ROYAL PRINCESS'S THEATRE, EDINBURGH; [BYRON, Henry J.]
Royal Princess’s Theatre, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh. Robinson Crusoe and his man Friday! Or Harlequin King Hoop-de-Dooden-Doo & the Savages of the Desolate Island.
The Overture and Music Composed, Selected, and Arranged by Mr R. B. Stewart. The whole produced under the entire direction of Mr J. W. Kimber, and Personal Supervision of Mr W. Paterson … … Edinburgh : [s.n.], 1864 [5 – 30 January]. Playbill, 760 x 255 mm; lithograph printed recto only, with an illustration by J. F. Coullie of a scene from the pantomime behind the large-lettered title; old central fold, small tear at bottom right corner (loss of a few words of text relating to opening times), but otherwise clean and very well preserved.
A large format playbill for the 1864 Edinburgh production of a grotesque pantomime based on Henry J. Byron’s popular Robinson Crusoe; or, Harlequin Friday and the king of the Caribee Islands. Byron had adapted his work from a much earlier pantomime of the 1780s and 1790s, Robinson Crusoe; or, Harlequin Friday: a grand pantomime, which was penned by none other than the great Irish satirist, Richard Brinsley Sheridan.
For each of the ten scenes in the play a description is given of the setting, characters and elaborate scenery devices, and the performing cast is named in full.
One of the main attractions in the pantomime is staged in Scene 9: this is the ‘Grand Aboriginal Ballet – a New Zea-land Maori Festival’, which would have been a fantasy pastiche of imagined South Sea rituals.