Bannister’s Budget (early 19th century)

Started by Johnny Foreigner, November 23, 2021, 09:37:54 PM

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Johnny Foreigner

Perhaps this might be more of a topic for Shelf Abuse, but once upon a time, there was an actor called Jack Bannister (1760-1836), who toured the country with a wildly popular comedy show called Bannister's Budget some time around the year 1810, which was apparently replete with clever satirical impressions.

He may therefore have been an early stand-up comedian; I imagine he did some cracking impersonations of the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon, and delivered very edgy jokes about Spencer Perceval's assassination that inevitably divided the audience.

It seems some of his music is still extant:

https://tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Bannister's_Budget

My question is: does, perchance, the text of this performance, or part thereof, survive anywhere? And if so, where might it be found?

mjwilson

Quote from: Johnny Foreigner on November 23, 2021, 09:37:54 PMPerhaps this might be more of a topic for Shelf Abuse, but once upon a time, there was an actor called Jack Bannister (1760-1836), who toured the country with a wildly popular comedy show called Bannister's Budget some time around the year 1810, which was apparently replete with clever satirical impressions.

He may therefore have been an early stand-up comedian; I imagine he did some cracking impersonations of the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon, and delivered very edgy jokes about Spencer Perceval's assassination that inevitably divided the audience.

Still too soon


Johnny Foreigner

That's great, many thanks. There is nothing in Biographia Dramatica, which I take to imply he was not considered a 'proper' actor by the serious people who wrote about theatre.

I love the mention of Garrick and Macklin. What a joy that performance must have been.

There are specimens from page 179 to 189 of The Memoirs of John Bannister Comedian Vol. II. Followed by "Two Ways of Telling the Same Story". I'll just copy the first two pages with the link below:




Memoirs of John Bannister, comedian

Johnny Foreigner

Very pleased with these links.

- 'The Superannuated Sexton': brilliant snippet of comedy; there is a bit of everything in this - satire, black humour and sarcasm. A great sketch that would doubtless still be amusing if performed now.
- 'Two ways of telling the same story': all-right, I see what he was doing; this mainly seems to rely on stereotypes and their associated stereotypical speech. It probably would not work as well now-a-days, but it is an appealing story all the same, contrasting the pompous with the irreverent.