The term shadow pantomime can refer to a theatrical form, or to the name of a specific production.
The Shadow pantomime as theatrical form
The Shadow pantomime is a particular version of Shadow theatre, where live actors enact a pantomime (i.e. mime a story) by performing between a source of light and a translucent screen or scrim, and the audience experience the performance on the screen.
For more, see the entry on Shadow theatre
Performances of shadow pantomimes in South Africa
According to Bosman (1980: p. 267-8), besides the Le Roy and Duret pantomime (see below), regular performances of shadow pantomimes and burlesques also formed part of evening Promenade Concerts by the 86th Regiment's orchestra and the harpist and vocalist Signor Abecco between November 1872 and May 1873.
The original text
The latter statement may be a reference to something like the 1861 shadow pantomime put on by Nelson Lee in the Crystal Palace, London and reported on in the Evening Star and Dial of January 15, 1861). What was seen in Cape Town was probably a similar piece of shadow theatre, perhaps inspired by or even based on the Crystal Palace presentations, devised and performed by the Le Roy and Duret Company itself for performance on tour in the 1860s.
Performance history of the Le Roy and Duret version in South Africa
1866: Performed by the Le Roy and Duret theatre company in the Theatre Royal in Harrington Street, Cape Town, on 2nd August and billed as a "Great Comic Shadow Pantomime, sensation from the Crystal Palace". Also performed were The Mutiny at the Nore (Jerrold) and On the Sly (Morton).
1866: Performed by the Le Roy and Duret theatre company in the Theatre Royal in Harrington Street, Cape Town, on 6th August along with Lilian Gervais (Barnett), a comic dance called Gocum and Lisbeth (Jerrold) and On the Sly (Morton).
1866: Performed by the Le Roy and Duret theatre company in the Theatre Royal in Harrington Street, Cape Town, as Shadow Pantomime on the 25th of August. This was part of a children's matinee, which also included On the Sly, The Nervous Cures (Brown and Norton) and The Dancing Scotchman (Flexmore and Auriol?).
1867: Performed by the Le Roy and Duret theatre company as part of the Great Promenade Concert held for charity in the Good Hope Lodge in the Good Hope Gardens, Cape Town. Announced as "the celebrated Shadow Pantomime as lately produced at the Theatre Royal".
William Groom. 1899-1900. Drama in Cape Town. Cape Illustrated Magazine, 10(4): 478-481, 517-520, 547-552, 580-584, 640-643, 670-672, 706-708.
Evening Star And Dial, Tuesday, January 15, 1861
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