Archive for the ‘Paul’s Juggling Girls’ Category

Tom Hearn and Paul’s Juggling Girls

Friday, March 26th, 2010

The week of Monday October 11 1909 was a good one for the audiences at the Sunderland Empire as they were treated to two juggling acts on the programme that week:   

Tom Hearn & Paul's Juggling Girls at the Sunderland Empire Poster - From the Tyne & Wear Archive

From the Tyne & Wear Archive

Paul’s Juggling Girls present “The Swells at Practice”, which is  “A dainty juggling act, introducing a wonderful exhibition of club manipulation, with original effects”. Unfortunately I’ve not been able to find any description of their routine, but they travelled as far as New York with their performances; the New York Times records them arriving in New York to perform on the Morris Vaudeville Circuit on 30 January 1910 (see the pdf article, linked from this page at the New York Times. We can assume that their first performance was at the American Music Hall, as this pdf article, also dated 30 January (linked from this page at the New York Times) mentions them performing in that venue.   

Tom Hearn & Paul's Juggling Girls at the Sunderland Empire Poster (Detail) - From the Tyne & Wear Archive

From the Tyne & Wear Archive

 I have found more information about Tom Hearn’s act. He’s billed as “the Laziest Juggler on Earth” and this description from the Newcastle Weekly Journal and Courant, from earlier in the year, on 6 February 1909 explains why:  

Tom Hearn at the Newcastle Empire - article from the Newcastle Weekly Journal and Courant - from Newcastle City Library

From Newcastle City Library

Mr Tom Hearn has fairly earned his title of the “laziest juggler on earth”. He is also the funniest. From start to finish of his entertainment he is too lazy to complete any of his tricks. He is discovered in bed as the curtain rises, in a comfortably furnished bedroom. He emerges from bed, and practices in a meek-and-mild manner with little dumb-bells and punching a diminutive ball. Other tricks follow, with lamps and articles of furniture and vertu, all of which get broken owing to Tom’s inborn laziness to properly negotiate his different tricks. He every now and then returns to bed in complete exhaustion. The turn caused roars of laughter, and is better than ever.  

An interesting gimmick for sure – and he had a high billing at the Sunderland Empire so he must have been well received.