselle AZELLA!
‘Managers wishing their receipts doubled for sure, Address Marquez DE GONZA, as above.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 19 Mary 1876, p. 13c, advertisement)

‘Accident to Marquez de Gonza.
‘This famous gymnast, who has been for many months past attracting and astonishing thousands at the Paris Hippodrome, has been the victim of an accident which will necessitate an abstention from professional labours for some weeks to come. Towards the end of last week, prior to the opening of the establishment for the evening performance, Gonza, according to custom, climbed up a rope to adjust a trapeze. When forty feet from the ground the rope broke and the gymnast fell with a heavy thud into the arena. On examination it was found that happily no bones were broken, but a severe contusion of the right food had been sustained. The escape from more serious injuries was simply marvellous, and the gymnast, while receiving the sympathy of many, will have the congratulations of many more upon the fact that ”it might have been worse.”’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 25 August 1878, p. 4b)

‘MARQUEZ DE GONZA, the famous gymnast, with the graceful Azella and Mons. Lunardi, has been creating a great sensation at Gordon’s Palace, Southampton. The startling feats of he daring rio will very shortly be reintroduced to the London public at the ”Canterbury.”’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 23 March 1979, p. 4b)

‘An inquest was held at Luton, on Saturday [9 May 1885], on the body of the celebrated gymnast the Marquis de Gonza, who died suddenly on the previous day. The marquis, whose real name was Algar, was well known among actors and other entertainers, and a few years ago was the leading figure in his profession. He had travelled over nearly all the world, and possessed a medal and autograph letter which he received from the Empress of Germany, before whom he had appeared, as well as many other sovereigns. It was found that the cause of death was syncope.’
The Liverpool Mercury, Liverpool, Monday, 11 May 1885, p. 5f)

‘An inquiry was held by the coroner for Bedfordshire, at Luton, on Saturday afternoon [9 May 1885], into the death of the celebrated gymnast the ”Marquis de Gonza,” who died somewhat suddenly. The ”Marquis,” whose name was George Edwin Algar, resided principally in London. He was associated with Lunardi, and Azella, and had travelled nearly all over the world, Recently he was connected with Mr. Wilson Barrett’s company, and appeared on the stage of the Princess’s [Oxford Street, London] in ”Claudian” last year. He had been in delicate health for some time, and it was found that the cause of death was syncope.’
(Berrow’s Worcester Journal, Saturday, 16 May 1885, p. 6e)

h1

July 13, 2013

Marquez de Gonza (né George Edwin Algar, 1847?-1885), English gymnast and trapeze artist, as he appeared at the Crystal Palace
(carte de visite photo: J. Norris, Upper Norwood, circa 1870)

‘IMPORTANT ARRIVAL.
‘MESSRS. PARRAVICINI and CORBYN announce the arrival in England of the renowned Artistes, Senores GONZA and ROMAH, the ”Mexican Athletes of the Golden Wings,” from El Teatro Rubio, in the city of Mexico. The most simple and truthful description of the marvellous feats of these extraordinary Artistes would surpass all powers of belief. They must be seen to be credited. They make their first appearance in Europe at the CRYSTAL PALACE on Monday next, October 31st [1870]. sole and exclusive Agents, Messrs Parravicini and Corbyn, 49, Duke-street, St. James’s, London, S.W.’
(The Era, London, 30 October 1870, p. 14c, advertisement)

‘GRAN CIRQUE LOISSET, CHEMNITZ, SAXONY.
‘MARQUEZ DE GONZA, the World-famed Gymnaste, of the Golden Wing, and his confrere DESMONTI and DARIAN VOLTA, have just finished the most enormously successful Engagement imaginable in Dresden. ”Vast crowds thronged the Theatre for two months.” M. De Gonza did not exhibit his new sensation in the Teatro Italiano, Prague, as arranged, owing to the Direction breaking up. Is now Nightly creating a most marvellous sensation at the above celebrated Cirque.
‘Engaged in Leipzig for July, at a salary of £480 per Month.
‘M. De Gonza has pleasure in announcing that he had Engaged the World-renowned flying Trapeze Artiste, Mademoiselle AZELLA!
‘Managers wishing their receipts doubled for sure, Address Marquez DE GONZA, as above.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 19 Mary 1876, p. 13c, advertisement)

‘Accident to Marquez de Gonza.
‘This famous gymnast, who has been for many months past attracting and astonishing thousands at the Paris Hippodrome, has been the victim of an accident which will necessitate an abstention from professional labours for some weeks to come. Towards the end of last week, prior to the opening of the establishment for the evening performance, Gonza, according to custom, climbed up a rope to adjust a trapeze. When forty feet from the ground the rope broke and the gymnast fell with a heavy thud into the arena. On examination it was found that happily no bones were broken, but a severe contusion of the right food had been sustained. The escape from more serious injuries was simply marvellous, and the gymnast, while receiving the sympathy of many, will have the congratulations of many more upon the fact that ”it might have been worse.”’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 25 August 1878, p. 4b)

‘MARQUEZ DE GONZA, the famous gymnast, with the graceful Azella and Mons. Lunardi, has been creating a great sensation at Gordon’s Palace, Southampton. The startling feats of he daring rio will very shortly be reintroduced to the London public at the ”Canterbury.”’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 23 March 1979, p. 4b)

‘An inquest was held at Luton, on Saturday [9 May 1885], on the body of the celebrated gymnast the Marquis de Gonza, who died suddenly on the previous day. The marquis, whose real name was Algar, was well known among actors and other entertainers, and a few years ago was the leading figure in his profession. He had travelled over nearly all the world, and possessed a medal and autograph letter which he received from the Empress of Germany, before whom he had appeared, as well as many other sovereigns. It was found that the cause of death was syncope.’
The Liverpool Mercury, Liverpool, Monday, 11 May 1885, p. 5f)

‘An inquiry was held by the coroner for Bedfordshire, at Luton, on Saturday afternoon [9 May 1885], into the death of the celebrated gymnast the ”Marquis de Gonza,” who died somewhat suddenly. The ”Marquis,” whose name was George Edwin Algar, resided principally in London. He was associated with Lunardi, and Azella, and had travelled nearly all over the world, Recently he was connected with Mr. Wilson Barrett‘s company, and appeared on the stage of the Princess’s [Oxford Street, London] in ”Claudian” last year. He had been in delicate health for some time, and it was found that the cause of death was syncope.’
(Berrow’s Worcester Journal, Saturday, 16 May 1885, p. 6e)

h1

July 13, 2013

Marquez de Gonza (né George Edwin Algar, 1847?-1885), English gymnast and trapeze artist, as he appeared at the Crystal Palace
(carte de visite photo: J. Norris, Upper Norwood, circa 1870)

‘IMPORTANT ARRIVAL.
‘MESSRS. PARRAVICINI and CORBYN announce the arrival in England of the renowned Artistes, Senores GONZA and ROMAH, the “Mexican Athletes of the Golden Wings,” from El Teatro Rubio, in the city of Mexico. The most simple and truthful description of the marvellous feats of these extraordinary Artistes would surpass all powers of belief. They must be seen to be credited. They make their first appearance in Europe at the CRYSTAL PALACE on Monday next, October 31st [1870]. sole and exclusive Agents, Messrs Parravicini and Corbyn, 49, Duke-street, St. James’s, London, S.W.’
(The Era, London, 30 October 1870, p. 14c, advertisement)

‘GRAN CIRQUE LOISSET, CHEMNITZ, SAXONY.
‘MARQUEZ DE GONZA, the World-famed Gymnaste, of the Golden Wing, and his confrere DESMONTI and DARIAN VOLTA, have just finished the most enormously successful Engagement imaginable in Dresden. “Vast crowds thronged the Theatre for two months.” M. De Gonza did not exhibit his new sensation in the Teatro Italiano, Prague, as arranged, owing to the Direction breaking up. Is now Nightly creating a most marvellous sensation at the above celebrated Cirque.
‘Engaged in Leipzig for July, at a salary of £480 per Month.
’M. De Gonza has pleasure in announcing that he had Engaged the World-renowned flying Trapeze Artiste, Mademoiselle AZELLA!
‘Managers wishing their receipts doubled for sure, Address Marquez DE GONZA, as above.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 19 Mary 1876, p. 13c, advertisement)

‘Accident to Marquez de Gonza.
‘This famous gymnast, who has been for many months past attracting and astonishing thousands at the Paris Hippodrome, has been the victim of an accident which will necessitate an abstention from professional labours for some weeks to come. Towards the end of last week, prior to the opening of the establishment for the evening performance, Gonza, according to custom, climbed up a rope to adjust a trapeze. When forty feet from the ground the rope broke and the gymnast fell with a heavy thud into the arena. On examination it was found that happily no bones were broken, but a severe contusion of the right food had been sustained. The escape from more serious injuries was simply marvellous, and the gymnast, while receiving the sympathy of many, will have the congratulations of many more upon the fact that “it might have been worse.”’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 25 August 1878, p. 4b)

‘MARQUEZ DE GONZA, the famous gymnast, with the graceful Azella and Mons. Lunardi, has been creating a great sensation at Gordon’s Palace, Southampton. The startling feats of he daring rio will very shortly be reintroduced to the London public at the “Canterbury.”’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 23 March 1979, p. 4b)

‘An inquest was held at Luton, on Saturday [9 May 1885], on the body of the celebrated gymnast the Marquis de Gonza, who died suddenly on the previous day. The marquis, whose real name was Algar, was well known among actors and other entertainers, and a few years ago was the leading figure in his profession. He had travelled over nearly all the world, and possessed a medal and autograph letter which he received from the Empress of Germany, before whom he had appeared, as well as many other sovereigns. It was found that the cause of death was syncope.’
The Liverpool Mercury, Liverpool, Monday, 11 May 1885, p. 5f)

‘An inquiry was held by the coroner for Bedfordshire, at Luton, on Saturday afternoon [9 May 1885], into the death of the celebrated gymnast the “Marquis de Gonza,” who died somewhat suddenly. The “Marquis,” whose name was George Edwin Algar, resided principally in London. He was associated with Lunardi, and Azella, and had travelled nearly all over the world, Recently he was connected with Mr. Wilson Barrett’s company, and appeared on the stage of the Princess’s [Oxford Street, London] in “Claudian” last year. He had been in delicate health for some time, and it was found that the cause of death was syncope.’
(Berrow’s Worcester Journal, Saturday, 16 May 1885, p. 6e)

h1

Hanlon Brothers

April 4, 2013

a carte de visite photograph of three of the Hanlon Brothers, ‘the celebrated American gymnasts’
(photo: unknown, probably England, mid 1860s)

The Alhambra, London, company appears at the Theatre du Châtelet, Paris, including premier ballerina Giovannina Pitteri and the Hanlon Brothers, acrobats.
‘Echoes from Paris …
‘The Theatre du Châtelet has re-opened its doors for the performances of the London Alhambra. There are two ballets in which 100 danseuses, the stars of their profession, are headed, says the critic of the Petit Journal, by the star of stars, Mdlle. Pitteri. There are also pantomimic scenes of a diverting character, supported by capital clowns, of the greatest ”suppleness.” A comic ballet deserves especial notice. It is entitled Ki-ki-ko-oh-ki-key, and the most facetious member of the company plays in an ape’s skin. The ”Marseillaise” is sung by 100 vocalists, with a chorus of the audience. The Petit Journal, whose critic, according to custom, writes in the first person singular, thus notices the exhibition. ”I do justice to the acrobats, the gymnasiarchs, and the dancers of Mr. [Frederick] Strange, but I regret to see this fine theatre given up to such spectacles. The level of art was already low enough in the stage of the Châtelet, but a witty expression, a spicy couplet, indemnified the public for the silliness of the dialogue. But now the Châtelet only replaces the Hippodrome, without the equestrian exercises. It replaces the hippodrome very advantageously, I admit. Let gaiety and freedom from care once more be vouchsafed to us, and everyone will rush to see the performances of the brothers Hanlon, three truly surprising acrobats. I say three – rather two and a half – for one of the brothers, a nice little fellow, is hardly ten years of age. The feats of the Hanlon brothers are so marvellous and so daring that the managers thought proper to warn the public beforehand, lest the amphitheatre soul resound with the shrieks of terror.”’
(The Court Circular, London, 20 August 1870, pp. 784c-785a)

h1

Lulu

March 10, 2013

a carte de visite photograph of Lulu, the ‘female’ trapeze artist, formerly known as the boy acrobat El Niño Farini, was actually Sam Wasgate (b. 1855), the adopted son of William Leonard Hunt (1838-1929), known to the world as the tightrope walker and acrobat, The Great Farini.
(photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, circa 1873)

‘The New York Evening Post thus discourses on the female gymnast who is at present delighting metropolitan audiences.:
‘“Lulu” is the young woman who swings on the trapeze. The trapeze is over the heads of the audience, and the people stare at her feats of nimbleness and strength as Spanish women do at a bull fight. A net is spread underneath to catch her if she falls; but those who enjoy the show would probably feel additional delight if the net should some time give way and drop her, mangled, to the floor. She also jumps – that is, a 4,000-pound weight drops suddenly on one end of a lever, and the other end, striking a platform on which she stands, send her some thirty feet in the air, where she catches to a stationary platform, amid rapturous applause. She is called the “eighth wonder of the world,” and if jumping like a frog makes a young woman wonderful at all, the play-bill describes her truly.’
(The Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Texas, Thursday, 22 May 1873, p.1b)

‘At a recent performance in a Dublin circus [Hengler’s] Lulu, the well-known gymnast, met with a terrible accident. She is propelled from a spring platform about sixty feet into the air, and then catches a trapeze. On this occasion she missed the catch, and did not fall perpendicularly on the net intended to receive her, but sideways against the gallery railings, and thence rebounded into the arena. Her injuries are most fearful, and the doctors entertain no hope of her recovery.’
(Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Texas, Tuesday, 5 September 1876, p.3f)

‘The London Athenaeum thinks it may be worth stating that ”Lulu,” the female gymnast, whose recent fall from a trapeze in Dublin has excited public attention, is a man.’
(Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Texas, Sunday, 17 September 1876, p.8g)