PERFORMANCE OF MEZEPPA, ASTLEY’S, WESTMINSTER BRIDGE ROAD
A cartoon from Punch magazine dated 1851 showing a back-stage view of actors performing Mazeppa at Astley's Amphitheatre. Punch remarked: 'Equestrians can, we know, ride almost any number of horses at once...but we cannot understand how the same feats can be going on in two places on the same evening. We have however, lately had Mazeppa at Astley's, and Mazeppa at the Marylebone Theatre, on the same nightâ€¦We see by the playbills that the Young Chieftain (Hicks) and the original old Khan (Crowther) have abdicated their Lambeth domainsâ€¦The old original Tartar horde that has been hailing Mr Hicks as its hope, and clinging to the knees of Mr Crowtherâ€¦for 587 successive nights, will hail and cling to any other youthful heir and aged sire that Mr Batty may think proper to place on the throne of Tartary. We can imagine some little difficulty among the unaccustomed horses [and] the groom with a few yards of pack-thread, enticing the unaccustomed animalâ€¦.and the stage carpenter behind the brute with a couple of property wolves...[to] serve as a persuader to the horse of the desert.'Ref: Punch 1851 Vol.21
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