The Scrap Album - Site Guide
The Christmas Pantomime

An immense deal of fun

The delights - the ten thousand million delights of a pantomime come streaming upon us now. This evening the pits and galleries of all the theatres will be in their usual state of “Boxing Night” excitement and expectation.

For the pantomime was one of the great Victorian institutions and a peculiarly British affair. They attracted huge audiences of all generations and everything was designed to titillate and excite.

Fabulous celebrities would be wearing fanciful and splendid costumes and the whole performance commanded the applause of a full house.

At the grand spectacular pantomime, tradition demands that Harlequin with his bat, or Clown with the poker, shall turn everyday objects into something unexpected - the heights of fantasy are reached in the pantomime.

  • Top
  • Pantomime programme
  • Aladdin and the Forty Thieves
  • George Sangers Amphitheatre
  • Boxing Night, December 26, 1885
  • 190 x 254mm (7½ x 10in)
  • Opposite from top
  • No publisher
  • Dated by sender 1880
  • 121 x 83mm (4¾ x 3¼in)

  • Scrap of Pantaloon and Clown
  • L&S Retail sheet
  • Scrap publisher:
  • MHN&Co (Michael Henry Nathan & Co)
  • 248 x 178mm (9¾ x 7in)
  • Scrap of Harlequin and Columbine
  • No publisher
  • 46 x 146mm (5¾ x 5¾in)

The Christmas Entertainments

“It is some years now, since we first conceived a strong veneration for Clowns, and an intense anxiety to know what they did with themselves out of pantomime.

As a child we were accustomed to pester our relations and friends with questions - whether the Clown’s appetite for sausages was always the same and if so at whose expense they were maintained; whether they were ever taken up for pilfering other people’s goods or were they forgiven because it was fun.

Nor were our speculations confined to Clowns alone; they extended to Harlequins, Pantaloons and Columbines all of whom we believed to be real and veritable personages existing in the same forms and characters all the year round.”

“How often have we wished that the pantaloon were our god-father and how often thought that to marry a Columbine would be to attain the highest pitch of all human felicity.”

  • Above text adapted from:
  • Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi
  • Edited by Charles Dickens
  • Published by George Routledge and Sons


The Christmas Party

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Saint Valentines Day
Easter & Fairyland
Christmas & New Year
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