The Enchanted Witch, or Mother Shipton
The Enchanted Witch, or Mother Shipton is an act in a presentation of Automata by W.F.H. Parker, based on the legend of Ursula Southeil (c. 1488–1561), better known as "Mother Shipton", who is said to have been an English soothsayer and prophetess. A caricature of Mother Shipton was used in early pantomime and is believed by historians to be the forerunner of the "Panto Dame".
South African performances
In 1837 W.F.H. Parker advertised Cape Town appearance of an Automaton version of Mother Shipton in a presentation he called a "The Enchanted Witch, or Mother Shipton", in which she "will tell fortunes and smoke a pipe, as natural as real life". It was accompanied by scenes from London life, including the Vaux-hall Gardens, the "Ascent of Mr Sadler's Balloon", etc.
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