Archive for the ‘Tynemouth’ Category

The Schmettans and The Riogoku Family at Tynemouth Palace and www.circusmuseum.nl

Friday, January 7th, 2011

I’ve really enjoyed my time in dusty archives and libraries looking for material for this blog, but I’ve also been amazed by how much stuff there is online which you can stumble across. I’ve got two newspaper clippings for you this week, but they’re really brought to life by photos from the Jaap Best collection – all the work of Japp Best, a Dutch circus fan and collector, whose archive is now photographed and on the web at www.circusmuseum.nl.

On 3 July 1909 The Newcastle Weekly Journal and Courant reported on The Schmettans “posing, juggling and hand-balancing performance” at the Tynemouth Palace:

The Schmettans at Tynemouth Place - Newcastle Weekly Journal and Courant Article, 3 July 1909

From Newcastle City Library

In Jaap Best’s collection you can see a poster of the Schmettans from 1906 (complete with greengrocer’s apostrophe) showing a really impressive 8-ball juggle while in a head-to-head balance.

Two weeks later the Riogoku Family where also at the Tynemouth Place, and the same publication described says that this Japanese troupe gave “a marvellous exhibition of hand-balancing, acrobatic and juggling work” and “nothing to approach it has been seen at the Palace in recent years”:

The Schmettans at Tynemouth Place - Newcastle Weekly Journal and Courant Article, 3 July 1909

From Newcastle City Library

There are four items in the Jaap Best collection relating to the Riogokus and the poster from their 1901 performance with the Grand Cirque National Suisse shows that they included ball spinning and mouthstick work and a foot juggling act amongst their acrobatic feats. There’s also a general promotional poster and two photos of them, one against a decorated wall, and one with an outdoor scene in the background.

The juggling material in Jaap’s collection is fantastic to trawl through – try starting at this link to the juggling section, or have a play with the search facility.

Troba at the Hartlepool Theatre of Varieties and Tynemouth Palace

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Troba was a German juggler and contemporary of Cinquevalli. According to this article in the Juggler’s Bulletin of July 1947 he even did some similar tricks – but his speciality was juggling rifles and firing them as he caught them.

He appeared at the Empress Theatre of Varieties in Hartlepool on 25 April 1904 with headline billing as “the phenomenal juggler”:

Troba at the Empress Theatre of Varieties Poster - From the Tyne and Wear Archives

From the Tyne and Wear Archives

It’s truly a night of variety though – as there’s also a photography competition on the bill!

Along with the poster we’re lucky to also have a programme from that evening with an elegant lady illustrated on the cover:

Troba at the Empress Theatre of Varieties Programme (Front Cover) - From the Tyne and Wear Archives

From the Tyne and Wear Archives

…and the running order and some marvellous advertisements inside; you need never wonder where to go for a French sailor hat ever again!

Troba at the Empress Theatre of Varieties Programme (Front Cover) - From the Tyne and Wear Archives

From the Tyne and Wear Archives

Just over four years later Troba was back in the North East – this time performing at the Tynemouth Palace. In this article from the Newcastle Weekly Journal and Courant from 12 June 1909 he’s “truly described as a “great juggler”” and he “provides many thrilling feats in which strength and smartness are combined”:

Troba at the Tynemouth Palace Article - From Newcastle City Library

From Newcastle City Library