Graphics, Image for Cat's Castle; or, Harlequin and the King of the Rats
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Graphics, Image for Cat's Castle; or, Harlequin and the King of the Rats
THE   ADELPHI   THEATRE   CALENDAR
A Record of Dramatic Performances at a Leading Victorian Theatre

Formerly the Sans Pareil (1806-1819), later the Adelphi (1819-1900)
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Title:Cat's Castle; or, Harlequin and the King of the Rats
Description:Cat's Castle; or, Harlequin and the King of the Rats, author William B. Buckstone, composer Alfred L. Mellon.  Whiskers was Christopher J. Smith and Killcat, John Sanders (later they become Clown and Pantaloon).
1st Performance:Dec 26, 1844
Theatre:Adelphi
Source:The Illustrated London News, Dec 28, 1844, p. 409
Review:The Illustrated London News, Dec 28, 1844, p. 409

ADELPHI.

The Pantomime at this house is from the pen of Mr. Buckstone, and is called "Cat's Castle; or, Harlequin and the King of the Rats," and purports to be "founded upon a categorical and doggrel poem, written by a Laureate, who invoked the Mews of the Middle Ages."  We can well remember an old lottery print upon the same subject, which was published by Messrs.  Bowles and Carver, who formerly kept such an endless repository of entertaining pictures in St. Paul's Churchyard.  The whole of the opening of this piece is taken up by the warlike preparations and battles of the contending parties.  We find Whiskers, King of the Rats (Mr. C. J. Smith), and the Princess Molrow (Miss Lonsdale); there is also Prince Tortoiseshell Torn (Mr. T. Ireland), and Kill Cat, Generalissimo of the Rat Army (Mr. Sanders); while amongst the officers are such names, in the feline army, as Marshal Pantiler, Colonel Purwell, and Major Fitz-spit.  The siege and blowing up of Cat's Castle is the signal for the appearance of the Fairy Honeysuckle, in a radiant star, who transforms Tortoiseshell and Molrow to Harlequin and Columbine, and Whiskers and Kill Cat to Clown and Pantaloon.  A number of allusions to passing events are introduced in the Pantomime, as well as the topics of the past year: Hungerford Suspension Bridge and the Invisible Shell; the Running Rein Fraud and the Insolvent Debtors' Court; the Washhouses for the Million; General Tom Thumb--all leading up to a succession of dioramic tableaux associated with events retrospective of the year 1844, painted by Mr. Charles Marshall.

The business after the transformations proved somewhat dull, and even making allowance for a first representation, the machinery was very much at fault.  The tricks were old, and scarcely brought a laugh; and the audience appeared as dull as if witnessing a tragedy.  The feats of the Infant Lauri Family drew down considerable applause, and were really clever; one or two things here and there were pretty good, as the "Box of American stores," changing to Tom Thumb's carriage, from which a capital likeness of the "General" alighted, and bowed to the audience.  There was, also, a cleverly painted scene of Dioramic Tableaux of the most attractive events of the past year.

 

The Illustrated London News, Dec 28, 1844, p. 409

 

 

The Illustrated London News, Dec 28, 1844, p. 410

 



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Copyright © 1988, 1992, 2013 by Alfred L. Nelson, Gilbert B. Cross, Joseph Donohue.
Originally published by Greenwood Press as The Sans Pareil Theatre 1806-1819, Adelphi Theatre 1819-1850: An Index to Authors, Titles, Performers, 1988, and The Adelphi Theatre 1850-1900: An Index to Authors, Titles, Performers and Management, 1992.
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The Adelphi Theatre Calendar revised, reconstructed and amplified.  Copyright © 2013, by Alfred L. Nelson, Gilbert B. Cross, Joseph Donohue.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License, with the exception of graphics from The Clip Art Book, edited by Gerard Quinn and published by Crescent in 1990.  These images are reproduced in accord with the publisher’s note, which states "The Clip Art Book is a new compilation of illustrations that are in the public domain.  The individual illustrations are copyright free and may be reproduced without permission or payment.  However, the selection of illustrations and their layout is the copyright of the publisher, so that one page or more may not be photocopied or reproduced without first contacting the publishers."