Presentation on theme: "The King’s Theatre, magicians and spiritualism during the war. "Against war one might say that it makes the victor stupid and the vanquished malicious."— Presentation transcript:
The King’s Theatre, magicians and spiritualism during the war. "Against war one might say that it makes the victor stupid and the vanquished malicious. In its favour, that in producing these two effects it barbarises, and so makes the combatants more natural. For culture it is a sleep or a wintertime, and man emerges from it stronger for good and for evil." ― Friedrich Nietzsche, (Human, All Too Human)
The King’s Theatre during the war. Although King’s carried on their work and performances as normally as possible, the war still brought some changes. -All theatres in Portsmouth had to close at 9pm. -It was prohibited to stay on the streets after 10pm. -Some changes in performance schedules. -Leonard Holt, a British boy seaman who was trained aboard HMS Impregnable and HMS Ganges, from 1917 to 1918, remembers visiting the King’s Theatre and its musical comedies as one of the past part of the shore leaves in Portsmouth.
Things got even stricter... In the spring of 1918, government ordered that the theatres must close even earlier.
On 11 November 1918 Armistice was signed and usual opening times were restored in the theatre.
David Devant gives performances at the King’s. -David Devant (1868-1941) is considered the best stage illusionist of his time. -He was drawn into magic already at the age of 10, when he saw a travelling magician called Dr Holden. -In 1888 he was employed by the Egyptian Hall as a conjurer in his own right, a theatre in London which he had visited frequently and admired. -In 1905 a society ‘The Magic Circle’ was founded, when Devant, being one the founders and first president of the society, got into scandal of revealing magic tricks and thus resigned in 1910.
-In 1912, Devant was invited to appear at the very first Royal Command Performance, in July of 1912, for King George V and Queen Mary. -From 25 until 30 November 1918 Devant gave performances, ‘The Artists Dream’ at the King’s Theatre, in Portsmouth.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and spiritualism. -Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s interest in occult practises emerged in 1887 while living in Portsmouth. He had received his new degree and was officially a doctor. Portsmouth citizens from all classes admired Doyle’s skill and friendliness. However, being an acknowledged doctor was not enough for Doyle and his restless energy and enquiring mind made him want to look into something new. -On 26 January 1886 he joined Freemasons, the Phoenix Lodge which was located at 110 High Street in Portsmouth. -However, for some reason he was disappointed with freemasonry and turned to occultism and spiritualism instead. He started attending sittings and spiritualist sessions in Portsmouth.
The effect of the Great War. - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lost his brother, son and brother-in-law in the war. Like many others, he too, found a consolation in spiritualism. Spiritualism had become a common way of dealing with death. -He became interested in spirit photography and attended séances during which he was able to reach his son. -He wrote that ‘evidence of the presence of the dead appeared in my own household, and the relief afforded by posthumous messages taught me how great a solace it would be to a tortured world if it could share in the knowledge which had become clear to myself’. -After the war he became one of the most prominent speakers and public figures on spiritualism. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Psychic Bookshop with the manager R.G Monier Williams and the assistant Miss de Morgan in 1921 in London.