Monday, 6 January 2014

Pantomime Knitting

George Graves as Widow Twankey

It's the pantomime season (Oh yes, it is!) and so here is a postcard showing a pantomime character, knitting.   It was post-marked 1905, and shows George Graves, an English comic actor who often did music hall and pantomime (says Wikipedia). 

I assume that he is dressed as Widow Twankey in the pantomime of Aladdin.   Again according to Wikipedia, Widow Twankey is Aladdin's mother and runs a Chinese laundry, in China - in  spite of Aladdin being based on a tale in the Arabian Nights.   It makes no sense, of course.  And it's one of the comic pantomime roles that is always played by a man in drag.   George Graves appears to be wearing a very splendid Chinese costume, with an embroidered panel down the front of the skirt, and a patchwork silk coat over it.  And he is portrayed knitting - a simple piece of garter stitch, but it looks he might actually be working on it.  Though having said that, there is no sign of a ball of wool, and there appears to be a big gap between the stitches on the two needles.  So maybe it is all for show.  You can't expect realism in pantomime.        

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