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Belly-speakers, machines and dummies': Puppetry in the Australian colonies, 1830 – 1850s

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Nicole Anae
The purpose of this article is to give some attention to the characteristics and performative styles of Australian colonial puppetry during the first fifty years of European settlement. Both formal and informal modes of puppetry will be examined - from self-assembled 'toy theatres' in around the 1830s, to grand exhibitions of mechanical automata in the 1840s, and roadside glove puppet shows and marionette theatre beginning in the 1850s. In particular, the examination argues that it is possible to track key developments in nineteenth-century colonial puppetry to twin factors: shifts in attitudes to entertainment motivated by mechanisation and commercialisation; and the rising popularity of ventriloquism, magicians and minstrel shows in the early Victorian era.

History

Volume

51

Start Page

36

End Page

56

Number of Pages

21

ISSN

0810-4123

Location

Melbourne

Publisher

Australasian Drama Studies

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

University of Southern Queensland;

Era Eligible

No

Journal

Australasian Drama Studies

Usage metrics

CQUniversity

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