Rogues & Vagabonds

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…

Tag Archives: 19th century

Manx Giant’s Pillar – Isle of Man – Atlas Obscura

It may look like this cottage gate is waving at you, but the fingers stretching skyward are more than a quirky decoration. It’s an unusual, unexpected memorial to a large … Continue reading

06/21/2018 · 3 Comments

Henry Montague: First Shepherd of the Lambs

Just a quick shout out to honor the natal day of actor Henry James Montague (Henry John Mann, 1843-1878). Montagu came to our attention through that eerie, ghostly portrait above, … Continue reading

01/20/2018 · 1 Comment

The Toy Theatre Publishers Of Old St

These days the vicinity of Old St is renowned for its digital industries but, for over a hundred years, this area was celebrated as the centre of toy theatre manufacture … Continue reading

12/27/2017 · 2 Comments

The Opera of Paris:  We Also Procure Our Ballerinas to Wealthy Men | Victorian Paris

The title of this post is not an exaggeration, although the Opera directors would have preferred a more subtle one or, ideally, a complete silence on the subject.  The Béraud’s … Continue reading

02/21/2017 · 2 Comments

The History Girls: Victorian Tattooed Ladies: Circus freaks or pioneering feminists? by Katherine Clements

The history of tattooing goes back to prehistory but the English word, in this context, is first attested in the writings of Captain Cook. An entry in Cook’s ship’s log … Continue reading

11/16/2016 · 1 Comment

The Space is the Place; the Museum’s Collection on Theaters | MCNY Blog: New York Stories

With Archtober – New York City’s annual Architecture and Design Month – almost upon us, it has got my theater archivist’s mind turning to the city’s history of theater buildings. … Source: The Space is … Continue reading

10/27/2016 · Leave a comment

On this day: the premiere of Haddon Hall | In Times Gone By…

Haddon Hall, a light opera by Arthur Sullivan and Sydney Grundy, premiered at the Savoy Theatre in London on the 24th of September, 1892. The production was based on a 16th-century … Continue reading

09/24/2016 · Leave a comment

Quote • RANJIT BOLT • Kudos for Playwrights

“Because they’re French, writers often acquire a kudos denied our own dramatists. We don’t call Sheridan ‘maître’ but he was a major genius, in another league from Molière. Just imagine … Continue reading

06/23/2016 · Leave a comment


‘Visitors accustomed to dingy, dirty, uncomfortable theatres, as bad, if not worse, than the ordinary Paris theatres of today, were enchanted with the light, bright, joyous little playhouse, always compared … Continue reading

06/13/2016 · Leave a comment

A Victorian Flea Circus: The Smallest Show on Earth – Mimi Matthews

During the 19th century, the flea circus was a popular sideshow attraction.  Often billed as the “smallest circus in the world,” it took place in a ring the size of … Continue reading

04/02/2016 · Leave a comment

The History of Pantomime (Christmas History 19) | Windows into History

Yesterday’s Christmas History included a quote from John Bull and his Island, by the fabulous French author Max O’Rell, published in 1883.  In the same book he writes about Christmas … Continue reading

01/10/2016 · Leave a comment

The Heavily Judged Female Entertainers Who Crushed Stereotypes In the Old West | Atlas Obscura

Tales of domestic drudgery, rigid dress codes, and a regimented daily life create a bleak portrait of the 19th century woman: she sits tightly corseted in the drawing-room, knitting booties and antimacassars … Continue reading

01/02/2016 · 2 Comments


Mabel May Yong (1883-1945) was an Australian born actress and dancer. She appeared in German films. The IMDB reports that she had 21 film appearances between 1920 and 1925. In … Continue reading

12/06/2015 · 1 Comment


British stage actress, Cissy Grahame is the subject of this portrait by the famed London photographic studio W. & D. Downey. She looks quite beautiful in her lace scarf and … Continue reading

11/25/2015 · 1 Comment

On this day: Sarah Booth’s Covent Garden Debut

Famous English actress Sarah Booth made her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden on the 23rd of November, 1810. She played Amanthis in the play Child of Nature… … Continue reading

11/23/2015 · Leave a comment

Battersea Arts Centre: a Victorian gem rising from the ashes

Originally posted on Flickering Lamps:
When stepping into the grand entrance hall of Battersea Arts Centre, it’s not obvious that only a few months ago a terrible disaster struck the…

10/25/2015 · 2 Comments

On this day: Ballerina Pierina Legnani in 1891

Originally posted on In Times Gone By…:
Italian ballerina Pierina Legnani photographed in London on the 15th of September, 1891, fifteen days before her twenty-eighth birthday. Legnani was born and…

09/15/2015 · Leave a comment

On this day: The Great Theatre Royal Fire | In Times Gone By…

Originally posted on In Times Gone By…. On the 5th of September 1887, the Theatre Royal in Exeter, England burnt down, killing 186 people. It was not the first time the … Continue reading

09/05/2015 · Leave a comment

Cymbeline; what’s a love story without some scandal? | MCNY Blog: New York Stories

Originally posted on MCNY Blog: New York Stories. It was January 25, 1897, the opening night of William Shakespeare’s romance Cymbeline, based on the legend of an early Celtic British king, … Continue reading

08/02/2015 · 3 Comments

Actress Miss Dorothea Baird (1875-1933)

This an original book-plate of the actress Dorothea Baird [1875-1933] from 1899, which I bought from collectors Vintage Views. Miss Baird first appeared on stage  in 1894 for the Oxford University Dramatic … Continue reading

07/31/2015 · 4 Comments

On this day: the premiere of Giselle in 1841

Originally posted on In Times Gone By…:
Carlotta Grisi as Giselle the year after the premiere The Paris Opera Ballet (then the Ballet du Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique)…

06/27/2015 · 2 Comments

Sarah Bernhardt and the Dying Costumer: 1880

Originally posted on Mrs Daffodil Digresses:
? Sarah Bernhardt in Phèdre by Racine. An episode from the life of the great actress: I was given, on signing the contract, 100,000…

05/16/2015 · Leave a comment

First Night Design | The Lure of the Archive — Miss Vesta Tilley

Originally posted on First Night Design:
I’ve run out of bandwidth so I’m having to squeeze out a quick post that I prepared at Christmas when I sold 25 postcards…

05/03/2015 · Leave a comment

Napoleon Sarony: Celebrity Photographer

Originally posted on MCNY Blog: New York Stories:
Sarony, Walt Whitman, ca. 1878, Museum of the City of New York, 39.477.10   Before paparazzi and the celebrity media we all…

04/28/2015 · Leave a comment

On this day: John Wilkes Booth was shot and killed | In Times Gone By…

On the 26th of April, 1865, [actor] John Wilkes Booth was cornered and shot dead in Port Royal, Virginia. Twelve days earlier he had assassinated US President Abraham Lincoln in … Continue reading

04/26/2015 · Leave a comment

How to Make Stage Thunder and Lightning: 1829-1900

Originally posted on Mrs Daffodil Digresses:
? Stage thunder machine with cannon-balls. It is raining “cats and dogs” at the Hall—one may take the “April Showers” reference as read—and Mrs…

04/08/2015 · Leave a comment

Roll up, roll up…a visit from the Great United States Circus

Originally posted on Notes from 19th Century Birmingham:
Life in Victorian Birmingham could be a hard slog but scanning the notices in local newspapers of the day reveals a great…

01/08/2015 · Leave a comment

Archive • Ira Aldridge Commemorated • 2007

The Ira Aldridge Bicentenary Project celebrates the life of the most famous and successful black and classical actor of the 19th century. Born in New York in 1807, Aldridge moved … Continue reading

05/20/2014 · 1 Comment

First Night Design | Joseph Grimaldi, Clown 1778–1837

Originally posted on First Night Design:
Joseph Grimaldi, Clown 1778-1837 Prints © First Night Vintage A story is told that in 1806 a man goes to visit a doctor who…

02/07/2014 · Leave a comment