Sub-Lessees: Messrs Williamson and Musgrove.
MONDAY, JUNE 7th,
And for a Season of SEVEN NIGHTS ONLY.
Williamson and Musgrove's "MATSA" VAUDEVILLE COMPANY.
MANAGERIAL CARD. We beg to draw attention to the fact that, through a variety of circumstances, we have been enabled to secure a wonderful combination of artistic excellence, and beg to assure our patrons that they will find, in the above organisation, the most amusing, moat talented, most entertaining, and absolutely the most expensire coterie of artists that has ever visited New Zealand under our management.
WILLIAMSON & MUSGROVE.
The Famous English Burlesque Artiste,
MISS ALICE LEAMAR.
The Celebrated Comedian, Dancer, and Humorist,
Mr JOHN COLEMAN.
The famous Grotesque Artists and Pantomimists
THE THREE DELEVINES.
Our Own Pocket Comedian, the Funniest Man of his Inches in the World,
The Popular Australian Baritone,
Mr ERNEST FITTS.
The Clever Dancers and Mandolinists,
The WINTERTON SISTERS.
The Renowned Whistling Comedian,
Mr FRANK LAWTON.
The Celebrated "Cat King,"
Mr LEONI CLARKE.
AND COUNTLESS OTHER ATTRACTIONS.
The Box Plan will be opened at Messrs Wildman and Lyell's TO-MORROW (Wednesday), at 10 o'clock.
Prices : 5s, 3s, and Is. HAROLD ASHTON. Touring Manager.
-Auckland Star, 1/6/1897.
|NZ Mail, 31/1/1906.|
"MATSA" VAUDEVILLE COMPANY.
A considerable time has elapsed since Messrs Williamson and Musgrove have sent anything in the way of musical and specialty companies to New Zealand, so that the visit of the "Matsa" Company, whose performances are on these lines, will be welcomed with especial pleasure. The "firm," whose statements are invariably accepted in good faith by the public of this city, announce that patrons will find in the Company "the most amusing, most talented, most entertaining and absolutely the most expensive coterie of artists" that has ever visited New Zealand under their management. Judging from the names published, these remarks appear to be amply justified. Heading the list of a great number of "stars" is Miss Alice Leamar, the clever and winsome little lady who was such a drawing card when here some years ago with the famous London Gaiety Company. Then there is Mr John Coleman, a celebrated comedian, dancer and humorist, whose "scarecrow" dancing has been so popular in the neighbouring colonies; the three Delevines, remarkably clever grotesque artists; Mr Frank Lawton, whose whistling solos whilst with the Chinatown Company caused quite a furore; little Gulliver, a miniature vocalist and comedian, who is slightly over three feet high; the Winterton Sisters, mandolinists; Mr Ernest Fitts, a very popular Australian baritone; and Mr Leoni Clarke, the "Cat King," who has nearly 200 trained cats, rats, mice, canaries, cockatoos, hares, monkeys, and other animals, which go through a variety of clever and amusing tricks. It may be mentioned that with the exception of Miss Learner it will be the first appearance of these artists in this country. -Auckland Star, 2/6/1897.
"MATSA" VAUDEVILLE COMPANY. (excerpt)
Little Gulliver, "our own pocket comedian," is described on the bill as "the funniest man of his inches in the world," and he is certainly the funniest dwarf we have ever seen. His performance is that of a first-class comedian, and irresistibly laughable. The audience cheered the little man, and he had a most enthusiastic recall. -Auckland Star, 8/6/1897.
Williamson and Musgrove's "Matsa" Vaudeville Co." (excerpt)
One of the funniest items on the list is the appearance of Little Gulliver described as the "Funniest man of his inches in the world." He is only about 26 inches in height, and is 53 years of age. He is a born comedian, sings an excellent comic song, is most original in his business, and is one of the quaintest dancers it is possible to see. -Thames Star, 12/6/1897.
The "Matsa" Company's New Zealand tour of 1897 was an unqualified success, if judged by the papers of the day. All performers drew unstinting praise, and "Little Gulliver" himself drew such phrases as "convulsed the house," "a prime favourite," "an excellent comedian and dancer," "took the house by storm," "receives more encores than he can satisfy."
To begin with small things, the Firm's "pocket comedian" Little Gulliver is one of the funniest specimens of his kind imaginable — a most comical little man, as nimble as a cork at the end of a string, and with an art of face-making which he has cultivated with success. He sang first about an Irish shindy, suiting action to the words, and replied to the encore with a parody on " Home, Sweet Home." -Evening Post, 29/6/1897.
NORTHERN FOOTLIGHT FLASHES. By SVENGALI. AUCKLAND, June 10. (excerpt)
Dear Pasquin, — The season of the Auckland Comic Opera Company last week proved very successful. Messrs Williamson and Musgrove's specialty company opened at the Opera House on Monday night before a crowded audience. The curtainraiser is "Fun in the Kitchen," a musical comedy in which songs and dances, etc., are introduced by the members of the company. The Three Delevines and the Winterton sisters in an instrumental act follow, and next come Mr Ernest Fitts, a baritone singer with a fairly good voice, and Mr Frank Lawton ("Whiskery Alf's" brother) in his whistling specialties, which did not strike me as being particularly marvellous. His solo on the bones, however, is good. Little Gulliver (with a chest like a flat fish, and standing about 3ft high with his coat off) sings his parody on '"Ome, sweet 'ome." Gulliver has a rather childish voice. They say he was born in Dunedin. The favourite serio-comic, Miss Leamar, received a great reception, singing in capital style, " American millionaire," " Looking for a coon like me," and "All through sticking to a soldier." The last-named song was her best item. -Otago Witness, 17/6/1897.
Miss Leamar and "Little Gulliver" were next engaged for a season at the Cremorne Gardens, Perth, that September, while "L G" himself spawned an imitator:
The Child Mimic.
The Perriers, who open in the Foresters' Hall on to night and to-morrow nights, have enjoyed phenomenal success everywhere. They have now toured Australia for three and a half years, finishing through Tasmania and New Zealand, and almost without exception to crowded houses, certainly the Exchange Hall in Wellington recently was crowded out for eight nights in succession. Little Phyllis' clever mimicry shows a new departure in stage business. It is said that though a mere child she performs the feats that it takes the greatest of the present day actors and actresses to do. Her "take off" of Little Gulliver in the great Matsa company singing " Home, Sweet Home," used to bring down the house nightly in Wellington. -Feilding Star, 30/11/1897.
"Little Gulliver" next appears on the cast list of 1898's Christmas panto "The Babes in the Wood," in Sydney and went on with the cast to present it on Melbourne's Easter season. He stayed on in that city to join the cast of "The American Girl," which played a season there and went on tour.
THE POLLARD OPERA COMPANY.
"La Poupee" will be repeated to-night and to-morrow night. To-morrow afternoon there will be a matinee performance of this popular work. The doors will be opened at half-past one, the curtain rising at two o'clock. Special prices will be charged, adults — circle 2s, stalls 1s; children — circle 1s, stalls 6d.
Mr Pollard received a cable message yesterday from Melbourne informing him that Mr Albert Whelan, the celebrated comedian, who has lately been playing the leading comedy character in the "Belle of New York," had left for New Zealand in the s.s. Oonah. He is bringing with him the entire scenery, wardrobe and effects of this much-advertised piece, and it will be produced in Dunedin early in next month. Mr Whelan was understudy for the late Mr Oscar Girard, and during the illness of this artist, he played the principal comedy part in the "Belle of New York" in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. He is engaged to play the part in New Zealand. In two weeks' time the members of "The Forty Thieves" Pantomime Company will also leave Melbourne to co-operate with "the Pollards" in the staging of this piece. Twenty-four persons are coming over, including Mr William Hassan, the celebrated animal impersonator; "Little Gulliver," the eccentric comedian, and sixteen of the Royal ballerinas. -Star, 11/8/1899.
THEATRICAL AND MUSICAL NOTES By Pasquin (excerpt)
Pocket-edition "Little Gulliver" is "filling in" until next panto season with the Nance O'Neil Company. His call-boy act — "Beginners, please," shows him to be a very useful member of the co. "Little Gulliver" prefers being a call-boy in the off-season to touring with an absent-minded company — absentminded on "treasury." -Otago Witness, 9/8/1900.
The Auckland Cycling Club authorities talk of holding a snorts meeting about the time of the Duke and Duchess of York celebrations, provided there is any prospect of some of the crack riders of Australia taking part. Negotiations have been going on between the League of New Zealand Wheelmen and Martin, Chapman, Lawson, and Forbes, but the prospects of either of the riders mentioned visiting New Zealand at present seems remote, the pecuniary inducement held out by the league being insufficient to cause them to leave the big attractions in Australia.
The Canterbury amateur, H. Amos, is said to be in first-class form just now, and should give a good account of himself at the championships. He will be about the hardest nut Reynolds and Cucksey will have to crack among their New Zealand opponents.
Little Gulliver, the popular dwarf in Messrs. Williamson and Musgrove's Comic Opera Company, is an ardent cyclist. He is 3ft 6in in height, and scales 4st 81b. He tells the "A.C." that he is not frightened of Martin in a quarter-mile sprint. -NZ Herald, 30/3/1901.
THEATRICAL AND MUSICAL NOTES. By Pasquin (excerpt)
I smole a big smile the other day when I saw Little Gulliver, the pocket comedian, now with Rickards, nearly run down a big, fat policeman, when the little one was riding down the hill from the Opera House on his miniature "bike." It was as good as a play to see Gulliver's face, and then to look at the policeman's. However, he did no harm, and no court proceedings were instituted. -Otago Witness, 1/1/1902.
"Little Gulliver's" next engagement was as "the Dormouse" in that summer's "Alice" at the Theatre Royal in Sydney. Another "small" panto part at the end of that years was in "Dick Whittington," as "the cat."
JOHN F. SHERIDAN COMPANY. "The Lady Slavey" with which Mr. Sheridan commences his season, at the Opera House on Saturday night is described as "a comical operatic comedy" which should prove highly amusing. The music of "The Slavey" is particularly good, and is said to rise at times to the level of grand opera. The midget comedian, "Little Gulliver" has been engaged by Mr. Sheridan for his tour, and will be seen during the season in amusing roles. -Evening Post, 4/8/1903.
MIMES AND MUSIC. [By Ortheus.]
COMING EVENTS. (excerpt)
Little Gulliver, who makes his first appearance this season with the Sheridan Company to-night in "Fun on the Bristol," weighs four stone, and smokes like a chimney-pot. He is very muscular. His parents are of average stature, but a brother tops six feet. -Evening Post, 15/8/1903.
ENTERTAINMENTS ETC. THE SHERIDAN SEASON. "CINDERELLA."
The Sheridan Comedy Company put on an extravaganza at the Opera House last night in the form of a version of that hunt-the-slipper story concerning Cinderella, the kitchenmaid who became a princess. The Taranaki and Wellington football teams, which had met in contest during the afternoon, were present and swelled the audience to fair dimensions. It is never safe to expect too much from extravaganza, and taken on these terms those who view the present production will probably not be disappointed. Shorn of its scenery and ballets "Cinderella" is poor stuff, having to depend for its humour almost exclusively upon males in skirts impersonating Cinderella's ugly sisters and stepmother. Little Gulliver relieved some of the scenes, chiefly as a physical oddity, but even Mr. Sheridan was hard put to evolve much that was laughable out of the character of the Baron Bounder, parent of the embryo princess. Yet there were many who laughed and were apparently satisfied with what was given them. Miss Mavis worked hard in the name part, and achieved success in several songs, and a bicycle interlude by the Delavales worked into the interior of the abode of the demon of the story exhibited some clever trick work. The spectacular effects were wholly admirable, and included a glimpse of Cinderella's fairy coach, electrically lighted to represent the sparkle of gems. Some half-a-dozen ballets permeate the piece, and form a particular feature of it, for they are well arranged, charmingly dressed, and excellently danced by the troupe of ballerinas attached to the company. The piece is to run until further notice. There will be a matinee performance on Saturday. In the evening another change of programme will take place, "When, the Lamps are Lighted" being underlined for production. -Evening Post, 20/8/1903.