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Wilson and St John Wilson and St John i(A109270 works by) (Organisation) assertion
Born: Established: 1898 Sydney, New South Wales, ; Died: Ceased: 1899 Sydney, New South Wales,
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BiographyHistory

Emerging entrepreneur Percy St John and well-known scenic artist and theatre manager W. J. Wilson joined forces in late 1898 to take over the lease of Sydney's Alhambra Theatre (formerly the Alhambra Music Hall and headquarters of Frank Smith). Operating as St John and Wilson's Alabama Minstrels and Burlesque Company they opened on 1 October with the burlesque pantomime Sinbad the Sailor. Comprising a number of leading Australian (or Australian-based) performers, notably John Coleman and Maud Fanning, the company was accorded good patronage throughout the production's two weeks season. The Sydney Morning Herald noted in this regard:

The Alhambra Theatre, once well-known to theatre-goers, was reopened on Saturday night. Messrs Percy St John and W. J. Wilson are the new lessees. Their object in opening this theatre was to tap a population that never comes to the city theatres. It is well-known that the people of George Street frequent their own quarter only. Messrs St John and Wilson have every reason to feel gratified at the success which on the opening night attended their venture. The house was crammed in every department. There was a minstrel and variety concert followed by a burlesque (3 Oct. 1898, 3).

Among the other feature productions staged that year were St John's pantomime Humpty Dumpty (5-18 Nov.) and a burlesque of his Cinderella pantomime, entitled Cinder-Ellen. Wilson and St John ended their season at the Alhambra in early January 1899. The lease was subsequently taken up by R. and W. Whitfield. St John returned to Brisbane to join Delohery, Bovis, and Deane's Elite Vaudeville Company at the Theatre Royal.

[Source: Australian Variety Theatre Archive]

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Last amended 15 Nov 2011 11:48:47
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