DK-Flag Erik Østergaard - Pantomimes / Pantomimer Go to Home Page

Theatrical History

Stage of The Pantomime Theatre

Dansk version
Bottom of This Page

Contents of page

Pantomimes and The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

Pantomime: Pantomime is a Greek word from pantómîmos meaning a play in which the performers express themselves by mute gestures, often to the accompaniment of music. · panto- a prefix meaning "all" from the Greek word pant-. · -mime a suffix meaning "imitator, mime" from the Greek word -mîmos. Do not confuse the Danish meaning of the word pantomime with Christmas pantomime, a form of theatrical spectacle common in England during the Christmas season, generally adapted from a fairy tale and including stock character types who perform songs and dances, tell jokes, etc.

When the doors of the Tivoli Gardens were first thrown open to the public in 1843, the Pantomime Theatre was situated as it is today, on the left of the main path as you come in through the Main Entrance. The first theatre was built of wood and canvas, as were all of the original buildings in the Tivoli Gardens. After various big maintenance jobs it was finally replaced in 1874 with the present Chinese Peacock Theatre.

During 1873/74 much thought was given to the question of how the theatre could be renovated and brought up to date in line with the safety requirements and technical advances of the day and without too much expense. The Tivoli Gardens management finally had to concede and agree with the experts they had called in. The theatre could not be saved. A new theatre would have to be built. Architect, professor Vilhelm Dahlerup was asked to submit a proposal with the estimated cost for the new theatre building, which was to become the Peacock Theatre.

Tivoli's Pantomime Theatre - The Peacock Theatre - was built in 1874. Its architect, Jens Vilhelm Dahlerup (Born / Født1836 - Died / Død1907) from Denmark, also created Copenhagen's impressive Royal Theatre together with his partner the Danish architect Ove Petersen (Born / Født1830 - Died / Død1892). The Royal Theatre was also inaugurated in 1874. Jens Vilhelm Dahlerup had never been in China, but used pictures from there of Chinese building work as inspiration borrowed from an engineer who had been stationed in the Orient. The Pantomime Theatre is the oldest existing building in the Tivoli Gardens. On the whole all is made of wood - the planks comes of the Danish fleet. The technical arrangement of the theatre was the manager of the theatre and Pierrot Niels Hendrik Volkersen (Born / Født1820 - Died / Død1893) in charge of. The Pantomime Theatre's ropes was done with help from the seamen of the naval review Holmen. Even today (1994) they still give a hand with the ropes.

Click to see a section of a coloured drawing showing the Pantomime Theatre seen from in front (65,168 bytes).

The Peacock Theatre is an open-air theatre. The performers have a roof over their heads but the public sits outside. The decoration is constantly at the mercy of the rather harsh Danish elements. A theatre such as the Peacock Theatre is therefore in need of constant maintenance. About 1950 the decoration of the Pantomime Theatre had been patched up and painted so often with whatever materials were to hand that very few of the original colours remained.

Tivoli's Pantomime Theatre is in the Chinese style. All the bright colours are in accordance with the symbolism of Chinese philosophy. The Danish architect Hans Hansen (Born / Født1899 - Died / Død1958) gave in 1948 - 1950 the building a colouristic renovation. His decoration is the one we see today (1999).

Architect Hans Hansen studied the Chinese colour problems from scratch so the colours could be adjusted to the Chinese style of the building. Chinese chromatology builds on the yang-and-yin principle, the male and the female, just as so many other things do. The sun is like this the male sex and because of this red, while the earth is woman and her colour is yellow. Red is also the colour of the joy, while black is destruction and the sorrow is white. In the architecture the same principles enter into it. Everything, which is square or has an even number of parts, shows the female principle, whereas the things that have an odd number of parts or are round represent the male principle. The masculine red colour is used for painting of the bearing units while the yellow and blue is feminine and they states these things which become supported, joists and girders, that is a very chivalrous way to divide the sexes tasks. And these principles are thorough the Pantomime Theatre as it can be seen: the red male colour is supporting the blue and yellow female colours. Traditional Chinese art and Chinese architecture use Chinese chromatology where the colours have a symbolic meaning. The red colour stands for strength and is apply to the bearing units whereas blue and green is weak and is use for the members of the building which become supported. Yellow has according to the tradition back to the days of the emperors been used for the roof. The Chinese works with the three primary colours red, yellow, and blue each in their own quite specific shade. From the three primary colours is formed the three complementary colours orange, green, and violet. In addition Hans Hansen has used white, black and gold which entirely by the rules can replace the yellow colour. Hans Hansen added also several Chinese characters to the decoration. At the brackets above and below the stage opening stands the Chinese characters for love, hate, fear, lust, anger, sorrow, joy, and jealousy. Hans Hansen tried to style the theatre according to the Chinese symbolism, but as he admitted himself, it was hard for an European to understand the symbolism completely so the colours are also arranged harmoniously to appeal to our (European) aesthetic sense. Finally there was a problem with the Chinese script above the proscenium. Its meaning had been forgotten long ago. The individual meaning of the characters is "with the people together happiness", but the origin of the characters and how they should be interpreted has often been speculated upon. Hans Hansen discovered that the characters come from the Chinese philosopher Meng-tse (Mencius), who was the tutor of the Prince of Liang, and it means: Good fortune only arrives when you share your happiness with the people.

The peacock curtain folds to each side like a fan, allowing the much-loved joke, that in Tivoli the curtain falls as it rises. Actually, it was Tivoli-director Bernhard Olsen (Born / Født1836 - Died / Død1922), who gave the architect Jens Vilhelm Dahlerup the idea for the stage-front peacock. In a suburban theatre in Paris, he had seen something similar - a fan, folding up, turning on its axis and disappearing into the floor. The peacock had been made according to this principle. There has been some doubt if the peacock curtain was working in the first time (but the curtain is there according to drawing in "Illustreret Tidende" of March 1874).

The Pantomime Theatre: Winch for the peacock curtain

Stage crew at the winch, which pulls the peacock curtain down or up - is shown in the picture to the left.

Five men are used to pull down and up the peacock curtain. Two stands in the scenes and control the painted canvas with the trains of long upper tail coverts at the first part and afterwards they pull it out to the side. Three stands in the basement and turns on the big crank handles, three and a half turn on the one and then continue turning on the other until the peacock is in position. Afterwards the men work on other tasks. There are 8 - 12 people working behind the scenes during a performance.

The rumour tells, that in the days of Volkersen, it took 13 men to get the peacock down and up! Volkersen's ability as a mime artist was undoubtedly greater than his ability as an engineer. The peacock was at first build entirely of wood and therefore very heavy. Later canvas was used for the tail. It is told that in the first time there was a curtain in front of the stage until the peacock was done.

At the Theatre's front there are also a lot of Chinese characters. According to the words from Chinese guests some of these Chinese characters at the side projections have been laterally reversed during the putting up and in that way express the reverse of the intentional well-meant and wise apophthegm. But the Chinese inscription above the stage opening is good enough. It is a quotation from the Chinese philosopher Mencius (about Born / Født380 - Died / Død289 B.C.) also called Mêng-tzû, Meng-tse. It goes: YU MIN CHIEH LO - it is literally "With the people together delighting", which is interpreted "The joy grows if we share it with each other". The quotation which had been subject for some discussion in connection with the correct translation have also later been translated with "Happiness Shared with the People" or "People delighting together" or "It gives one pleasure to enjoy others" or "It enjoys one to enjoy others" or "Enjoy yourself with the happy". In any case the apophthegm is derived from an expression by the Chinese wise man Mencius who was the first Chinese democrat. Directed to Prince Wan who had had the beautiful thought to share the beautiful garden he had been given by his subjects with the givers Mencius said these beautiful words "The happiness only come when you share your joys with the people". There are also scattered lucky signs all over the theatre among other places in the big round ornaments at the front. And at the lanterns is the sign for "a long life".

The Pantomime Theatre itself, with its gilded dragons, pagodas and Chinese lettering is a flight of pure architectonic fantasy without precedent in real life. More Chinese than any building in China. The golden dragon on its roof is said to guard against fire and to bring riches. This latter assertion is questionable - as the few seats available now in 1998 have free admission.

The Pantomime Theatre: Tickets from 1958

Tickets to the 1st performance of the Pantomime Theatre at Thursday September 4, 1958 with the show "Harlequin Fencing-master" from 1954 by Alf Henriques (Born / Født1906 - Died / Død1976).

The Pantomime Theatre: Tickets from 1958

Tickets to the 2nd performance of the Pantomime Theatre at Sunday August 10, 1958 with the show "Columbine and the Duck-tail" from 1958, which is rather more a ballet than a pantomime, by the Danish dramatist Kjeld Abell (Born / Født1901 - Died / Død1961).

The Pantomime Theatre: Ticket from 1959

Ticket to the 1st performance of the Pantomime Theatre at Sunday September 13, 1959 with the show "Harlequin Skeleton".

The Pantomime Theatre: Ticket from 1959

Ticket to the 2nd performance of the Pantomime Theatre at Sunday September 13, 1959 with the vaudeville-ballet show "A Newspaper Proposal" or "The Ballet School" freely adapted from idea of August Bournonville (Born / Født1805 - Died / Død1879) by Niels Bjørn Larsen (Born / Født1913 - ).

Formerly you bought tickets in order to be able to sit during the performances. The tickets were in different colours depending on they were to the first or second show of the evening. Until 1968 the sale took place from the office of the Tivoli Gardens. This arrangement was misused by the tourist agencies which bought up these tickets for the American tourists and eventually it was like this that should a Dane ever be able to see a pantomime performance seated the arrangement must be changed. A turnstile was then put up which opens about half an hour before a performance begins. In 1955 the price was 75 øre (0.75 DKK trans. note). In 1959 the price rose from 75 øre (0.75 DKK trans. note) to 1 krone (1.00 DKK trans. note). In 1971 the price was 1.50 kroner (1.50 DKK trans. note) and from 1973 2 kroner (2.00 DKK trans. note). Nowadays the seats have free admission for the guests of the Tivoli Gardens. However you shall be in good time if there is many people in the garden and you want to have a seat.

A small orchestra pit holding some 15 musicians is situated in front of the theatre, and all pantomimes, as well as the ballets also staged here, are performed to live music. The audience is out in the open. Seating capacity is 120 only, but more than a thousand standees may follow the performances. Those standing far away can hire "periscopes" by the Periscope-hire Service. Not being able to hear doesn't matter much in this enchanting open-air theatre, as there is no dialogue.

The Pantomime Theatre is almost stage all of it, because it shall look big seen from the outside. The width of the theatre is 17.58 m (57.68 English feet (ft.)) and the depth is 11.30 m (37.07 English feet (ft.)) with tower parts: 2.82 m (9.25 English feet (ft.)) in diameter. The width of the stage is 9 m (29.5 English feet (ft.)) and the depth is 9 m (29.5 English feet (ft.)) between side wings and the background. The height up to the borders is 5 m (16.4 English feet (ft.)). The fully height of the stage is 9 m (29.5 English feet (ft.)), the visible 6 m (19.7 English feet (ft.)). The stage floor is sloping by about 6%. Most other theatre's stage floors are only sloping half as much. Inclination of the floor is expressed by stating the vertical rise as a percentage of the horizontal distance. Last time the flooring was replaced, the first part of the floor nearest to the footlights was raised by 4 cm (1.6 inches (in.)). Contour line at the front edge of the stage: 650. Contour line at the rear edge of the stage: 703. Which gives a contour interval of: 53 cm (20.9 inches (in.)). There is 9.5 m (31.2 English feet (ft.)) between the two contour lines. This means, that over 9.5 m (31.2 English feet (ft.)) the stage floor has a height interval of 53 cm (20.9 inches (in.)). The exact gradient of the stage floor can be calculated in this way: ((0.53 / 9.5) * 100)% = +5.6% or analogous to +3.2°. The inclination of the floor of the stage is often compared with the gradient on the most steep part of Valby Bakke at Frederiksberg at Copenhagen about 75 m (246 English feet (ft.)) from Pile Alle and up Roskildevej in direction towards and as far as Frederiksberg Slot (Frederiksberg Castle) where the gradient on this stretch is about 6%. This thinks many cyclists is much!

The theatre itself is a so-called Baroque stage, operated by cords, pulleys, and worked by hand. The idea is that the backdrop can be painted to give the perspective which the side wings can enhance. It is still operated, as it was 125 years ago. The backdrop and wings are worked by manpower, 6 - 8 stagehands operating a system of rigging and pulleys allowing the scene to change in a matter of seconds. The stage's baroque stage machinery permits graceful changes of scene with the curtain up quite as European theatre in the 1600- and 1700-hundreds. The floor of the stage is sloping slightly in order to enhance perspective. The sloping stage also helps the audience to see better when action is taking place downstage. The floor of the Pantomime Theatre slopes over twice as much as the floors of most other theatres. So it makes ballet dancing difficult. A number of hatches in the floor are used to aid the magic and trickery of the pantomimes.

The Pantomime Theatre does not have a stage tower. The back curtains are higher than the ceiling and therefore folded in three parts before they are hoisted up on to the rigging loft - so they shoot down like lightning. A curtain is about 6 m (19.7 English feet (ft.)) height. When a curtain is raised right up to the ceiling it only takes up 2 m (6.6 English feet (ft.)). Scene changes can be done quickly as each backdrop has a cross bar with a rope, as do the side wings. In total there are 31 ropes. Today the ropes need 4 men to operate them: one controls the backdrop, one the covering of the roof and 2 men "the trucks" at the side. It means bad luck to whistle on the stage of the Pantomime Theatre. In the old days all theatres all over the world used sailors from the fleet as stagehands because they were cheap manpower during the winter when the ships did not sail. In order to control when the ropes and curtains should go up and down on the theatre, then simply a boatswain's whistle was used. Because of that it was not allowed to whistle on a stage, otherwise you risked suddenly getting something down on your ears. And that tradition lives on. In the floor are trapdoors allowing fire from a flambol, change of costumes, trolls, and other effects to appear and disappear.

The Pantomime Theatre: Flambol

Flambol - is shown in the picture to the left.

A flambol is an apparatus, which is used to make a fire from a flambol with on a stage of a theatre. It consists of a bent metal tube with a mouthpiece in the one end. In the other upturned end finishes with a sort of funnel with a spirit burner in the middle plus a holder for the spores from dried common club moss (Lycopódium Clavátum), which with the mouth of a stagehand are blown past the spirit flame and are ignited as a big short-lived column of fire. The spores are also called "lycopodium" and were formerly used to sprinkle between pills in order to prevent them from sticking together. The spores are also used in the art of fireworks and at artificial lightning at the stages of theatres. It blazes up very rapidly when set on fire. The plant grows especially on heaths but can be found on soil consisting of sour humus in woods too. The plant absorbs a great deal of aluminium from the soil where they grow. People have formerly made use of the plant's richness of aluminium for a practical purpose - as a stain fluid by colouring of wool. The species is spread all over the Scandinavian peninsula except for the northernmost areas and is found in Iceland and in the southern parts of Greenland too. In Denmark the plant is very common at the moors of Jutland and on Bornholm. It is found more rarely at the islands: Funen and Zealand. Common club moss is a dull green perennial evergreen large coarsely moss like plant with several metres long creeping shoot and erect 5 - 20 cm (2 - 7.9 inches (in.)) high branches with long-stemmed most often in pairs sessile brightly greenish yellow ear of corn like sporophyll stands.

The Pantomime Theatre's costume service lives at the tailor's workshop where new spangles are being sewed on to Harlequin's costume when they get off during wash. Harlequin's characteristic costume was originally an expression of poverty and provided with patches, which late become richly coloured rectangles. At that time Harlequin was performed in England it should be fine. Harlequin was spangled. One of the stories goes that Harlequin in the course of time became popular with the audience who for that reason threw coins up to him. In order to avoid that the other players took his coins he sewed them onto the clothes. It became later to sequins. Pierrot was originally a Mill Journeyman in Greece and from there Pierrot's characteristic hat come from, which simply is a sack for meal he took on his head in order to play for the children down there. The fishing lines are replaced in the change of costumes, which become pulled off and down in a hole in the floor in a jiffy. Until a few years ago (1990) catgut was used, smeared with ox tallow, for those costumes, and they smell awfully. The dancers white dresses are being starch, as they always have been, in rice starch and borax, wind in towels, dried for a short moment in a tumble dryer (even though it is a break of the tradition, as to which they earlier were wind in towels and you wait for them to be right dry) and afterwards ironed completely dry with an old-fashioned iron, which once in a while is rubbed with a stearin candle wind in fabric. Then the starch does not stuck. At the Pantomime Theatre it is not necessary to take into consideration that microphones shall be put on the actors, that is why the old ways of workmanship still can be used even though the clothes then can rustle. By the way the costumes are repaired from within so they can stand up to be looking as worn out as they have to. Some times is for instance old pieces of lace sawn on to a new coat as it is told that a lot of talent lie hidden in the old clothes. "When nothing is written down, the formula for rice starch has been handed down by word of mouth from the one generation to the next", says costume designer Anne-Birgitte Lang (who in 1981 start working for the Pantomime Theatre's costume service) in a TV interview in 1994.

At the Pantomime Theatre some stories go, as for example it is told that Anne Kjerrumgaard (dancer) still lives on and appears in the shape of a bluebottle and especially shows herself when the feelings ran high in order to look after the Pantomime Theatre, and that she after midnight now and then walks through the basement. Anne Kjerrumgaard, who has been taught by Miss Caroline Pettoletti whose mother was born as a Casorti, was especially good at remembering how all had been in the 1880's and in what she called The Great Period. Therefore ballet master Paul Huld (Born / Født1885 - Died / Død1969) could be able to write down the plot of the Pantomimes in the accurate form of the Casorti when the tradition earlier only had been handed down by word of mouth from the old to the young ones. Anne Kjerrumgaard died 1939 after having served the Pantomime Theatre in more than 50 years, 35 years of them as Columbine (1882 - 1917). At the Pantomime Theatre at the top of the tower in the ladies' side (the tower to the right seen from in front towards restaurant "Grøften" ("The Ditch")) was the at that place situated dressing room reserved Oda Huld. The dressing room stands still after the dead of ballet director Oda Huld (Born / Født1896 - Died / Død1985) unused and stands untouched when seen apart from 2 rails which is put up in order to carry costumes which nowadays (1999) is stored in the room. Even today (1999) is still shown respect for the late Oda Huld's memory by letting her former dressing room stay untouched.

On this charmingly old-fashioned stage, touching yet wordless, dramas are played out twice a day. The plot of every pantomime is Harlequin's struggle to gain Columbine's hand in marriage, an event her father, Cassander, cannot allow taking place. It is Pierrot's task, as Cassander's servant, to prevent the lovers from seeing each other. Pierrot inevitably fails, with lots of comedy effects as the consequence.

Pierrot is the only Commedia dell'Arte character to adhere to a firmly fixed pattern of behaviour. Cassandre, the old sourpuss burgher, has a beautiful daughter, Columbine, and a foolish but good-hearted servant, Pierrot. Pierrot is in love with Columbine, who would much rather give her heart to handsome Harlequin. The old sourpuss and Pierrot invariably suffer defeat after many pranks, leaving the youngsters to enjoy their romance.

The performances often ends with, that the Fairy Queen is standing and blessing Harlequin and Columbine's love from her heavenly temple where the pink Bengal light (strongly coloured firework light) flicker so unreal. From 2002 the Bengal light has been changed to reddish flickering electrical light.

A classic plot like this has endless possibilities for variation. The pantomime as art form has existed in Tivoli since 1844. In Denmark pantomime has been around since 1800, when the first families of mime artists settled in Copenhagen. Several of the barely 20 pantomimes currently in repertoire at the Pantomime Theatre are 200 years old or more.

The mime-troupes consist formerly of artists, acrobats, and pyrotechnists. The attendance in the troupes of the last-mentioned group gives an explanation for the reason for why so many pyrotechnics effects are used in the performances.

In 1919 ballet master Paul Huld (Born / Født1885 - Died / Død1969) cut down all the old pantomimes at about half an hour of playing time because of failing interest by the audience and the light restrictions of that time after World War I (1914 - 1919). At the same time the music was rewritten. The playing time of a pantomime performance is nowadays (1998) still about half an hour. From the season 2001 the Pantomime Theatre has begun methodical to examine, restore, and re-stage all of the pantomime performances, their mimic language, their music, and the pantomime plays' stories so they become more logical and continuous. The playing time are still kept on about half an hour. Furthermore the subordinate and character parts are in some extent adapted from one season to the next among other things the number of the season's available performers is taken into consideration.

As the characters the music is got from many places too. Here are music of the Austrian composer, violinist, and conductor Johann Strauss, Senior (Born / FødtMarch 14, 1804 - Died / DødSeptember 25, 1849), the Austrian composer, violinist, and conductor Johann Strauss, Junior (Born / FødtOctober 25, 1825 - Died / DødJune 3, 1899), the widely regarded greatest composer who ever lived Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Born / FødtSalzburg, Austria, January 27, 1756 - Died / DødDecember 5, 1791) and the composer of Faust, one of the most popular operas in the repertoire, Charles Francois Gounod (Born / FødtParis, France, June 17, 1818 - Died / DødOctober 18, 1893) - and obviously plenty of music of the idolised Danish conductor and composer of genius Hans Christian Lumbye (Born / FødtMay 2, 1810 - Died / DødMarch 20, 1874), house composer of The Tivoli Gardens. The music has been chosen so it in the best possible way supports the story and the movements in the individual pantomime play.

The Tivoli pantomimes mix ballet, acrobatics and slapstick in an entertaining cocktail. The Tivoli pantomimes are unique. Nowhere else in the world will you find this kind of theatre which descends from Italian Commedia dell'Arte.

The masque is rooted in the Commedia dell'Arte, the 16th century Italian Renaissance farce. This style of performance has roamed far and wide, en route loosing its voice entirely to rely instead on mime alone, thus avoiding trouble with censors weary of satire.

Today, only Pierrot may exercise his vocal chords. This happens only after the final curtain when the audience clamours for Pierrot to Speak Up! And Pierrot, the White Clown, steps forward and asks if everybody has been having fun. The story goes that Pierrot found his voice for the very first time when one of the female performers was dancing too close to the burning oil footlights. The audience gasped as her skirt caught fire. The curtain was instantly lowered but people wanted to know what was happening backstage. "Speak up, Pierrot", they all yelled, so the clown had to appear with an explanation. It is said that he on that occasion should have said "that it only was the girl's burning love for him which had burst into flames". There have been no such mishaps since, but the children especially remain adamant in their demanding to hear Pierrot's voice and they still shout: "Speak Up, Pierrot!".

The pantomime performances have free admission for Tivoli Garden's patrons.

Prior's Model Theatres: The part Harlequin and Columbine

Prior's Model Theatres, Copenhagen

Prior's Model Theatres: The part Harlequin and Columbine from 1994 - is shown in the picture to the left.

As a curiosity can be mentioned that in 1969 that in set designer circles world-famous Priors Dukketeatre, København (Prior's Model Theatres, Copenhagen) had publish a part with "H A R L E K I N  O G  C O L U M B I N E  Komedie for Pantomime-Teatret i Tivoli (H A R L E Q U I N  A N D  C O L U M B I N E  A comedy for the Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens)" which is a Danish written play for performance on a model theatre. The play's text and scenario is based on the same plot as in the performances on the Pantomime Theatre.

In 1994 Priors Dukketeatre, København (Prior's Model Theatres, Copenhagen) published a part with "Harlekin og Columbine Dukketeaterkomedie i 4 akter. Nybearbejdet for dukketeater af Hanne Nelander (Harlequin and Columbine A Model Theatre comedy in 4 acts. Re-adapted for Model Theatre by Hanne Nelander)". It is based on the above-mentioned play from 1969, which has been re-written to a more modern style.

In 1993 Priors Dukketeatre, København (Prior's Model Theatres, Copenhagen) and Tivoli Museet (Tivoli Museum) published a reprint of an old cutout sheet of paper "Pantomimefigurer (Pantomime Figures)" from the series "Danske Billeder Nr. 74 (Danish Pictures No 74)" by Alfred Jacobsens Forlag, Kjöbenhavn (Alfred Jacobsen's Publishing Firm, Copenhagen).

Prior's Model Theatres: no 8d The Pantomime Theatre

Prior's Model Theatres: Model Theatre no 8d The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens - is shown in the picture to the left.

Priors Dukketeatre, København (Prior's Model Theatres, Copenhagen) and the printing office Ballermann & Søn ApS (Ballermann & Son), Bouet Møllevej 15, Nørresundby in Jutland, Denmark have publish a model theatre (no 8d) consisting of 3 sheets of paper with a model of The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens together with a four pages building instruction. The width of the model theatre is 40.8 cm (16.1 inches (in.)) and the height is 31.5 cm (12.4 inches (in.)).

Priors Dukketeatre, København (Prior's Model Theatres, Copenhagen), Denmark is founded in 1859 by Court bookseller Vilhelm Prior who at his moving in at the house in Købmagergade started to publish different plays for model (toy) theatres. His daughters Estrid and Anna Prior who were trained as booksellers in Oxford, Grenoble, and Lübeck continued with the model theatres. When Miss Estrid Prior retired to her own books Egon Petersen took over the business with the model theatres and cutout sheets of paper. After his dead it was his close woman friend and model theatre player solicitor's secretary Hanne Nelander who took over the entirely special and closely packed miniature theatre setting in 1985. Priors Dukketeatre (Prior's Model Theatres) continue under Hanne Nelander with both to run the shop and the museum from the same address in Købmagergade 52 until the end of 1999. From year 2000 the museum part is run by Priors Dukketeatermuseum (Prior's Model Theatres Museum) and the shop is continued by Priors Dukketeatre (Prior's Model Theatres). The about 89 old model theatres, the about 660 parts for different plays and the cutout sheets of paper with castles and cutout dolls can now from 2000 be seen at Priors Dukketeatermuseum (Prior's Model Theatres Museum) at Folketeatret (The People's Theatre) in Nørregade 39 in Copenhagen. Hanne Nelander has today (2000) a little shop Priors Dukketeatre (Prior's Model Theatres) in Ole Suhrs Gade 13, Copenhagen from where she continues to sell off cutout sheets of paper and theatres. Hanne Nelander lives today (2000) privately at Lolland, Denmark.



- in zoology, mythology & symbolism, astronomy, botany, etcetera

"Peacock" forms part of many connections within zoology, mythology & symbolism, astronomy, botany, etcetera. As regards the name connection with the common (Indian) peacock often are due to resemblance with its bright greenish blue colour, its fan-shaped displayed train, or its eye-like markings on the train. Here follows a small selection beginning with the bird itself:


Zoology: Peacock (peafowl) noun: bird with brilliantly coloured fan-shaped tail; feminine peahen; chicken peachick, young peacock.

Common Peacock with its train fully displayed (fanned)

Peacock or Peafowl is the common name for three members of the pheasant family. Although these birds are more commonly called peacocks, that name is properly applied only to males; females are called peahens. Two species are Asian: the common or Indian peafowl from India, and the green peafowl from Further India (Indo China) and Java. The third species, the Congo peafowl, is known only from the forests of Zaire. The Asian peacocks are noted for their resplendent trains of long upper tail coverts, which conceal their relatively short tails, and are raised and spread in strutting displays. The peacock's trains are fully displayed (fanned) during courtship of the peahen. The feathers are generally iridescent green and gold on a chestnut background, and are ornamented with eye-like markings of a rich colour, known as peacock blue. The same blue also appears on the head, neck, breast, and crest of the common peacock; in the green peacock the head, neck, and underparts are green. The common peacocks are about 2 to 2.3 metres (6.5 to 7.5 feet) long from their heads to the end of their trains. Peahens have no trains and are less colourful than the males. Peahens are brown with a small tail. Peafowl are found in dry open forests, usually in small groups consisting of one male and several females. The male bird forms a breeding group of one to five hens, and each hen lays four to eight whitish eggs. Peafowl build their nests on the ground or in the low branches of trees. When going to roost in tall trees, they bugle or call loudly. Peafowl rarely fly; rather, they run from danger. In the wild, the birds subsist on an omnivorous diet of worms, insects, small snakes, and seeds. Peafowl obtain most of their food by scratching the leaf litter with their strong feet.

The common peafowl has been domesticated in many parts of the world (frequently kept as a ornamental bird), and there are feral populations in the Hawaiian Islands. Selective breeding has produced a white variety.

White Peacocks, the one with its train fully displayed (fanned)

The Congo peafowl is the only true pheasant found in Africa. It was first discovered as a feather in a hat in 1913, but the first whole birds, two old taxidermy mounts that had been misidentified as immature common peafowl, were found in 1936 in Belgium. It is known only from parts of central and eastern Zaïre, where it is protected by law. It is smaller and less ornate than the Asian species. The feathers are in dark colours.

Sound Click the button in order to listen to the Peacock (1.01 MB (1,065,856 bytes)).

Scientific classification: Peacocks belong to the family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes. The common, or Indian, peafowl is classified as Pavo cristatus; the green peafowl as Pavo muticus; and the Congo peafowl as Afropavo congensis.

Mythology & Symbolism

Greek mythology: To the ancient Greeks the peacock was known as Hera's favourite bird. According to a well-known myth, the strange eyelike markings of the plumes were the hundred eyes of the giant Argus, set - when he was killed by Hermes, a god, son of Zeus and Maia - on the peacock's tail feathers by Hera, the goddess of women and marriage, sister-consort of Zeus, mother of Hephaestus, Hebe, and Ares.

In the Christian church art the peacock symbolizes immortality; the fanned trains symbolize the heaven; the peacock can even symbolize the haughtiness, one of the seven deadly sins.

Artistic subject

The peacock is also often used as artistic subject on among other things the drop curtain of The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, dishes, figures (which serves ornamental purposes only), fans, and postage stamps.

The drop curtain of The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen with peacock subject (detailed) The drop curtain of The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen with peacock subject (detail) The drop curtain of The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen with peacock subject (detail)
The drop curtain of The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen with peacock subject (detailed) The drop curtain of The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen with peacock subject (detail) The drop curtain of The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen with peacock subject (detail)


Dish with peacock subject Little figure with peacock subject and clip which serves ornamental purposes only Fan with peacock subject
Dish with peacock subject (diameter: 36.4 cm (14.3 inches (in.))) Little figure with peacock subject and clip which serves ornamental purposes only (height: 6 cm (2.4 inches (in.)), length: 21 cm (8.3 inches (in.))) Fan with peacock subject (height including handle: 34 cm (13.4 inches (in.)), width: 33 cm (13 inches (in.)), height of handle: 14 cm (5.5 inches (in.)))


Postage stamp from Bhutan - SG 1728b (2002) - with peacock subject Postage stamp from Ceylon - SG 488 (1964) - with peacock subject Postage stamp from India - SG 703 (1973) - with peacock subject Postage stamp from Pakistan - SG 411 (1976) - with peacock subject
Flag: Bhutan Flag: Ceylon Flag: India Flag: Pakistan
Postage stamp from Bhutan - SG 1728b (2002) - with peacock subject Postage stamp from Ceylon - SG 488 (1964) - with peacock subject Postage stamp from India - SG 703 (1973) - with peacock subject Postage stamp from Pakistan - SG 411 (1976) - with peacock subject


Astronomy: The Peacock: Pavo; Abbreviation: Pav; constellation at the southerly celestial globe.

Pavo the Peacock is one of the 12 constellations introduced into the southern skies at the end of the 16th century by the Dutch navigators Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman. Pavo probably represents not the common blue, or Indian, peacock commonly seen in parks but its larger, more colourful, and more aggressive cousin, the Java green peacock which Keyser and de Houtman would have encountered in the East Indies. Pavo was first depicted in 1598 on a globe by Petrus Plancius.

Astronomy: The Peacock: Pavo; constellation (drawing)
Astronomy: The Peacock: Pavo; constellation (drawing)
Pavo flourishes a truncated tail in the Uranometria of Johann Bayer published in 1603.

German astronomer Johann Bayer included this constellation - Pavo - in 1603 as published in his hugely influential catalogue, Uranometria where he included a total of 12 new southern asterisms. Asterisms are informal yet distinctive groupings of stars. Pavo can be found between the constellations of Telescopium, the telescope, and Octans, the octant.

Astronomy: The Peacock: Pavo; constellation (drawing)
Astronomy: The Peacock: Pavo; constellation (drawing)

Pavo the Peacock is a large constellation lying south of Sagittarius and the Southern Crown, showing the tail of the peacock in full display. Although in mythology the Peacock dates back to ancient times, as a constellation it is actually fairly new, having been introduced by Johann Bayer. Bayer placed the Peacock near the stars of the South Celestial Pole.

In China the constellation was Joo Tseo, their translation of our word for peacock.

The main stars in Pavo





Decl 1950







265 12 18

-64 42 10

-41 18 08






270 56 29

-63 40 24

-40 13 46






274 39 18

-61 31 10

-38 07 09






279 18 03

-71 28 28

-48 10 16






282 57 05

-67 17 57

-44 09 52






281 53 51

-62 14 52

-39 05 43






298 42 41

-73 02 44

-50 52 40






300 57 36

-66 18 44

-44 40 25






310 07 09

-66 23 05

-45 56 57



Peacock alpha



305 25 33

-56 53 50

-36 15 38






320 35 02

-65 35 39

-46 58 34



Note: Rest your mouse pointer in the table on the desired
'column heading' and read the text in the appearing
"Screen Tip Box" for an explanation in greater detail
of the used abbreviation or read the status line.


Fixed star: PEACOCK:

Longitude 1900:
Declination (Decl) 1900:
Longitude 2000:
Declination (Decl) 2000:
Right ascension (R A):
Latitude (Lat):
Magnitude (Mag):
Spectral class (Sp):
Suggested orb:
1 degree approximately.
Alpha Pavo.

The Peacock star is in the starry tail of the constellation Pavo, the Peacock. The constellation's brightest star, second-magnitude Alpha Pavonis, is called Peacock, which takes its name from the entire southern constellation. Many star names directly reflect their constellations, and clearly so does this one. While Peacock is actually a blue star, it looks reddish because of high atmospheric absorption. The bright star Peacock shines at mid-second magnitude (1.94), but is hardly known in the north as it is not visible much north of 32 degrees north latitude.

Astronomy: The Peacock: Pavo; constellation
Astronomy: The Peacock: Pavo; constellation

Pavo borders on Apus, Telescopium, Indus and Octans.


The astrological influence of the constellation The Peacock (Pavo): Close to the helio planetary South Node of Saturn; 22CAP47 in 1900 - 23CAP38 in 2000, which might give a Saturnian influence. Pavo is said to give vanity and love of display, together with a long life and sometimes fame.


Botany: Peacock flower: Poinciana (especially Royal poinciana); a showy leguminous tree, Delonix regia, of Madagascar, having racemes of brilliant scarlet or orange flowers and bearing a flat, woody pod which often grows to a length of 60 cm (2 English feet (ft.)).

The Royal Poinciana is, like other members of the genus Delonix, native to Madagascar, where it is found in the West Malagasy forest. It is sometimes known as the Peacock Flower or the Flame of the Forest or Flame Tree, but since this last name is also used for a number of other unrelated trees, its use is not recommended. In the wild it is endangered, but it is widely cultivated elsewhere. In addition to its ornamental value, it is also a useful shade tree in tropical conditions, because it usually grows to a modest height - typically around 5 metres (16 English feet (ft.)), though it can reach as high as 12 metres (39 English feet (ft.)) - but spreads widely (almost double its height), and its dense foliage provides full shade. In countries with a marked dry season, it sheds its leaves during the drought, but in other areas it is virtually evergreen. The crown of the tree becomes covered with a blanket of red and orange flowers during the dry season in the tropical areas and in summer time in temperate zones.

Botany: Royal Poinciana (Peacock Flower) Botany: Royal Poinciana (Peacock Flower)
Botany: Royal Poinciana (Peacock Flower) Botany: Royal Poinciana (Peacock Flower)

The flowers of the Royal Poinciana are large, with four spreading scarlet or orange-red petals up to 8 cm (3 inches (in.)) long and a fifth upright petal called the standard (vexillum), which is slightly larger and spotted with yellow and white. The naturally occurring variety "flavida" has yellow flowers. Seed pods are dark brown and can be up to 60 cm (2 English feet (ft.)) long and 5 cm (2 inches (in.)) wide; the individual seeds, however, are small, weighing around 0.4 grams on average. The compound leaves have a feathery appearance and are a characteristic light, bright green. They are doubly pinnate: Each leaf is 30-50 cm (1-1.6 English feet (ft.)) long and has 20 to 40 pairs of primary leaflets or pinnate on it and each of these is further divided into 10-20 pairs of secondary leaflets or pinnules.

Botany: Royal Poinciana (Peacock Flower) - flower (detailed) Botany: Royal Poinciana (Peacock Flower) - flower (detail) Botany: Royal Poinciana (Peacock Flower) - flower (detail)
Botany: Royal Poinciana (Peacock Flower) - flower (detailed) Botany: Royal Poinciana (Peacock Flower) - flower (detail) Botany: Royal Poinciana (Peacock Flower) - flower (detail)

The Royal Poinciana requires tropical or near-tropical conditions, and in the United States is found only in Florida and Hawaii. However it can tolerate drought, and also salty conditions; it is very widely grown in the Caribbean. It is regarded as naturalized in many of the locations where it is grown, and is seen as an invasive species in Australia, partly because its dense shade and root system prevent the growth of other species under it. This species is also found in India and is referred to as the "Gulmohar".

Mineralogy & mining

Bornite (Peacock Ore): Bornite is a sulfide mineral with chemical composition Cu5FeS4 (copper iron sulfide) that crystallizes in the cubic crystal system. It has a brown to copper-red colour on fresh surfaces that tarnishes to an iridescent purple surface. Its purple to bronze iridescence gives it the nickname peacock ore so called due to the iridescent array of colours, similar to those on a peacock's tail, seen on an oxidized surface. This oxidized layer, or tarnish, forms on bornite when exposed to air. The tarnish consists of various copper oxides and hydroxides that form a layer a few atoms thick, over the fresh surface. The layer's thickness corresponds roughly to the wavelength of light and it is due to this property that the iridescence is seen. In bornite's case the tarnish is a purplish, violet or blue colour.

Mineralogy & mining: Bornite (Peacock Ore)
Mineralogy & mining: Bornite (Peacock Ore)

Bornite is an important copper ore mineral and occurs widely in porphyry copper deposits along with the more common chalcopyrite. Bornite is also found in pegmatites. Bornite is important for its copper content of about 63 percent by mass.

Bornite is isometric, has a hardness of 3, a specific gravity of 5.7, a streak of gray-black, poor cleavage, and is used in industrial copper ores. Habitus (description): Crystals rare. Often as compact grainy masses.

Bornite is used in the mineral trade (shops) as a curiosity and children's favourite "peacock ore".

Bornite is known since 1725, but not given its current name until 1845 when it was named for Ignaz von Born (Born / Født1742 - Died / Død1791), Austrian mineralogist and metallurgist.


Colour: Peacock blue, a lustrous greenish blue colour, as of certain peacock feathers. Synonyms: greenish blue, aqua, aquamarine, turquoise, cobalt blue.


Periscope: The periscope is a Greek word. · peri- a prefix meaning "about", "around", "beyond", appearing in loan words from Greek. · -scope a learned borrowing from Greek used, with the meaning "instrument for viewing". The periscope is an optical instrument designed for observation from a concealed position such as from a submerged submarine. In its basic form it consists of a tube with parallel mirrors at each end, inclined at 45° to its axis. The top mirror reflects the scene at the tube top; the observer views the scene from the bottom mirror. The periscope attained prominence in naval and military operations of World War I (1914 - 1919).

Although most often thought of as a submarine observation device, periscopes were widely used in the trenches during World War I (1914 - 1919) to allow observation without exposing the observer, and special versions were also developed to be attached to rifles.

Far more complex periscopes are in use in submarines and tanks, and to achieve remote viewing in inaccessible areas such as nuclear reactors, rocket engines or - as miniature instruments - inside the human body (endoscopeWhat). When utilized in submarines, they are mounted to rotate for making observations all around the horizon possible. Light enters the standard complex periscope through a top prism that shifts its direction downward. Reflected through several lenses, it reaches a bottom prism that restores the rays to the horizontal and thence into an eye lens. In remote viewing, bundles of glass fibre relay images, often along curved paths (fibre optics).


Periscope-hire Service

Sketch of the rays principle course in a periscope with mirrors - model Zanger (Tivoli Gardens) - is shown in the picture to the left.

Kaj Engmann Larsen has for 25 years in 1983 hired out periscopes by The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen.

You can still buy something for 50 øre - in 1983.

When the crowd in front of The Pantomime Theatre is big, and it can be hard to catch sight of the dancers through the crowd of people, you can get help from an oblong black device with a pair of mirrors secured to a stick. It looks mysterious, but the device is a periscope. It works fine, and then you can hire it for the princely sum of 50 øre (0.50 DKK trans. note).

"Yes, it is in fact the most cheaply, you can buy in the Tivoli Gardens", says Kaj Engmann Larsen, 80 years, who throughout 25 years faithfully has run the Periscope-hire Service in the garden.

The periscopes comes from 1929, and they are all produced by plumber Zanger of Islands Brygge.

"Zanger was a little man, and it riled him only to be able to see the backs of the peoples heads crowded in front of him", tells Kaj Engmann Larsen. "Then he went home and made a periscope, went up to the then general managers of that time of the Tivoli Gardens and asked, if it was something for them. They said yes, thank you. Zanger went home and made more periscopes, and then he started his hire service".

Kaj Engmann Larsen knew Zanger and gave now and then a hand with the eventually 200 periscopes. And when Zanger died in 1958, Kaj Engmann Larsen took over the business.

It is not any gold mine, but Kaj Engmann Larsen and his assistant Helge Andersen do not do it for the sake of the money. "It is a hobby for us. We have an agreement with the Tivoli Gardens about keeping the price of 50 øre (0.50 DKK trans. note) and to be here two and a half hour every evening. I would not do without my job in the Tivoli Gardens and the advantages, which is part of the job.

I meet with many adventures every day instead of sitting at home and loll about in a rocking chair", says Kaj Engmann Larsen, who did not retire until two years ago.

That the price of 50 øre (0.50 DKK trans. note) is almost prehistoric low, can be seen from the fact, that many of the customers not at all care to wait for the change, when they pay with one krone (1.00 DKK trans. note). Others went past, because they think, it says 50 kr. (50.00 DKK trans. note), and the other day there were a gentleman, who in passing gave the two hire service men six kroner (6.00 DKK trans. note), because he thought, the business went so bad that evening.

The Periscope-hire Service ever since.

Helge Andersen (Born / FødtDecember 26, 1933 - Died / DødDecember 12, 2011) tells now in 1998 that after the death of plumber Zanger in 1958 his widow carries on the Periscope-hire Service in the seasons 1959 and 1960 of the Tivoli Gardens by approval from the Tivoli Gardens. Kaj Engmann Larsen (Born / Født1903 - Died / Død1989) did not give a hand in these two years according to the widow's wish due to disagreements over the day-to-day business. The season 1959 of the Tivoli Gardens went reasonably well for the Periscope-hire Service as the widow had taken on some fairly steady assistants. The season 1960 of the Tivoli Gardens was not satisfactory for the Periscope-hire Service, as this year's assistants did not attend to their work properly. Among other things they left a schoolboy in charge of the hiring out. The Periscopes was not maintained either in these 2 years. As a result of this the Tivoli Gardens revoked the agreement with the widow, who then did not have an other possibility than to contact Kaj Engmann Larsen in order to hear if he was interested in buying the business. Kaj Engmann Larsen found by survey that a large number of the mirrors of the periscopes were defect. Subsequently the purchase price was negotiated from the state of the periscopes together with the expression of the Tivoli Gardens that they wanted that Kaj Engmann Larsen took over the business. Then Kaj Engmann Larsen bought and took over the business from the widow on his conditions at the turn of the year 1960/61 (the season 1961 of the Tivoli Gardens) as the deceased plumber Zanger (Born / Født? - Died / Død1958) had wished before his death. The purchase price was paid in several monthly instalments to the widow in spite of that Kaj Engmann Larsen was able to pay cash. "So it is not quite historical accurate, as Kaj Engmann Larsen says above, that he took over the business from 1958", says Helge Andersen.

Kaj Engmann Larsen was, when he retired with a pension delivery man of the Danish company Galle og Jessen A/S (Galle and Jessen Ltd.) which manufactured chocolates and liquorice. Previously he among other things also has been a taxi driver and had had many other sorts of jobs.

Helge Andersen is trained as a compositor (hand compositor). He was apprenticed in the autumn of 1948 with a small printing house on Nørrebro, Copenhagen where he lived and was born and grew up. The apprenticeship was on five years. As skilled he stayed in the same firm for additionally three years from 1953 to 1956. From the autumn of 1956 he had in some periods a job with the Danish company Gutenberghus A/S (Gutenberghus Ltd.) which manufactures weekly magazines and other similar things where he started working on the KTAS (Københavns Telefon A/S) (Copenhagen Telephone Company, Ltd.) classified telephone directory. The work was done in two shifts with about 20 men at each shift over a 5 weeks period. After about 1-week respite he again had a period of about 14 days where he too was working with the correction in the proofs on the classified telephone directory. From the beginning of 1957 and until he was given his notice in 1991 he was permanently employed by Gutenberghus A/S (Gutenberghus Ltd.). Gutenberghus A/S (Gutenberghus Ltd.) is now (1998) called the Egmont Publishing Service, which is a part of the Egmont Group. In this period he was still working on the KTAS (Københavns Telefon A/S) (Copenhagen Telephone Company, Ltd.) classified telephone directory and telephone directory and some other smaller regional phone books. Later he came in the "make-up department" where he worked on the weekly magazine "Alt for Damerne (All for the Ladies)" and other publications. Up to his retirement he continued to be at the "make-up department". He is now retired.

Helge Andersen began to lend a hand to the Periscope-hire Service in the entire season 1961 of the Tivoli Gardens and became official "assistant" from the season 1962.

When Kaj Engmann Larsen died at Christmas in 1989, the Tivoli Gardens bought "the apparatuses", as the periscopes are named, from the estate, and Helge Andersen took over the very Periscope-hire Service business from the Tivoli season 1990.

Periscope-hire Service: Sign

Sign from the Periscope-hire Service with legend "Pantomimen kan alle se! Periskop udlejes - 25 øre (The Pantomime can all see! Periscope let out on hire - 25 øre (0.25 DKK trans. note))"; the width of the sign is 126.5 cm (49.8 inches (in.)) and the height is 75 cm (29.5 inches (in.)) - is shown in the picture to the left.

Helge Andersen informs that when he began to visit the Tivoli Gardens regularly about 1951/1952 it cost 25 øre (0.25 DKK trans. note) to hire a periscope. Later on the price is first risen to 35 øre (0.35 DKK trans. note) and afterwards to 45 øre (0.45 DKK trans. note), after which the price in 1983 was 50 øre (0.50 DKK trans. note) as mentioned above. In 1985 the price was risen to 1 krone (1.00 DKK trans. note). In 1990 and 1991 the price was 2 kroner (2.00 DKK trans. note). From 1992 the price is set to 3 kroner (3.00 DKK trans. note). In the latter half of the season 2005 the price was risen to 5 kroner (5.00 DKK trans. note) and it is still the current price.

"In the 1930th the Periscope-hire Service tried to sell ice cream in tubs", says Helge Andersen.

In 1983 and 1988 one periscope is sold. One of these is said to be sold to a foreign family on holiday in Denmark with a disabled son, so he could lay down on the back seat of their car during driving and still be able to see out of the window. The stick was obvious dismounted. In 1991 is a periscope for a short while lent out to Statens Teaterskole (the State's Drama School of Denmark) for use in a school leaving examination performance.

Helge Andersen tells that for a period the Periscope-hire Service has also hired out periscopes for 5 kroner (5.00 DKK trans. note) for about 1 hour at performances on "Plænen" - Tivoli's open-air stage - the large Open-Air Stage of "Plænen" where artists of international fame entertain the visitors. That the Periscope-hire Service do not do any more. The last time was in 1993. The hiring out stopped when the business was insignificant and it always was necessary to have an assistant. The hiring out took place from a place by the side of the external staircase up to restaurant "Promenaden" ("The Promenade") a little part down the side road towards the entrance across from the Copenhagen Central Station just where the way down to the underground public toilets is today (1998). Later on the periscopes are only hired out during the pantomime performances which last for about half an hour.

From the originally about 200 periscopes is, when the Tivoli Gardens took possession, about 100 left. From these has the 40 later on been renovated and repaired ready for use. The Tivoli Gardens was in charge of the renovation. The work was done by their own blacksmith workshop.

The periscopes are maintained by the Tivoli Gardens as they as mentioned above bought them from the estate left by Kaj Engmann Larsen. However the Periscope-hire Service take care of smaller maintenance themselves such as replacement of mirrors and the like. The Periscope-hire Service provides the materials for these smaller maintenance works. The Periscope-hire Service has from a glazier who Helge Andersen knew got a larger number of scraps of mirrors, which can be cut out as they are needed.

The periscopes - model Zanger (Tivoli Gardens) - are in different sizes (heights of the tubes) fitting both children and grown-ups.

The periscopes are nowadays mounted on a stick. That, they don't were in the first years. "Nobody can remember, when they were mounted with sticks", says Helge Andersen.

A periscope with stick is 187 cm (73.6 inches (in.)) high measured on a periscope where the top mirror is closed. It applies to all the periscopes that they are of almost equal heights.

The periscope tubes themselves are in three different heights, as it can be seen in the table below. The width of a periscope tube is 10 cm (3.9 inches (in.)) and the depth is 6 cm (2.4 inches (in.)) measured without mount for the stick. The stick has a width of 2.5 cm (1 inch (in.)), a depth of 2.5 cm (1 inch (in.)), and the mount to make it fast to the tube a height of 11 cm (4.3 inches (in.)). The mount is fixed on the back of the periscope tube at the bottom. When the top mirror of the periscope is put up, the height of the periscope is increased with about 10 cm (3.9 inches (in.)).

The bottom mirror of the periscope is permanent mounted on the periscope tube's bottom plate which measured seen from the side of the periscope in proportion to a horizontal line through the lowest point of the bottom plate inclines 20° slanting upwards in the direction from the front of the periscope tube to the back of the periscope tube. The bottom plate and the bottom mirror have the same width 10 cm (3.9 inches (in.)) as the periscope tube and the depth is 6 cm (2.4 inches (in.)). The opening in to the bottom mirror from the front of the periscope has the same width 10 cm (3.9 inches (in.)) as the periscope tube and the height of the cutting out part is 9 cm (3.5 inches (in.)).

The periscope tube ends at the top with a slanting opening which measured seen from the side of the periscope in proportion to a horizontal line through the lowest point of the opening inclines 55° slanting upwards in the direction from the back of the periscope tube to the front of the periscope tube where at the top it ends with two hinge on which the periscope top plate with the top mirror is made fast to. The slanting opening has the same width 10 cm (3.9 inches (in.)) as the periscope tube and has a length of 10.5 cm (4.1 inches (in.)) and ends 9 cm (3.5 inches (in.)) down the tube in proportion to the top point of the tube. The top plate with the top mirror has a width of 11 cm (4.3 inches (in.)), the depth is 11 cm (4.3 inches (in.)), and the height (thickness of metal plate with mirror) is 0.5 cm (0.2 inch (in.)).

The width, the depth, the height, the side, the front, and the back are named from the position the periscope takes up during use.

To the top plate is made fast a metal (zinc) bar divided into two parts with a thickness of 0.2 cm (0.08 inch (in.)) and a width of 1.5 cm (0.6 inch (in.)) which ends in a mount at the right side of the lower half of the periscope tube. From here at the periscope tube's right side the bar can with a wing nut be fixed in desired position in order to adjust the top mirror of the periscope in desired angle.

The periscope tube is made by metal (zinc) plates with a thickness of 0.1 cm (0.04 inch (in.)) which is bent and soldered and painted black. The stick of the periscope is made by wood, which is lacquered with clear lacquer.

The periscopes are kept and carried by hand in benches with space for 10 in each bench. The width of a bench is 50 cm (19.7 inches (in.)), the height is 55 cm (21.7 inches (in.)) and the length is 110 cm (43.3 inches (in.)). In the direction of the length the bench is provided with square holes, in which the stick of the periscopes is put down into. Nowadays periscopes are only hired out from 1 bench with space for 10 periscopes, which normally as standard is equipped with 1 piece of a periscope of the type named "a short", 3 pieces of a periscope of the type named "a quarter" and 6 pieces of a periscope of the type named "a big". Dependent on the expectations for a sale this distribution can be changed from time to time but it happens only at rare intervals nowadays. Considering that there must be room for a carrier's shoulder to be able to go below the periscope tube's lowest part and in order for one man better to carry the bench must 2 periscopes of the type named "a big" always be placed about the centre of the bench, where you also take hold of the bench in order to carry it. The weight of a bench exclusive of periscopes is about 4.5 kg. (9.9 UK/US pounds (avoirdupois)). The weight of a bench with the above-mentioned distribution of 10 periscopes is about 22.5 kg. (49.6 UK/US pounds (avoirdupois)). Previously, the Periscope-hire Service also had had benches with space for 20 periscopes in each bench. In order to carry these big benches there must be two men. The benches are made by wood, which is painted grey.

Users: Periscope tube height: Weight of periscope tube with stick: Named:
children age 6 to 7 years
(if possible from 4 to 5 years nowadays)
86 cm (34 inches (in.)) 2.0 kg. (4.4 UK/US pounds (avoirdupois)) "a short"
children age 8 to 11 years
(if possible from 6 to 9 years nowadays)
76 cm (30 inches (in.)) 1.5 kg. (3.3 UK/US pounds (avoirdupois)) "a quarter"
grown-ups 66 cm (26 inches (in.)) 1.1 kg. (2.4 UK/US pounds (avoirdupois)) "a big" (or "a whole")

The measurements and with them also the statements of weight of the periscopes and benches are approximate; as they all are handmade and not two has identical measurements. The measurements can differ with up to some centimetres (about an inch (in.)). The statements of weight for a periscope tube with stick can differ with about 0.3 kg. (0.7 UK/US pounds (avoirdupois)) and for a bench exclusive of periscopes with about 0.5 kg. (1.1 UK/US pounds (avoirdupois)). It does follow from this that the statement of weight of a bench with 10 periscopes theoretical can differ with about 3.5 kg. (7.7 UK/US pounds (avoirdupois)).

For better understanding of these descriptions with measurements of the periscopes please also refer to ...

The Periscope-hire Service adjust the hired periscope top mirror for the customer who place the stick of the periscope against the ground so the periscope rest on this and the top mirror point towards the stage of the Pantomime Theatre. When the wing nut which keep the top mirror in desired angle is loosened you must be careful not to let go or else the mirror can fall too hard downwards on the periscope tube and break. The customer is leaning the periscope a little forward and looks down at the bottom mirror where you can see what is happening on the stage. The customer's look follows the dotted line as shown in the picture with "Sketch of the rays principle course in a periscope with mirrors - model Zanger (Tivoli Gardens)" - at the top of this article.

In 1990 the Periscope-hire Service and Helge Andersen took part in a film taking of the Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens with the title "Sig noget Pjerrot" ("Speak up, Pierrot"). The just under an hour long programme were shown on Danish TV2 in October 1990. Bent Christensen (Born / Født1929 - Died / Død1992), Danish film and TV director, film producer and actor directed the film.

The story is told through a twelve-year-old boy played by Laus Høybye. During a visit to the Tivoli Gardens the boy "gets talking" with the statue of Pierrot, who fascinate him with his stories. The boy looks now and again down in one of the old periscopes. The director uses the periscope as a sort of magic tube. When the boy looks down in it, the camera is allowed to pan over old engravings and other objects, which puts pictures to Pierrot's words and gives the experiences of the boy a historical perspective. At times are shown five to six clips from some of the performances.

Helge Andersen is among friends called "Periskop" ("Periscope").

Helge Andersen is always updating the Periscope-hire Service's account book by the end of the evenings last pantomime performance. As it can be seen by the definition list below the information entered is in great details and is stated per pantomime performance.

In the account book means marking with:

The pantomime performance cancelled by The Pantomime Theatre.
The hiring out of periscopes cancelled by the Periscope-hire Service because of too much rain or windy weather as the hiring out take place out in the open.
No performance.
No sale. Otherwise the sale is entered.
- and sometimes a note is added with an additionally explanation plus information about greater events of the Pantomime Theatre as for instance first performances.

In relation with relocations of the Periscope-hire Service a part of material has been lost as for example some of the older account books.

The Periscope-hire Service has throughout the years stayed in many places in the Garden. Now (1998) latest in a little shed behind the Pantomime Theatre where the periscopes are kept.

During the pantomime performances the periscopes are hired out from a place close to the portrait bust showing Niels Hendrik Volkersen (Born / Født1820 - Died / Død1893) as Pierrot executed by sculptor Axel Hansen (Born / Født1853 - Died / Død1933) and unveiled 1896.

When there is a lot of people and the business is insignificant Helge Andersen usually takes out a periscope and stands looking through it. Some times this makes the customers so interested, that they themselves will try, and in that way some periscopes are hired out.

When half of a pantomime performance is played it sometimes happens that the Periscope-hire Service choose to bargain over the price with a customer or allow a discount in order to get the last sale too.

At the hiring out is always asked if it is to a grown-up or to a child in order to choose a periscope with correct tube height at the user. Helge Andersen has an extensive knowledge of the correct adjustment and use of the periscopes and possible unconventional solutions as for instance to let a rather small child stand on the plinth to the portrait bust of Pierrot and let the stick of the periscope rest on the ground. Other times the Periscope-hire Service has hired out to wheelchaired people. "When the Periscope-hire Service gets a job, then it gets solved!", says Helge Andersen.

"In the last few years (1998) it has been more and more with difficulty to hire out the periscopes, so the turnover shows a downward tendency. Most of the customers nowadays only hires the periscopes for nostalgic reasons", says Helge Andersen.

Often, after the end of the pantomime performances, many children and grown-ups come to see what it is Helge Andersen wants to hire out. Then they get a friendly explanation often attended by a smile.

It still happens, that people pays more than they have to, because they think that the price is so low.

"The Pantomime Theatre has over the years frequently been mentioned in the newspapers and in other media", says Helge Andersen, "but also the Periscope-hire Service has been mentioned in the newspapers and in other media" ...

On those days when pantomime performances take place and when The Tivoli Boys Guard are changing the guard and doing their parade through the gardens Helge Andersen always follows the guard with great interest from his "regular" observer places in the Tivoli Gardens.

Per Wiklund was occasionally "assistant" in the Periscope-hire Service for several years and became official "assistant" from the season 2002.

Still in the season 2010 of the Tivoli Gardens Helge Andersen hired out the periscopes himself, and in the entire season 2011 during his illness Per Wiklund held the Periscope-hire Service by himself for him, after which Per Wiklund took over the very Periscope-hire Service business from the Tivoli season 2012.

Still in 2018 Per Wiklund hire out periscopes, and the price is still only 5 kroner (5.00 DKK trans. note).

Since in recent years there was a steadily falling interest among the audience for renting periscopes, Per Wiklund decided that the rental ended with last day on June 13, 2018.

Gallery: Periscope-hire Service


Gallery: Periscope-hire Service Click to see a little Picture Gallery with photographs from the Periscope-hire Service (Total: 185,163 bytes).

Commedia dell'Arte

Popular form of Italian improvised comic drama in the 16th and 17th centuries, performed by trained troupes of actors and involving stock characters and situations. The stock characters are Pantalone, Arlecchino (Harlequin), il Dottore, il Capitano and others.

The phrase and name commedia dell'arte is difficult to translate from Italian. Literally it approximates 'comedy of the artists', implying performances by professionals as distinguished from the courtly amateurs. This form has been given other names which are more revealing of its nature and characteristics. These include commedia alla maschera (masked comedy), commedia improvviso (improvised comedy), and commedia dell'arte all'improvviso.

Moreover, in fact the very term la commedia dell'arte was never used of the activities of actors or professional acting companies until the eighteenth century, when we find the Italian dramatist and playwright Carlo Goldoni (Born / FødtVenice, February 25, 1707 - Died / DødFebruary 6, 1793) employing it to distinguish the masked and improvised drama from the scripted comedy that as a dramatist he himself favoured. Earlier terms used of the professional players and companies tend to be rather more specific: la commedia degli Zanni, la commedia a soggetto, la commedia all'italiana, or la commedia mercenaria. The actual phrase is not used by the writer Andrea Perrucci in his Dell'arte rappresentativa, premeditata ed all'improvviso, written as late as 1699. To his all'improvviso one could add, from other period sources, commedia non scritta, sei maschere, and, outside Italy, simply Italian Comedy. In France it was called comédie à l'impromptu and also comédie improvisée, though it never received any very exact definition.

But once noted, these earlier alternative terms can be ignored: what is important is to distinguish a genus (which we now call commedia dell'arte), that was professional, masked and initially publicly improvised on temporary outdoor platforms in simple costumes, from the contemporaneous commedia erudita, which was acted by amateur dilettanti, scripted and performed without the mask and in elaborate costume on the private indoor stages of the courts. Arte can be translated into English not only as 'art', but also as 'craft' and 'know-how'.

Commedia dell'Arte had spread itself all over Europe as companies found they could profit more from exile than from the strictures of the Council of Trent. Dissemination went as far as Russia, Czechoslovakia and Denmark, and wherever Commedia found itself, without compromising in essentials, it adjusted to local circumstances and such national variations contributed to, rather than detracted from, its universality. Developments made in France in the seventeenth century were even re-imported to Italy by the itinerant companies.

Until its unification in the nineteenth century, Italy, like Europe today, consisted of an association of sovereign states. As a pan-Italian form, the Commedia dell'Arte had, therefore, necessarily to develop in a polyglot manner, using a vocabulary drawn from the northern city states and from the regions of the south. Its characters represent basic types from those states, each speaking in a dialect or language largely incomprehensible to the inhabitants of the others. There were, in effect, three divisions: the north, providing the 'four Masks' - Arlecchino and Brighella (Bergamese), Pantalone (Venetian), Il Dottore (Bolognese); the south - Pulcinella, Tartaglia, Coviello and Il Capitano (Neapolitan or Calabrese); and Tuscany, which provided the literary tongue befitting the manners of the Lovers and the female servant. As the Commedia players strolled from state to state, local characters would come into greater prominence in the scenarios chosen, carrying a higher burden of speech, often at the expense of the other masks who became less sympathetic, the butt of humour in the way that stranieri often are. But the main language of all the Masks was action - the Esperanto of the stage.

Click to see painting of Commedia dell'Arte Masks (133,674 bytes).

Commedia dell'Arte exerted considerable influence on writers such as the French comedy writer Jean Baptiste Poquelin Molière (Born / Født1622 - Died / Død1673) and the Italian dramatist Carlo Goldoni (Born / FødtVenice, February 25, 1707 - Died / DødFebruary 6, 1793) plus in Denmark on the writer and historian Ludvig Holberg (Born / FødtBergen, Norway, December 3, 1684 - Died / DødJanuary 28, 1754), and on the genres of pantomime, the English harlequinade, and the puppet play: Punch and Judy show. It laid the foundation for a tradition of mime, strong in France, that has continued with the modern mime of the French actor and director Jean-Louis Barrault (Born / Født1910 - ) and the French actor and mime artist Marcel Marceau (Born / Født1923 - ); furthermore those in the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen played pantomimes comes of Commedia dell'Arte.

The History of Pantomime Performances in Denmark

On 11 October 1843 Niels Henrik Volkersen (Born / Født1820 - Died / Død1893), an acrobat, performed as Pierrot for the first time in the Tivoli Gardens. It was the last night of the first season and Volkersen performed tableaus from Pierrot's life. That marked the beginning of Volkersen's 50-year career in the Tivoli Gardens and the beginning of the history of a unique and charming theatre form which has only survived thanks to the Tivoli Gardens.

The Pantomimes come to Denmark in 1880. Although the pantomime was well known and popular all over Europe, it had only been seen in Denmark when performed by foreign theatre troupes on tour. In 1800 two families came to Klampenborg in connection with a large market in Dyrehaven (the Royal Hunting Grounds). These were the Price family from England and the Casorti family from Italy. At the end of the weeks at Kirsten Piils Kilde, the spring in the park, the 2 families tried to make it in the city of Copenhagen. Price came off better than Casorti. He succeeded in getting citizenship and a work permit to make a living by teaching various sports and gymnastic arts. Casorti on the other hand only applied for a work permit for the city and did not get citizenship. He never became a taxpayer and did not get a work permit either. In 1801 and 1802 both troupes got permission to perform at the Court Theatre at Christiansborg (the parliament building) for a short period on the condition that they also renovated the theatre for free. The cost of this soon mounted up but the troupes performed and from their repertoire lists we recognise titles which are still performed at the Tivoli Gardens today, for example Harlequin Mechanical Statue. During the winter the troupes still toured in Europe. The Casorti Family split up again but Guiseppe, the oldest son of Father Gaetano stayed in Denmark where he trained the mimic Pettoletti who in turn became Volkersen's teacher. Guiseppe Casorti also gave his name to the traditional pantomimes, as we know them from Tivoli. They are called the Casortian Pantomimes. The Price Family also did well for themselves. They started a theatre in Vesterbro, which was well attended. The King himself was a patron. They continued to tour in the winter when the people of Copenhagen could not get to Vesterbro because of the muddy roads.

Volkersen, Danish artiste and mimic, was Denmark's, Copenhagen's, amusement park the Tivoli Gardens' Pierrot in 50 years - from the opening season in 1843 to the 50 years jubilee celebration in 1893. Together with Harald Hesse (Born / Født1817 - Died / Død1897) (Harlequin) and Peter Busholm Senior (Born / Født1815 - Died / Død1886) (Cassander) he created a Danish version of the Italian pantomime tradition. In the winter time Volkersen had a licence to perform in provincial towns.

See copy(-ies) (in Danish) of Volkersen's original manuscript(s):

A pantomime is a play in which the characters only express themselves by mime (giving a convincing representation by shifting facial expressions (changing between facial expressions = facial gestures) and gesticulations) accompanied by music but as it clearly appears from the text of several manuscripts the phrase that the characters are "speaking" is used for example "Cassander says to Pierrot that ...".

The pantomime is descended from the Italian masked comedy, Commedia dell'Arte which dates back to the Renaissance. In the Commedia dell'Arte all the actors and actresses have fixed character types: the young lovers, the father, the crafty servant, the stupid servant etc. The stories were written down in note form called scenarios. These scenarios only show the action with no dialogue or staging instructions. Both dialogue and staging instructions were therefore improvised, not entirely freely but according to the will of the actors. Every actor knew his character type inside out and knew exactly how the character should be played. The troupe rehearsed a selection of dialogues and acrobatic sequences beforehand which they could use as and when they needed them during the performance. It goes without saying that the sequences needed to be rehearsed beforehand to avoid danger. They often contained fights and falls and involved many performers at the same time. The sequences and dialogues, which were rehearsed, are called lazzi (a lazzo).

When the Commedia dell'Arte troupe arrived at the place of performance, the first thing they had to do was to erect their stage. This consisted of 2 posts and a curtain on the cart with which they travelled. Then they decided which scenario they would perform and then the action packed performance would start. The stories were fantastic and dealt with subjects such as kidnapping to other countries, marriages arranged with wild Turks, escape attempts and heroic actions. The characters of the plays were the fine, noble heroes and lovers and the more normal, provincial servants. There was always an old man who could be a merchant, soldier or doctor. Whatever his profession he would always be stuck-up and very interested in women. Therefore a performance could contain high poetry, comedy, satire and sex.

The similarity with the Tivoli Gardens Pantomime today is perhaps not immediately apparent, but the connection remains. Commedia dell'Arte went to Paris where it became very popular. It inspired the French comedy playwright Jean Baptiste Poquelin Molière (Born / Født1622 - Died / Død1673) who also trained as an actor in one of the Commedia dell'Arte troupes. This popularity was however a threat to the existing theatre of the time which did whatever it could to try to prevent the guest troupes from performing including making the pantomime silent. The established theatres in Paris insisted that only they were allowed to speak and sing on stage. Pantomime evolved from these circumstances. Pantomime actually means "everything in mime". The pantomime went from Paris to London where it was used as a lively interlude between acts during big opera productions. The operas used a tremendous amount of scenery, which could do almost everything, smoke and steam and tricks with trapdoors in the stage floor. This complicated theatre technique influenced the pantomime and gave it its characteristic transformation scenery. It was also in London that Harlequin's character took shape as the sharp and agile mischief-maker with the magical sword, club or wand.

From London the pantomime travelled back to Paris and then around Europe. The guest troupes in Copenhagen before 1800 came via Germany and left the town shortly afterwards. Ludvig Holberg (Born / Født1684 - Died / Død1754) (the famous Danish author) certainly went to see pantomimes in Paris and was a great admirer of Molière's comedies which he used as a source of inspiration. The pantomime characters as we know them today come from Holberg's comedies and characters.

These characters are:

nimble mischief-maker, in love with Columbine.
cheeky daughter, in love with Harlequin.
Columbine's father who wants her to marry well. The old Father originally goes by Pantalon at Casorti; it was first much later that the name in Denmark was changed to Cassander - a name, Cassandre, used on the stage in Italy already in the sixteenth century, which then disappeared and first were in use again in France in the eighteenth century. Pantalone was re-baptised Cassandre in France at the end of the eighteenth century and was related to Cassandro. The name Cassander becomes later also to Kassander in Denmark.
Cassandre's simple servant who must guard Columbine's virtue. Is himself very fond of her.
The Suitor:
wealthy young man and Cassandre's choice for Columbine.
Farmers, citizens, sailors, fishermen's wives (fishwives i.e. fish sellers), Amager-farmer's wives (hawkers i.e. vegetables and fruit sellers), magicians, fairies, devils etc. Two types of character inhabit the world of pantomime. One type is the good people who carry a large part of the comedy and the other type is the supernatural beings who develop the drama. These supernatural beings do things like casting a spell on Harlequin's sword, intervening with magical powers at the last moment and blessing the troth of Harlequin and Columbine with heavenly charm. When a magician is dressed in a white suit he is good when he is dressed in a black suit he is evil.

The stories are always love stories, which end happily ever after with the Fairy Queen marrying Harlequin and Columbine surrounded by fairies carrying palm leaves.

This scene is called apotheosis and is a feature of almost all of the Tivoli Garden's pantomimes. The back curtain in the apotheosis shows a Greek temple in shining light and the Bengal light (strongly coloured firework light) with its flickering, reddish gleam burning in two pots placed with one in each side at the back of the stage. From 2002 the Bengal light has been changed to reddish flickering electrical light also placed with one electric lamp in each side at the back of the stage. The change was due to it was found out that when the Bengal light is burning there is given off poisonous chemical gases.

Click to see old line drawing of the Pantomime Performance Pierrot's unsuccessful offer of marriage (53,096 bytes).

As a curiosity can be mentioned that the Danish author Gustav Johannes Wied (Born / FødtMarch 6, 1858 - Died / DødOctober 24, 1914) who is known for his biting witty pessimistic satiric works also has written a pantomime play "Kærlighed og Selvmord (Love and Suicide)" or "Pierrot som Sejerherre (Pierrot as Conqueror)". The play's text and scenario is based on the same plot as in the performances on the Pantomime Theatre - but with a twist.

See copy (in Danish) of Wied's original manuscript: Pen 'Kærlighed og Selvmord (Love and Suicide)'.

Some Names

Alphabetical Overview: Some Names.
In ( ) you can see my group number of a mentioned pantomime play.

Abis, Jean d':
No information available. Author of Pantomime Play(s): (Possibly) The Tailor Deceived (3-01).
Auber, Daniel François Esprit:
(Born / FødtJanuary 19, 1782 - Died / DødMay 12, 1871). French composer who wrote more than 40 comic and serious operas. Music of Pantomime Play(s): Pierrot Becomes the Smaller (4-02).
See Peter Rosenkrantz Olsen
Bournonville, August:
(Born / Født1805 - Died / Død1879). Danish ballet master and choreographer.
Busholm Senior, Peter:
(Born / Født1815 - Died / Død1886). Author of Pantomime Play(s): Pierrot's Misfortunes (1-09) together with Niels Henrik Volkersen and Bjælke-Olsen (Peter Rosenkrantz Olsen), Pierrot's Outing in Dyrehaven (3-04) together with Harald Hesse.
Edvardsen, Tommy:
Danish dancer, mimic, and instructor. Qualified at The Royal Theatre's ballet school in 1974. Then employed at The Royal Ballet until 1976. Employee at The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens since 1976 with permanent appointment as dancer and mimic. From among the many parts Tommy Edvardsen has been dancing can be mentioned the head waiter in "Pariserliv", the rococo gentleman in "Amors og Balletmesterens Luner", and Basilio in "Figaro". In the pantomime repertoire of the theatre he has collaborated in all performances with speciality of the part as Cassander, suitor, fisherman's wife (fishwife i.e. fish seller), and doctor. Furthermore, he has contributed in a wide range of musicals and plays among others at Folketeatret, Det Danske Teater, Nørrebros Teater, and Zangenbergs Teater. Since 2001 Tommy Edvardsen has also acted as instructor at The Pantomime Theatre. Director of Pantomime Play(s): Pierrot Sleep Walker (1-11).
Geisler, Mette:
Theatrical costumier. Costumes of Pantomime Play(s): Harlekin's Triumph (4-07).
Hansen, Djamilla:
Dramaturge. Dramaturgy of Pantomime Play(s): The Vampire Pierrot (4-08).
Harvild, Georg K.:
Bookkeeper in the Tivoli Gardens. Author of Pantomime Play(s): Pierrot the Sorcerer (4-03).
Helweg, Kim:
Danish rehearser, composer, and the maker of the musical arrangements for orchestras. Orchestrated Pantomime Play(s): Pierrot Mad with Fear (4-04).
Henriques, Alf:
(Born / Født1906 - Died / Død1976). Danish literary historian and critic; Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) 1941. Author of Pantomime Play(s): Harlequin Fencing-master (4-01).
Hertz, Henrik:
(Born / FødtAugust 25 or August 27, 1798 or 1797 - Died / DødFebruary 25, 1870). Danish poet and dramatist, of Jewish family, born in Copenhagen, converts to Christianity 1830. Wrote as young Bachelor of Laws a couple of rather traditional comedies among them Hr. Burchardt og hans familie (1827); more original is his fine Copenhagen comedy Sparekassen eller Naar Enden er god, er Alting godt, Lystspil i tre Acter (1836). Tried also his' hand at vaudevilles, then a form of musical comedies, in the Danish playwright, poet, and critic Johan Ludvig Heiberg's (Born / FødtDecember 14, 1791 - Died / DødAugust 25, 1860) style, but achieved far better result within the poetic metrical plays, among them the merry comedy Amors Genistreger, Lystspil i rimede Vers i to Acter (1830) and De Fattiges Dyrehave, Vaudeville i een Act (1844-45; substantially rewritten 1853) and the seriously Svend Dyrings hus (1837) and Kong René's datter (1845) plus Ninon (1848). Affiliated himself to Johan Ludvig Heiberg's theories. As a critic Heiberg championed of poetic realism and made strict aesthetic claims to the form. Published 1830 a collection of polemic poems, Gengangerbreve, turned against Heiberg circle's opponents. Published 1833 a fine personal cycle of poems, Erindringer fra Hirschholm; his emotionally coloured and finished poetry is as his other poetical work fine and graceful but a bit pale. Wrote on a conservative philosophy of life two novels characteristic of the period, Stemninger og tilstande (1839) and Johannes Johnsen (1858-59). Author of Pantomime Play(s): Pierrot Sleep Walker (1-11).
Hesse, Harald:
(Born / Født1817 - Died / Død1897). Author of Pantomime Play(s): Pierrot's Outing in Dyrehaven (3-04) together with Peter Busholm Senior.
Hingsberg, Otto Christian:
Actor at the small Copenhagen second-rate theatres and playing at The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens from 1910 to the 1920's where there were some disagreements with the Tivoli Gardens. Build on the pantomimes' original manuscripts he is known for, For the Use of "the Tivoli Gardens", having written down pantomimes which has been played and still are played together with some of the pantomimes which were played at "Gammel Vesterbros Teater" (Old Vesterbro Theatre) and "Adolf. Prices Teater" (Adolf. Price's Theatre). Furthermore he has taken notes of performers of pantomime and collected cuttings, pictures, photographs, and other effects and material about pantomime. The collection can nowadays be found in the: Hingsbergske Tivolisamling, Københavns Bymuseum (Hingsberg's Tivoli Collection, Copenhagen Town Museum). One of the books with pantomimes illustrate by way of example on the title page that it is Commenced 1915 and Completed 1918. In the books each of the pantomimes are described with a cast list and a story where you nowadays would have chosen to write down a cast list and a dialogue.
Hjejle, Yo-Akim:
Composer and drummer. Music of Pantomime Play(s): Harlekin's Triumph (4-07), The Vampire Pierrot (4-08).
Hjort, Claus:
(Born / FødtSeptember 16, 1960 - ). Danish dancer and mimic. Qualified at The Royal Theatre's ballet school in 1977. Then employed as dancer at The Royal Ballet until 1988. Obtain leave from 1984-1986 where he danced at Dallas Ballet in USA. 1988-1989 employed at Philadelphia/Millwaukee Ballet. From 1989-2001 employed at Den Opsøgende Ballet in Denmark. Has among other parts danced James in "Sylfiden", Mandarinen in "Den forunderlige Mandarin", and d'Artagnan/Aramis in "De tre Musketerer". Teacher at The Royal Theatre, Dallas Ballet, Dansens Hus, and Danseværkstedet, Copenhagen. Employed at The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens as dancer and mimic since 1990. He has here been taking part in ballets as "Sylvia", "Anno 20", and "Carnaval". To The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens he has created the ballet "Drømmebilleder" in 2002 and in 2003 he choreograph the ballet-version of "Prinsessen på Ærten". Artistic leader of The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens from 2001 - July 31, 2006. Author of Pantomime Play(s): Pierrot's guide to pantomime (4-06).
Houen, Kitt:
Theatrical costumier. Employee at The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens among others in the season 2003 and 2004. Costumes of Pantomime Play(s): Pierrot Sleep Walker (1-11).
Huld, Paul:
(Born / Født1885 - Died / DødApril 16, 1969). With the Pantomime Theatre from 1911. Ballet master at the Pantomime Theatre 1916 - 1956. In 1919 ballet master Paul Huld cut down all the old pantomimes at about half an hour of playing time because of failing interest by the audience and the light restrictions of that time after World War I (1914 - 1919). The playing time of a pantomime performance is nowadays (1998) still about half an hour.
Jetsmark, Torben:
(Born / Født1942 - ), Danish actor and director. Qualified in mime play 1962 - 1965. At The Royal Theatre's pupil school 1965 - 1968. Afterwards various foreign drama schools 1970 - 1972. Author of Pantomime Play(s): Flaminia's Suitors (4-05).
Koerner, Steen:
Choreographer and electric boogie-master. Libretto (book) and choreography of pantomime play "Harlekin's Triumph". Author of Pantomime Play(s): Harlekin's Triumph (4-07), The Vampire Pierrot (4-08).
Koppel, Anders:
(Born / Født1947 - ), Danish composer and musician. Music of Pantomime Play(s): Flaminia's Suitors (4-05).
Kuhn, Frantz Joseph:
(Born / Født1783 - Died / Død1832). Author of Pantomime Play(s): The Proposal at the Tenant Farm (1-03), Pierrot Among Robbers (1-07).
Køngerskov, Kjeld:
Danish rehearser. Employee at The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens among others in the season 2003 and 2004. Musical arrangement of Pantomime Play(s): Pierrot Sleep Walker (1-11).
Lewin, Joseph L.:
Born in London, England in the middle of the last part of the 1700-hundreds. He was a orthodox Jew and married to Juliette Rosette (Born / Født1794 - Died / DødFebruary 1, 1863), born Moon or Maan. He appears in Covent-Garden, London, England in 1802, and is in Hamburg, Germany in 1815, which he use as a starting point. He is mentioned in England in 1825. He gets to Denmark, Copenhagen in 1828 in connection with Pettoletti's Blågård Theatre, Nørrebro (15 Nørrebrogade). It was in the old Blågård, an old royal country house, which had a blue roof. In 1829 he breaks with Pettoletti and works with the Price's in Vesterbro. In 1830 something dramatic happens; two of the young Price's marry two of his daughters, in spite of his opposition. Then he leaves the Price's and set out in Europe. He is last registered in Weimar, Germany in 1832 where he is mentioned with a pantomime-company. After that the trace of him disappears. His widow, Juliette Rosette Lewin (spelled "Luin"), born Moon, dies from cancer as 69-year-old at February 1, 1863 at her address 38 Vimmelskaftet in Copenhagen. Buried February 7, 1863 at Assistant Cemetery in Copenhagen. This appears from copy of transcript from November 21, 1906 from Copenhagen Burial Authorities' Office with hand-written note at the corner of the page "338/1863" which is found in the old Royal Court Theatre in Copenhagen in the collection of the Price's. Author of Pantomime Play(s): Harlequin Tempted by the Graces (2-01), The Golden Key (2-02), The Green Devil (2-03).
Lyding, Henrik:
(Born / FødtMay 7, 1956 - ). Danish Dramaturge, Master of Arts. Reviewer at the newspaper "Jyllandsposten". Dramaturge at The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens from 2001 - . Author of Pantomime Play(s): Pierrot Sleep Walker (1-11), Pierrot's guide to pantomime (4-06).
Melchert, Arne:
(Born / Født1916 - Died / Død1963), Danish choreographer. He has choreographed the dance for four performances at The Royal Theatre with some plays as his point of departure. Author of Pantomime Play(s): Pierrot Becomes the Smaller (4-02).
Nielsen, Tove:
Theatrical costumier. Employee at The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens among others in the season 2003 and 2004. Costumes of Pantomime Play(s): Pierrot Sleep Walker (1-11).
Nørlyng, Ole:
(Born / FødtSeptember 5, 1946 - ), art critic, Master of Arts in music and history of art. Music of Pantomime Play(s): Pierrot Mad with Fear (4-04).
Olsen, Peter Rosenkrantz (Bjælke-Olsen):
No information available. Author of Pantomime Play(s): Pierrot's Misfortunes (1-09) together with Niels Henrik Volkersen and Peter Busholm Senior.
Price, Johan Adolph:
(Born / Født1805 - Died / Død1890). Author of Pantomime Play(s): The False Housekeeper (1-01), The Hapless Suitor (1-02), Cassandre the Cooper (3-02).
Ravn, Maja:
Scenographer. Scenery of Pantomime Play(s): The Vampire Pierrot (4-08).
Ryberg, Flemming:
(Born / FødtNovember 24, 1940 - ), Danish dancer. Qualified at The Royal Theatre's ballet school. Ballet dancer 1959, premier male dancer 1966. Teacher at the ballet school 1966. In addition, teacher in the school of Bournoville in USA and Europe and in Court dances. Director and choreographer of ballet and opera. Has put up and reconstructed Bournoville's ballets in USA, Japan, and Europe. Reconstruction of Court dances. Has written: The Little Book of Ballet (1994). Artistic leader of and ballet master at The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens from 1994 - 2000. Author of Pantomime Play(s): Pierrot Mad with Fear (4-04).
Savery, Maria:
Danish dancer and choreographer, educated at the Royal Theatre's Ballet School. Choreographer assistant of Pantomime Play(s): Harlekin's Triumph (4-07).
Schødt, Ulrik:
Graffitist. Scenery of Pantomime Play(s): Harlekin's Triumph (4-07), The Vampire Pierrot (4-08).
Volkersen, Niels Henrik:
(Born / FødtMarch 2, 1820 - Died / DødAugust 31, 1893). Danish artiste and mimic. Attach to the Tivoli Gardens from its opening in 1843; created here the unique Danish-national Pierrot, which he played until shortly before his death. Author of Pantomime Play(s): Pierrot Mad with Love (1-08), Pierrot's Misfortunes (1-09) together with Peter Busholm Senior and Bjælke-Olsen (Peter Rosenkrantz Olsen).
Wendrich, Valdemar:
No information available. Author of Pantomime Play(s): Cassandre's Marriage Agency (3-03).

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is it that the Suitor gives the Sorcerer as payment in the pantomime play "Pierrot the Sorcerer" for his help with getting the magic sword of love, which Harlequin has got from the Fairy?
Purse / Sort of a 'money belt' It is a purse or a money belt, which are the two expressions the theatre uses about this. One of the Pantomime Theatre's versions of these purses appears as shown in the picture to the right and the purse, something like a sort of a "money belt", is oblong rectangular and made of soft material (skin or fabric) with an approximate width of 6 cm (2.4 inches (in.)), length of 32 cm (12.6 inches (in.)), and thickness without contents of 0.5 cm (0.2 inch (in.)). The illustrated version of a purse is in green with a narrow copper-coloured "ring" a short distance in from each of the ends, which are fitted with gold-coloured "fringes". The purse also comes in other colours and with other adornment just as the size varied as all are handmade. The purse are used in various performances where you will show that someone gives "a purse with gold coins" that is to say a purse filled with coins of gold as payment for something. Usually used only by a wealthy person from the upper classes as lower classes were poor and therefore did not have gold coins in the old days as also the old term "A distinguished Gentleman gives a Purse with gold Coins" suggest. The term is for example used by the Danish writer, novelist, dramatist, and poet, who is remembered chiefly as a creator of fairy tales, Hans Christian Andersen (Born / FødtApril 2, 1805 - Died / DødAugust 4, 1875) from his first major journey abroad in 1833-34 where he from Germany writes to his closely friend the Danish book and manuscript collector, writer, and financial Government official Edvard Collin (Born / FødtNovember 2, 1808 - Died / DødApril 10, 1886) in a letter dated April 24, 1833, which is reprinted in "H. C. Andersen, En brevbiografi, 1805-37" ("H. C. Andersen, A Letter Biography, 1805-37") of Det Kongelige Bibliotek (The Royal Library). In extract the letter continues: "Hamburg April 25. This evening I was in the theatre and saw a comedy: Dominique; it has good situations but would hardly please by us, though. A distinguished gentleman has to flee out on the adjoining roof to avoid being found at his beloved. Then he comes suddenly in the window at a garret, (it is stormy). Here is just sitting a poor devil who by despair just now wishes that the Devil will come and help him. The fleeing gentleman drops in, demands his kirtle, gives a purse with gold coins and rushes along and now the poor sinner believes firmly that it is the Devil and that he is in contact with him which causes many quite funny scenes to turn up. Afterwards ...".
Are the pantomime performances the same?
Of course the pantomime plays, for example "The False Housekeeper" and "The Hapless Suitor" are not exactly the same! But is the same pantomime performance alike every time it is performed? No that is it not since the parts not always are performed by the same persons and every actor/dancer (mimic) has his or her own little things that differs. However the main plot in a pantomime performance is exactly the same. Equally, the characters are adapted and to some extent the plot in a pantomime performance from one season to the next among other things the number of the seasonís available performers is taken into consideration. Occasionally small unforeseen things (errors) can happen during a performance, which there is reacted to. Likewise it often happens that the performers of the character parts performs their own little performances surely under respect for their character part's characteristics taking place at the same time as the main plot takes place.

Bibliography (Reading List)

Books mostly in Danish about the history of "The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen", the Danish Pantomimes, the pantomime, the pantomime figures, and the pantomime players (the list is not complete):

Books in English about the history of Commedia dell'Arte, the pantomime, the pantomime figures, and the pantomime players (the list is not complete):

Beyond this "the Danish Pantomimes" and "The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen" are mentioned in many books about "The Tivoli Gardens of Copenhagen" and its history.

My Sources

Sources: Various books, the Internet, newspaper articles, information gathered from libraries, interviews of persons, and various encyclopedias.

Rehearsal at The Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen - Photographer: Henrik Steenberg (Tivoli)

Back Back to Pantomimes and The Pantomime Theatre with my attempt to systematize a description of some Pantomime Plays in tabular form.

Calibration Check
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F

   Top of This Page
E-mail Contact / E-mail kontakt   Return
   Go to Home Page