Title: Buffalo Bill Burlesqued at the Cardiff Theatre

Periodical: Western Mail

Date: January 25, 1888

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BUFFALO BILL BURLESQUED AT THE CARDIFF THEATRE.


Amongst the many innovations which have taken place in Mr. Fletcher's pantomime at the Cardiff Theatre Royal since its commencement none has created more fun and laughter than the introduction of Buffalo Bill and his famous Wild West Show. The audiences which flocked to the theatre on the evenings of Monday and Tuesday to see the "only one" were no doubt disappointed. They did not see the firey untamed mustangs curvetting round the boards, the Red Indians did not scalp the innocent travellers, nor were any glass balls shattered by the unerring rifle of the renowned William. We cannot imagine that the confiding public expected to see the "Grand shooting acts," the "Terrific race for life by Wild Indians," or even witness the celebrated Sioux tribe "tame the fiery steed." Doubtless their minds were troubled with vague longings that, because it was possible, it might be probable. They did not anticipate seeing the numerous horde Colonel Cody located in London, and afterwards sent to Cottonopolis. [1] It was not to be expected that an Indian village could be established on the commodious boards of the Cardiff Theatre Royal. And, then, how about the happy hunting ground? Well, Buffalo Bill was announced, and if even William sent a letter of apology, they could still see Cinderella display her elegant foot and fit on the tiny shoe, and when the time came for the celebrated white chief to make his appearance, the occupants of the pit and gallery moved uneasily in their seats and waited expectantly. The hope of seeing the Indian village and its inhabitants had long since faded, but the hope which ever lingers could not be conquered, and they all waited eagerly for William. It is but just to say that William did make his appearance, armed from head downwards. He was accompanied by the Yellow Chief, surnamed Yellow because he makes his enemies yell "Oh," and Spotted Dog was in attendance. He, it appeared, was fond of that tasty morsel. The audience also had the felicity of seeing a couple of Indians very much on the war path. In fact, said the audience, if this is not the real thing it is a good apology. The double-barrelled B shot the moon, and the Red Indians scalped one another with apparent enjoyment. We had the bottle trick, and "Nature's gentlemen" exhibited their matchless skill with the rifle at a few inches from the target. The audience did not seem to be impressed with the last named trick, and, sad to say, they had by this time discovered that it was not the real thing they were witnessing. But, then, they had laughed and cried in succession, more at that part of the show than at any other, and they, therefore, could pardon the manager for having "taken them in." At the conclusion the artists were loudly applauded. Their burlesque was very clever, and they added greatly to their reputation. The introduction of the absurdity has infused a lot of "go" into the pantomime, and it will, no doubt, act as a great inducement to the public to attend.

Note 1: 'Cottonopolis' was a nickname for Manchester, England, as the center of the cotton trade in England. [back]

Title: Buffalo Bill Burlesqued at the Cardiff Theatre

Periodical: Western Mail

Date: January 25, 1888

Topic: European Tours

Keywords: American Indians Audiences Burlesque (Theater) Characters in literature Firearms Horses Parody Rifles Scalping Sharpshooters Shooting Sioux Nation Targets (Shooting) Theater Wild horses

Places: Cardiff (Wales) London (England)

Sponsor: This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Geraldine W. & Robert J. Dellenback Foundation.

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