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Queen's Theatre, Gilles Arcade, Currie Street
Title : Queen's Theatre, Gilles Arcade, Currie Street Queen's Theatre, Gilles Arcade, Currie Street
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Source : Queen's Theatre
Place Of Creation : Adelaide
Date of creation : 1841
Additional Creator : Lazar, John, 1801-1879
Format : Theatre program
Dimensions : 550 x 210 mm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

Originally pink, this silk theatre program for Shakespeare's Othello commemorates the first performance at the Queen's Theatre, the oldest Australian mainland theatre still in existence. Emanuel Solomon named the theatre in honour of the young Queen Victoria in 1841.

The gentry and public of Adelaide and its vicinity are most respectfully informed that the above elegant theatre being now completed will open for the season on Monday, January 11, 1841....the performance will commence with ... Othello the Moor of Venice...

The theatre was leased to John Lazar, who with his talented daughter Rachel, turned on a lengthy show on opening night. Shakespeare's tragedy Othello was followed by the 'laughable farce' Our Mary Anne, interspersed with dances by Rachel Lazar. The performance finished at 1.00 the following morning.

The old theatre in Gilles Lane continues to operate today as a venue for events such as the annual Feast Festival.

In her diary 1839-1846 (PRG 1160/6), Mary Thomas often refers to pleasant evenings spent at the Queen's Theatre and includes items on the bill.

Jan. 11, 1841.   Mr. Solomon's new theatre [word omitted] for the first time this evening. John, Robert, Helen, and I went, but were obliged to sit in the dress circle because john applied too late for private boxes. William went in the gallery. The opening piece was Othello and the concluding one Our Mary Anne. The acting was very good for the place and Arabin's Iago was splendidly performed. Mr. Lazar is very clever and his daughter's dancing is very tolerable. The theatre was crowded with respectable people and we were highly entertained. The performances lasted till one o'clock in the morning owing to the delay between acts.

July 29, 1841.   The Queen's theatre was opened for the second season today. Mama, Frances, John, and I went there and saw The Curse of Mammon, and The Dancing Barber, The Curse of Mammon was very well acted and Mrs. Arabin, who supported the principal female character, would, I think, have done credit to any London stage. The performers grouped themselves so as to represent three of Hogarth's pictures of "Marriage a la Mode". The Dancing Barber was excellent, laughable and well acted. Miss Lazar danced the highland fling. The house was not full. There were very few ladies and a great many gentlemen.

See more extracts from the diary, in PDF above.

Related names :

Lazar, John, 1801-1879

Solomon, Emanuel, 1800?-1873

Coverage year : 1841
Period : 1836-1851
Place : South Australia
Region : Adelaide city
Further reading :

'$200, 000 to help partly restore oldest theatre,' Advertiser 14 March 1996, p. 5

Fischer, G.L. 'The professional theatre in Adelaide,' Australian letters vol. 2, no. 4 (March 1960), p. 92, 95.

Munz, Hirsch. Jews in South Australia, 1836-1936: an historical outline [Adelaide, Thornquest Press, 1936.]

Page, Michael F. Sculptors in space: South Australian architects 1836-1986 [Adelaide, S. Aust.]: Royal Australian Institute of Architects (South Australian Chapter), 1986

Bagot, W. H. Some nineteenth century Adelaide architects Adelaide: Pioneers' Association of South Australia, 1958

 Morgan, E. J. R. Early Adelaide architecture 1836 to 1886 Melbourne, New York, Oxford University Press [1969]

Heritage of the city of Adelaide: an illustrated guide  edited by Susan Marsden, Paul Stark and Patricia Sumerling Adelaide: Corporation of the City of Adelaide, 1990

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