Poster for a benefit matinee at the Canterbury Theatre of Varieties 1119
Printer: Wilkes & Co.
Medium: Print on paper
This poster for the Canterbury Theatre of Varieties advertises a benefit performance for Mr Fred Evans, one of the most popular clowns of the 19th century. The benefit matinee was held to provide him with some financial assistance at a time when, perhaps due to sickness, he was not able to work. Performers who appeared on such a programme would "kindly give their valuable services" for free, so only the most successful artistes who could afford to waive their fees in this way would appear. This benefit programme features such major stars as Dan Leno (1860-1904) and Charles Godfrey (1851-1900). Dan Leno, with his comic songs, wide range of music hall characters and brilliant use of mime, became one of the best loved and most famous stars of the English music hall and pantomime.