King Alfred the Great, or The Magic Banjo and the Mystic Raven
King Alfred the Great, or The Magic Banjo and the Mystic Raven is a "grand historical pantomime" by Nelson Lee (1806–1872).
The original text
A harelquinade or pantomime in which Alfred and two associates arrive at the Danish camp dressed as "Ethiopian Serenaders" (wearing black masks and woolly skull caps), Alfred playing a "Magic Banjo", with the other two using a concertina and bones respectively.
Apparently first performed at the Marlybone Theatre, London, on 26 December, 1850, and published as Harlequin Alfred the Great!, or, The magic banjo and the mystic raven! and ascribed to "the author of Bluff King Hal" (i.e. Nelson Lee) by L.C. Lacy (as a Lacy's acting edition) in 1851.
Translations and adaptations
Performance history in South Africa
1863: Performed as King Alfred the Great, or The Magic Banjo and the Mystic Raven (and billed as "a Grand Christmas Pantomime") in the newly refurbished Garrison Theatre, Cape Town, on 28 and 29 December, along with The Goose with the Golden Eggs (Mayhew and Edwards).
Barbara Yorke. 2017. "Alfredism. The use and abuse of Alfred's reputation in later centuries", in Timothy Reuter (ed.). Alfred the Great: Papers from the Eleventh-Centenary Conferences. Routledge.
David Horspool. 2006. King Alfred: Burnt Cakes and Other Legends. Harvard University Press: p. 199
Allardyce Nicoll. 1975. A History of English Drama 1660-1900: Late 19th Century Drama 1850-1900 Cambridge University Press: p. 452
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