The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Jenny Wilmore as 'Ixion'

Jenny Wilmore as 'Ixion'

The British actress Jenny Wilmore dressed as the eponymous hero of F.C. Burnand’s burlesque Ixion.

According to a review in The Times (30 September 1863): ‘The dialogue of Mr Burnand’s new burlesque is worthy of all praise. Not only are the puns abundant, but some of them are exceedingly ingenious, and the exchanges of pleasantry goes on smoothly and trippingly from the beginning to the end. […] The plot of Ixion; or the Man at the Wheel is simple almost to nullity. A prologue shows the hero (Miss Jenny Wilmore) in Thessaly, where he is in danger of being torn to pieces by the mob, headed by his wife Dia (Mrs Selby), who would avenge the death of her father Deioneus, but, rescued by Jupiter (Miss Pelham), is taken up into the sky, when the action of the main drama takes place. Among the celestials Venus (Miss Ada Cavendish) first attracts his attention, but Cupid (Miss M. Langford), fearing to have a father-in-law, diverts his attention to Juno (Miss Blanche Elliston), with whom he elopes. Caught by the indignant Jove, he is sentenced to the wheel, but appeals to the audience for a pardon. […] Notwithstanding the extreme simplicity of the plot, numerous dramatis personae prevents anything like meagreness. Nearly all the principal deities of antiquity are introduced with characteristic attributes, and it is not too much to say that everyone of them is well sustained. Ixion, of course, the chief personage, could not be better played than by Miss Jenny Wilmore, who has laid aside that somewhat intrusive pertness which marked her first efforts, and now appears as a smart, brisk, lively actress of burlesque, displaying all those Terpsichorean and vocal qualities which are so serviceable to this branch of art, and keeping throughout within the limits of good taste.’

Photographed by the Southwell Brothers of London.


Code: 124470
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© Paul Frecker 2019