The  Book  of Guy Fawkes Day And its Bonfire Night
Volume VI, How Fawkes was He? Pantomime and Toy Theater

Conrad Bladey, Hutman Productions

A complete collection of Pantomime Plays  on the topic  of or inspired  by Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot of 1605  along with reviews, commentary and anthropological analysis. Well illustrated and annotated.

376 Pages, ISBN: 978-0-9854486-6-0

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A complete collection of Pantomime Plays  on the topic  of or inspired  by Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot of 1605  along with reviews, commentary and anthropological analysis. Well illustrated and annotated.

376 Pages, ISBN: 978-0-9854486-6-0

From the Book:


A powerful network of artifacts of all kinds emanated from the national horror of the intended treason known as the Gunpowder Plot. (See Volume I). Following the horror came the wonder of the mysterious Great Deliverance.  The network of artifacts sharing constituent parts integrated with society extending outward serving potentially as many interpretations, meanings and functions as there could be participants or ideas. The network began with a traditional cultural response to the horror and deliverance--bonfires and bells. Then it was given energy by government mandates and religious liturgy. Yet throughout, the most important motivating force was the horror and awe felt by the people in general. This motivated them to, despite differing local and regional cultures, unite to “Remember and Remember.” On one hand,  regional and ideological diversity of expression would broaden the base of celebration rooting in  diversity. On the other, founding it upon the shifting sands of constantly changing public opinion,  cultural preferences,  and trends would bring instability.. The wonder of  Deliverance and the mysteries such as seasonal change provided universal foundations that do not change and would provide a much stronger foundation. Through history, emphasis upon founding concepts would shift. To avoid this constant uncertainty and to create more durable celebrations. Celebrants would be well advised to  focus as much as possible on  purposes that do not change, those rooted in the universal wonders and msteries. This work points out how those universals appear though at times subtly, in artifacts of celebration, with the hope that focus upon them might be intensified while maintaining the diverse footing provided by a wide network founded upon a a cultural and political diversity.

The roots of the network of founding paradigms extended to all levels of society and permeated all aspects of culture both in the United Kingdom and worldwide.

Pantomime is but one dimension of culture. The collection of artifacts presented here is just a start. Pantomime was well integrated into the culture at large. It was enjoyed in theatres by all ages and entered homes via Toy Theatre. It was affordable. Pantomime reflected Bonfire customs, the perception of Guy Fawkes and of the conduct of celebration and amplified them throughout the year. Because of this close integration it also came to influence bonfire celebration customs, influencing  the syle of effigies  and popular opinion in regard to celebration.

The celebration continues in a world in which the danger of terrorism looms large. I hope you will find some of these artifacts of assistance for your own expressions and celebrations. Don’t stop there. Compose some of your own.

This work is designed to gather together artifacts created from those of the Gunpowder Plot. It brings them from many obscure and hard to access places. This makes of many one; E pluribus unum so to speak. I encourage further in-depth analysis and progress toward  greater understanding beyond that which is suggested here.

This is the first step toward meaningful analysis and explanation. I hope it facilitates future work.

Integration of Pantomime into Bonfire Tradition

The pantomime tradition worked  with the literary tradition to create a kindler, gentler Guy Fawkes. It also influenced children to change  the styles of their effigies. Much to the displeasure of the earlier generations, Fawkes was transformed from a military man into a  clown.   The children had simply associated Fawkes with Harlequin the clown into which he changed at the end of the pantomime

“This year I made a stunning guy. First of all I got a pair of my own breeches—black uns—and stuffed ‘em full of shavings. I tied the bottoms with a bit of string. Then I got a black coat—that belonged to another boy—and sewed it all round to the trousers; then we filled that with shavings, and give him a good corporation. Then we got a block, sich as the milliners have, and shoved that right in the neck of the coat, and then we shoved some more shavings all round, to make it stick in tight; and when that was done it looked just like a  dead man. I know something about dead men, because my father was always in that line. Then we got some horsehair and some glue, and plastered the head all round with glue, and stuck the horse-hair on to imitate the hair of a man; then we put the mask on: it was a twopenny one—they‘re a great deal cheaper than they used to be, you can get a very good one now for a penny—it had a great big nose, and it had two red horns, black eyebrows, and red cheeks. I like devils, they‘re so ugly. I bought a good-looking un two or three years ago, and we didn‘t get hardly anything, the people said, ‘Ah! it‘s too good looking; it don‘t frighten us at all.’ Well, then, after we put on his mask we got two gloves, one was a woolen un, and the other a kid un, and stuffed them full of shavings, and tied ‘em down to the chair. We didn‘t have no lantern, ‘cos it keeps on falling out of his hands. After that we put on an old pair of lace-up boots. We tied ‘em on to the legs of the breeches. The feet mostly twists round, but we stopped that; we shoved a stick up the leg of his breeches, and the other end into the boot, and tied it, and then it couldn ‘t twist round very easy. After that we put a paper hanging cap on his head; it was silk-velvet kind of paper, and decorated all over with tinsel bows. His coat we pasted all over with blue and green tinsel bows and pictures. They was painted theatrical characters, what we buy at the shop a ha‘penny a sheet plain, and penny a sheet coloured: we bought ‘em plain, and coloured them ourselves. A-top of his hat we put a ornament. We got some red paper, and cut it into narrow strips, and curled it with the blade of the scissors, and stuck it on like a feather. We made him a fine apron of hanging-paper, and cut that in slips up to his knees, and curled it with the scissors, the same as his feather, and decorated it with stars, and bows, and things, made out of paper, all manner of colours, and pieces of tinsel. After we‘d finished the guy we made ourselves cock‘d hats, all alike, and then we tied him in a chair, and wrote on his breast, ‘Villanous Guy.’ Then we put two broomsticks under the chair and carried him out.” - Mayhew,  Henry. London Labour and the London Poor, Volume 3, London. Griffen, Bohn and Company, Stationer’s Hall Court. 1851

This is a good example demonstrating that dimensions or structures of celebration constantly interact  with those in the host culture.
Concrete dimensions such as politics are dovetailed in whereas the Universal Mysteries act more like hinge pins of a barrel hinge linking the ever changing barrels together to the celebrations. As in the piano, hinge strength is provided by the number of barrels or dimensions of culture. The more the better. All cultural dimensions are significant for the durability of the whole celebration.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents. 4

Preface... 6

Pantomime... 7

Pantomime Bibliography. 10

Tabletop or Toy Theatre... 10

Toy Theatre Bibliography. 11

The Integration of Pantomime into Bonfire Tradition   12

. 12

Guy Fawkes Pantomime in  the United States. 14

Analysis. 15

The Pantomimes. 18

1793... 19

Guy Fawkes Or The Fifth of November a Prelude in One Act 19

Review: The Times of London, 6 November 1793 Page 2 col. c  43

1821... 44

Guy Fawkes A Gingerbread Tragedy 44

1822... 65

Guy Fawkes; or, The Gunpowder Treason. A Drama, In three Acts: Hodgson, London, Hodgson’s Juvenile Drama. 65

1835... 87

Harlequin and Guy Fawkes; Or, The 5th of November, A comic Pantomime  87

Review: THE PANTOMIME OF LIFE from: 96

Mudfog & Other Sketches, Charles Dickens. 96

1836... 96

Green's Harlequin Guy Fawkes- Tabletop Theatre Version Greens Juvenile Drama  96

1840... 125

Guido Fawkes; or, The Prophetess of Ordsall Cave A Melo Drama, In Two Acts. By. Edward Stirling, Esq. 125

1847... 164

Guy Fawkes; Or, A Match For A King. Albert Smith. 164

Mr Dickens's Amateur Theatricals. 173

1849... 173

Guy Fawkes or a Match for a King, Version II by A.R. Smith. 173

Other Sources. 214

1851... 215

The Life and Death of Guy Fawkes. by C.H. Somerset 215

1855... 239

Guy Fawkes or a Match for a King II 239

Review and Clarification of Source by Smith. 259


1866... 264

The Ugly Mug And The Couple of Spoons, 264

F. C. Burnand Esq, 264

First produced at the Royal Strand Theater, December 22, 1866. 264

Review: Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 12/1866. 304

1830... 305

Guy Faux; Or, The Gunpowder Treason An Historical Melo-Drama, In Three Acts, By George Macfarren, 1785-1843. 305

Remarks, Guy Faux. 306

1786-1843... 350

Guy Fawkes or The Gunpowder Plot -An Historical Drama In Three Acts, George McFarren. 350

Webb’s Toy Theatre Sheets. 352

1904, An Account of Gunpowder Plot/Guy Fawkes Related Drama... 371

Conclusion... 373

. 454

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