P U B L I S H I N G
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From Regency Pantomime to King Kong
Did you know that men have been dressing up as apes for the entertainment of the public since 1801?
Inside these covers you will find the stories of performers who specialised in playing dramatic ape roles – men like the ill-fated Parsloe who fell from stardom in London to die a lonely death in America, the irascible almost legless Hervio Nano, Teasdale who turned to God after stabbing his wife, and the simpleton potboy who was transformed into Monsieur Gouffe and made a fortune attracting the bon ton of London.
Within these pages you will find some of the oddest, most unfortunate, ill-requited, luckless, and doomed performers who ever chose to tread the boards – the artistes known as ‘man-monkeys’.
"Entertaining, well-written and well-researched."
"A diverting and intriguing new book."
"A thoroughly interesting read."
"It will entertain the general reader."
"Alan Stockwell, in this engaging text, gives us lots to think about."
Perils of the Victorian Stage
Victorian entertainment was highly popular with theatres, music halls and circuses packed nightly. Shows were spectacular and music hall programmes could number as many as twenty acts. Pantomimes often had casts of hundreds. But behind the splendour lurked danger, destruction and death. Without any health and safety laws, venues were as dangerous as mines, mills and factories. Accidents were rife and commonplace.
The book comprises a miscellany of accidents that happened on the stage and in the ring before a paying audience.
Jeopardy within the Victorian Theatre
Victorian entertainment was highly popular with theatres, music halls and circuses packed nightly. Behind the curtains apart from the performers were stage crews numbering over a hundred workers with everything relying on muscle power. It astonishes how many stagehands were injured or killed during the course of a show.
The audience was in a hazardous position too as stairs and balconies were prone to collapse in ramshackle over-crowded buildings. Bodies falling from gallery to pit was a common occurance and a single shout of "fire!" could start a panic and stampede. The book reveals a varied collection of accidents backstage and in the auditorium.
This book reveals the theatrical lives of a family of provincial players who tramped the highways and byways bringing the latest London hits and classic plays to unsophisticated audiences in tiny country theatres and large manufacturing towns. The author offers not a specialist tome for theatre historians – although they will find previously unknown material and new revelations here – but a beguiling story of a family of three thespian siblings, their spouses and their children.
This is a Regency world far removed from the novels of Jane Austen. There are highs and lows, riches and poverty, twists and turns, and extraordinary events as in the script of any modern television saga. The marked difference being that – for the Jonas and Penley Company of Comedians – this was real life.
THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF MR SHERLOCK HOLMES
The third edition of this well-received collection of Sherlock Holmes short stories. Sherlock Magazine called the original edition “One of the best collections of Holmes pastiches for some time”.
Other critics have remarked how the author hits off the Watsonian idiom with remarkable accuracy: “The stories look like being from the pen of John H Watson himself”.
This new edition contains a total of seventeen unusual, bizarre and thoroughly intriguing tales written in the classic manner.
THE SINGULAR EXPLOITS OF MR SHERLOCK HOLMES
Alan Stockwell’s first collection of Sherlock Holmes stories garnered much praise from aficionados when first published in 2003 and is now in its third edition.
In response to many requests, he now offers a collection of ten new Sherlock Holme stories told in the authentic manner.
Here you will find the dreadful ordeal of Oscar Wilde, the escape of the wild wolves, and the Surrey man-monkey among the tales. And Dr Watson at last reveals the long-hidden secret of the politician, the lighthouse, and the trained cormorant.
"The author's stories are notable for their clever and imaginative surprising twists."
"The setting is true to the period, and the plots are inventive."
"The same flashes of genius Stockwell has shown before."
MR DICKENS AND MASTER BETTY
Charles Dickens, the nascent novelist, is employed to write the life story of the former infant prodigy Master Betty known as Young Roscius.
Dickens, a self-proclaimed “delver into the human soul”, clashes with his employer’s overweening arrogance and revenges himself by unearthing the hidden truths lurking in the older man’s psyche.
The story tells of two teenage boys, both with feckless spendthrift fathers. One scrapes a miserable existence in a boot-blacking factory for six shillings a week; the other earns fifty guineas a night idolised by the highest in the land.
This delightful collection of easy-to-make puppets will be a boon to all parents, teachers and entertainers of children. The puppets are based on an ordinary household-size matchbox which enables them to have opening mouths. The pages are designed to photocopy on to A4 card, cut out and colour as fancy takes.
With a choice of some sixty different characters there is something for all ages and abilities in these simple but clever constructions. The collection varies widely from a simple flower to the Minotaur, a whale to Henry VIII, octopus to Roman emperor, and a selection of characters which can be topical at different periods of the year – turnip lantern, Easter bunny, scarecrow, Father Christmas etc.
"Fantastic resource. They're great!"