Our Theatricals

Our Theatricals. Leonard Raven-Hill (1867-1942). Signed "L Raven Hill" lower right. Punch (4 May 1904): 316. From the Internet Archive online version of a copy in the University of Iowa Library. Click on image to enlarge it. Complete caption:

The Countess. — “Will this cruel War never end? Day after day I watch and wait, straining every nerve to catch the sound of the trumpet that will tell me of my Warrior’s return, But, hark! what is that I hear?”

Stage direction. “Trumpet faintly heard in distance.” But we hadn’t rehearsed that, and didn't explain the situation quite clearly to the local cornet-player who helped us on the night.

The actions of the three people backstage — the man at left, the much-too-energetic horn player, and woman behind him — produce the comedy here. This cartoon, which includes the cartoonist-speaker in the comedy, works differently from most Punch cartoons, in which the readers join the cartoonist’s implicit superiority to the people pictured. Here he is one of those (comically) at fault.

[You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Internet Archive and the University of Iowa and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. — George P. Landow]

Last modified 4 August 2017