Poster advertising the South London Palace 589
Printer: Elliott, J
One of the performers advertised on this poster is Joe Colverd, who was perhaps best known for playing the part of the ‘Old English Gentleman’ or ‘John Bull’ on the London stage. John Bull was a character invented by the doctor and writer John Arbuthnot for his 1712 satire 'Law is a Bottomless Pit'. An strictly allegorical figure, John Bull personified England as Arbuthnot saw it: bluff, straightforward, commonsensical, civilised but unafraid to stand and fight for what he believed in. The character's transfer to the music hall stage saw him lose some crucial ambiguities: Colverd would play him as a flag-waving nationalist in a Union Jack waistcoat.
The Sing Along section of this site features the lyrics and music for 'John Bull,' as sung by Colverd.