Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Great Thurston

These souvenirs of American magician Howard Thurston are undoubtedly from his tour of Australia in 1904-1905.

The postcard below is of a quite young Thurston, looking suitably mysterious. This probably dates from his time touring Australia.

But perhaps of more interest is the letter below. It is addressed to scenic designer, Jack Ricketts on Thurston stationery and dated 7/9/05 from Melbourne. It may not be from the magician himself, the signature has been removed,  but it is a nice memento of his time in Australia.

The letter mentions the ferocious weather, the good houses and the help that Jack Ricketts gave at the Palace Theatre....I wonder what that was?

It's postcard fair time!

The bi monthly postcard fair was today and as usual I took a train to Croydon , Sydney, to see what I could find...

I had a very good day.

Firstly we have Rose Musgrove, daughter of George Musgrove who was J C Williamson's producing partner. George also had an affair with Nellie Stewart. Rose was the daughter of George's marriage and became a musical theatre star in her own right.

Next to Rose is Dan Leno. Dan was a very famous pantomime dame in London. I am unsure whether he came to Australia.

Below these two is one of my favourite Tivoli stars, Tom Dawson. Dawson joined the army during WW1 when he was well over 40 years old. He didn't live long on the Western Front. He was a Tivoli regular. I have written a story about Tom for Stagewhispers, so search their site to learn more.

Finally in this group of four is The Great Thurston. One of the world's most famous magicians. Thurston toured Australia in the early 1900s. I'm going to do a short separate post about Thurston soon.

In this group is La Sylphe, who was described as a continental dancer. She performed in Australia in 1907. Next to her is Florrie Forde, a very famous pantomime principal boy, who performed in Australia for many years.

On the second row is Beth Cole, from the Bohemian Dramatic Company. Next to her is Pressy Preston, who performed in vaudeville in the early 20th century.

This final group of three includes a double postcard of George Alexander and Irene Vanbrugh, English performers.

Below them is a very nice generic circus card.

Finally there is Daisy Holly, who I had never heard of before. She was a vaudevillian who performed at the Bijou in Adelaide.

I will be posting all these cards on my flickr account soon.