Archive for the ‘1895’ Category

Emeline Ethardo at Newcastle Empire

Friday, August 20th, 2010

 Readers of rec.juggling may recognise today’s material – it’s the very first stuff that I found when I started looking for  material about the history of  juggling in the North East. This advertisement appeared in the 27 July 1895 edition of the Gateshead Guardian: 

Emeline Ethardo advert - Gateshead Guardian, July 27 1895

Gateshead Guardian, July 27 1895

Emeline Ethardo, “A distinct Novelty, A Juggler, a Contortionist, a Dancer, an Acrobat, an Instrumentalist. Something new” was on the bill at the Newcastle Empire Theatre for the week of 29 July 1893. Also of note on the bill is the second appearance on this blog of Conway and Leland, “One-legged Acrobats” who also appeared with WC Fields in Sunderland in 1908, billed as “Cheerful Monopedes”! 

Emeline is listed in Michale Kilgariff’s book ‘Grace, Beauty and Banjos: Peculiar Lives and Strange Times of Music Hall and Variety Artistes’ as a juggler, which suggests a link with Signor Ethardo – the Spiral Ascensionist (he used a walking globe and climbed enormous spiral tracks) – although he was possibly as a mentor or trainer rather than a relative.  The excellent  also has her listed as appearing at the opening of the Metropolitan Theatre, Paddington, London in 1897. 

But the only information we have about the performance comes from the review from the Gateshead Guardian in the week following the advert above. On 3 August 1895 they say: 

The Empire, Newcastle
There has been this week an excellent company at the Empire, and full houses. The chief attraction is Mr Edwin Boyd, the favourite London comedian, whose songs were rendered in a very talking manner, and were received with the greatest enthusiasm, especially his song “Life in the East End of London”. Miss Emmeline Ethardo pleased the audience immensely with her clever displays of juggling and contortion feats. Conway & Leland, the one legged acrobats, met with a great reception with their clever tumbling, etc. The Albert & Edmund troupe provide a highly amusing sketch, “The Locket”. The other artistes were Edith Yorke, vocalist; the Waldrons (Joe and Etty), burlesque artistes and dancers; Lily Langtree, comedienne; the Fairy Four, vocalists and dancers; and Arthur F. Cecil, mimic; all of whom gained the cordial approval of the audience. 

The Zanettos and the Korosko Bale Sisters

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Firstly – my apologies for missing a post last time, hopefully this double dose will make up for it!

The Zanettos, “World-renowned jugglers and equilibrists” are advertised to appear at the Newcastle Empire on the front cover of the Gateshead Guardian of 31 August 1895:

The Zanettos at Newcastle Empire 31 August 1895 - Gateshead Guardian Advert

From Gateshead Central Library

As you can see from their review a week later (published on 7 September 1895) there’s scant information apart from describing their routine as “clever”, and misspelling their name:

The Zanettos at Newcastle Empire 7 Sept 1895 - Gateshead Guardian article

From Gateshead Central Library

However, a bit of Googling has revealed a real treat. is a treasure trove of information about the Bale family who were the core of the Zanettos. The Posters, Press and Programmes page has some great material that fans of this site will enjoy, but for me the best stuff is on – which includes an interview with Edwin Bale published while he was performing in Newcastle.

The interview describes how the performers came to impersonate Japanese jugglers (with some language that’s probably most kindly described as “of its time”) which leads me onto the second half of this weeks double-header. At the Gaiety Theatre of Varieties in Hartlepool, for the week of 11 August 1902 the Sisters Korosko Bale, “Double Japanese Jugglers, Balancers &c” appeared, along with their “splendid performing pigeons”:

Sisters Korosoko Bale Poster

From Tyne & Wear Archives

The name Bale associated with ‘Japanese’ juggling must mean that they’re linked to the Zanettos, but I’ve not been able to confirm the exact nature of the connection. However I did find the abstract for a academic conference presentation that refers to the Zanettos and the Korosko Bale troupe, and has some more pictures of the Zanettos. Scroll right down to the bottom of the page to find a link to the presentation slides.

I hope you enjoy all that linked material as much as I did.

Bank Holiday Bonus II – “She Did a Few Tricks Herself and Wanted to Learn More”

Monday, May 31st, 2010

It’s the second May bank holiday in England today, and also the last day of the marvellous Bungay Balls Up juggling festival, so here’s an extra humorous article from the Gateshead Guardian 6 July 1895. Can you work out what the old lady’s accent is supposed to be from?:

The Gateshead Guardian, July 6, 1895

The Gateshead Guardian, July 6, 1895


She Did a Few Tricks Herself and Wanted to Learn More.
As I purchased my ticket to go into the circus which was exhibiting in a town at the foot of Cumberland Range, a little old woman who wore a poke bonnet and was without shoes or stockings, beckoned me aside and said:
“Look yere, stranger, I’ve walked ten miles to see this yere sarcus.”
“I reckoned to git in fur two bits, but I can’t do it. The price is fo’ bits, and they won’t abate. Do yo’ know any of the sarcus folks?”
“No, I don’t.”
“If yo’ did they might abate. I kin do some sarcus tricks myself, and maybe they’d let me in for free. Cum’ out yere and see me flop a summersault, as they calls it.”
“Really ma’am, I haven’t time.”
“Wall then, give me room and see me turn a cart-wheel. I can do it as slick as any man yo’ ever seed.”
“Yes, I presume so, but I can’t spare the time.”
“I walked the top-rail of a fence fur half a mile without fallin’ off,” she continued, “and I believe I could walk a rope. Git outen the way and I’ll show yo’ a hand-spring as good as yo’ ever saw.”
“Please don’t, ma’am. If you want to go into the circus—”
“Yo’ kin hoot that I want to go into the sarcus!” she interrupted. “That’s what I’m here fur. Whenever a sarcus comes along I git thar if I kin and ketch on to all the new flip flops. The ole man is sick and couldn’t come, but I promised him to hev a good look at the hyenas and tell him all about ’em. As fur me, I’m bound and determined to ride that trick mewl twice around the ring or perish in the attempt. What was yo’ goin’ to say?”
“I was going to say that I’d pay the other two bits and take you in with me.”
“Would you do that fur a pore old woman who hadn’t seen sarcus fur two y’are?” she anxiously asked.
“Of course.”
I got her a ticket and we passed in together, and a her request I hunted up the cage of hyenas the first thing. She stood and looked at them for five minutes before saying:
“Wall, I don’t see whar’ the purtiness cums in, but the old man is crazy ’bout hyenas. Now for the sarcus.”
We sat down together, and she took a great interest in and vigorously applauded every feat.
By and bye, when the trick mule was brought in and the usual announcement made, she sprang up and was at the ringside before anyone else could move. Everybody laughed and the ringmaster was confused. He finally had to tell her that all women were barred out, and when she persisted a couple of employees led her back to her seat. She came back flushed and angry, and when I attempted to console her she said:
“That’s the way of it all over – the wimmin folks bain’t got no rights and can’t get em. I could ride that mewl to his grave and not bin throwed off, and that’s what they was afraid of. Are’ thar’ any camp-bells with this show?”
“You mean camels. Yes, there are four or five in the other tent.”
“Then I’ll ride a camp-bell without doin’ sunthin’ to brag of.”
She slipped away, and when we filed out after the performance she was sitting between the two humps of a half-asleep dromedary and saying to the man who wanted her to come off:
“You go to ballyhack! I cum to this sarcus to git a pinter or two, and if you git me off’n this campbell I’ll ride yer ole rhinoceros around ’till he draps dead!”

Salerno at Newcastle Empire

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Salerno was one of the originators of the “gentleman juggler” style where the performer dressed in evening wear and juggled the everyday articles that you might find in a home of the day.

He appeared at the Empire Theatre, Newcastle in the week of 30 September 1895 – as this advertisement from the Gateshead Guardian shows:

Gateshead Guardian, 28 Sept 1895

Gateshead Guardian, 28 Sept 1895

“The great continental juggler and equilibrist” is mentioned briefly a week later in the Gateshead Guardian and Newcastle Suburban Press – but there’s hardly a surfeit of detail about “the clever company”:

Gateshead Guardian and Newcastle Suburban Press, October 5 1895

Gateshead Guardian and Newcastle Suburban Press, October 5 1895

That’s all the local material that I’ve found – but there were two good articles about Salerno in JUGGLE magazine in the Spring and Fall 2009 editions (I’m agnostic about IJA politics, but I like the magazine). The article in the Fall edition concentrates on a prop that’s very rare these days: Alan Howard (in wonderfully florid prose that would fit into most of the publications I normally read for this blog) writes: “The Salerno ring balance involves a pole that is placed on the juggler’s forehead; atop the pole is a ring in which a billiard ball is coaxed to revolve, thanks to the impetus generated by the continuous up-and-down motion from the juggler’s knees”. He juggled four balls with this all in place, including a shower where the balls passed through the ring.

Salerno’s nearest rival in the gentleman juggling style was Kara, a German citizen who was caught in Paris at the outbreak of the first world war. He was interred for the duration and had no access to props or practice space but on his release Salerno offered to share his equipment so Kara could get back on his feet. Kara learnt the Salerno ring, and later mentored Bob Artur, who performed as Caral, and the routine passed to him. Caral in turn handed the routine onto Jeton, who is still performing it today. These four are the only known performers of this intriguing prop. The full article from JUGGLE is on Jeton’s website.