Poster for Grand Christmas Festivities at the Royal Canterbury Theatre of Varieties
Printer: Stevens, Geo.
Medium: Print on paper
Mr Gus Elen (1862-1940), whose act is one of many featured on this poster for the Royal Canterbury Theatre of Varieties, was a 'Coster comedian'. He appeared on stage as a cockney but, unlike his fellow stars Albert Chevalier (1861-1923) and Alex Hurley, he did not idealise the role of working-class Londoner. Instead he sang about the reality of daily life in the East End with songs such as 'If it wasn't for the 'Ouses in between' and 'Wait till the work comes round'. His cockney songs and humour were greatly admired. Although his act was widely imitated, no-one quite equalled his performances.