Perils of the Victorian Stage: The Hazardous World of Victorian Entertainment

Perils of the Victorian Stage: The Hazardous World of Victorian Entertainment

Perils of the Victorian Stage: The Hazardous World of Victorian Entertainment

Perils of the Victorian Stage: The Hazardous World of Victorian Entertainment

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Overview

In Victorian times the performing space, be it stage, music hall platform, or circus ring could be as dangerous as mine, mill or factory. Behind the spectacle and splendour lurked disaster, destitution and death. Falling scenery, open trapdoors, collapsing rostrums, explosions and fire were everyday hazards as was the excessive use of guns, swords and knives. Surprisingly, female dancers were major sufferers as their flimsy costumes were prone to catching fire - 160 such cases with some 40+ fatalities.

Circus acts were hugely popular especially when performed by young children, while high-wire walkers like Blondin the 'Hero of Niagara' inspired lesser artistes to attempt stunts beyond their capabilities. Mid-century, Léotard invented the flying trapeze and from that moment artistes risked their lives to outdo whatever had gone before. This book is a miscellany of life-threatening dangers and fatal accidents during performance to acrobats, magicians, variety acts etc, as well as singers, dancers, musicians, comedians, and a plethora of actors and actresses.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780956501387
Publisher: Vesper Hawk Publishing
Publication date: 10/01/2022
Pages: 226
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.48(d)

About the Author

ALAN STOCKWELL was a professional puppeteer for over forty years and appointed MBE in 2000 for services to education in the north-east of England. He is the author of many articles on the theatre, magic, circus and puppetry. His fiction books include pastiche Sherlock Holmes stories. His well-regarded "What's the Play and Where's the Stage" about the extended Penley family who were actors and managers during the late Georgian to early Victorian periods, brought to light many previously unknown facts about the provincial theatre of those periods. www.vesperhawk.com

Brenda has been wife and professional partner of Alan Stockwell for 59 years. Their puppets have been seen in all the principal cities of the UK and several foreign lands including Borneo, Brazil, Egypt, Turkey, and most of the Gulf States.
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