Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Antique Image of the Day: Chu Chin Chow's Christmas Panto, 1916

Victoria & Albert Museum

Ahhhhh...yes, 2013 continues to dig its razor-sharp talons into my tender flesh, grasping at me and tickling my very bones until the very end.  Today, I awoke to the unmistakable scent of dead rodent.  The squirrels which were worrying Bertie yesterday as they scampered about in the attics must have offered up a ritual sacrifice to the very ice from which they sought shelter.  I'm not even going to bother to go up into the attic in search of the offending wee corpse because, as this year has gone, I know I'll fall through the ceiling (a family tradition), catch my neck on a chandelier on the way down, and my parents will find me tomorrow, on my 40th birthday, hanged in shimmering crystals.  So, screw it and its stiff furry tail.  Stink up my house,  you dead bastard!

Moving on...Chu Chin Chow...

Chu Chin Chow, a musical comedy, was written, produced and directed by Oscar Asche, with music by Frederic Norton. The show was loosely based on the story of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves. One of the thieves, the Robber Chieftain—Abu Hassan, murders a wealthy Chinese merchant, Chu Chin Chow, and disguises himself as the man in order to gain entrance to a prosperous man’s house. The show premièred at His Majesty's Theatre in London on August 3, 1916 and ran for five years with a total of 2,238 performances.

Here, we see a pen and ink drawing for a proposed poster design for 
Chu Chin Chow at His Majesty's Theatre. The image—meant for the winter season of 1916--depicts Chu Chin Chow dressed as Father Christmas cutting into a plum pudding. Underneath is written: "More plums than in any Pantomime".

No comments: