Irish Puppet Theatre History

World’s Fair, Dublin June 1894

On this day…

Costumes of Chester and Lee Marionette Troupe held by BMTG.An entry in the entertainment trade newspaper, The Era, dated 23rd June 1894, describes the arrival at Dublin’s World Fair of the marionette company, Chester and Lee’s Imperial French Marionettes: “Worlds Fair, Dublin. Chester and Lee’s Imperial French marionettes commenced their season’s engagement on Monday last and are drawing large crowds, the marionettes being well manipulated.”

This puppet troupe were originally part of one of Bullock’s Marionettes, acquired by H. Chester and Clarence Lee at Hampstead Heath in 1864. They were reconditioned by Chester and Lee and opened again at Cremorne Gardens, London in 1869. They visited Dublin at various points from 1876 to 1905, playing at The Rotundo’s Concert Rooms and The People’s Music Hall.

Further infomation on this puppet company can be found in John McCormick’s Victorian Marionettes and in the archives of the British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild:

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