Caricature of the magician Herr Fritz, from an album of caricatures drawn by George Cooke. October 1904.
Length: 25 cm, Width: 18 cm
This caricature is of the magician Herr Fritz, performing at the Grand Theatre Hanley during the week commencing 10th October 1904. He was billed as 'the World's Greatest Illustionist. As performed before the German Emperor, Fritz was an Enormous Success in the Potteries on his previous engagement.' He was on the bill with other acts including Miss Gertrella 'Phantom Dancer Gymnast' and Miss Annie Purcell 'the Celebrated Comedienne from all the Principal London Theatres' who was topping the bill that week. The caricature comes from the first of several albums compiled by the graphic artist George Cooke, featuring performers working in music hall in the early 20th century. It is dated 1903-4-5.
This caricature is of the magician Herr Fritz when he was performing at the Grand Theatre of Varieties, Hanley, during the week of 10 October 1904. He was billed as ‘the world’s greatest illusionist. As performed before the German Emperor’. It is one of the many superb caricatures of Edwardian music hall performers that were drawn by the artist George Cooke when he was based at the Grand Theatre. He compiled them in a series of albums. Herr Fritz had appeared before at the Grand in August 1903, when he performed his ‘Great Horse and Jockey Illusion’ that he had performed for the Kaiser.
Magicians were increasing popular in the music hall. This was especially so in London after the closure in 1904 of the Egyptian Hall, the theatre that had specialised in magic and illusion for 30 years. The conjuring of devils and demons, such as the apparition shown here, was a familiar part of a magician’s act about 1900. It had been popular since the phantasmagoria shows at fairs of the 1830s, which claimed to show spectres and ghosts. A similar demon apparition features in Cooke’s caricature of the magician Carl Hertz.