Fourth Night of Mons. Gouffe the celebrated Man Monkey, whose delineation of the Monkey Character is unrivalled. The celebrated pantomimic entertainment of Jack Robinson! Gouffe as mushapug as represented by him 150 successive nights…. Warren Theatre.

Fourth Night of Mons. Gouffe the celebrated Man Monkey, whose delineation of the Monkey Character is unrivalled. The celebrated pantomimic entertainment of Jack Robinson! Gouffe as mushapug as represented by him 150 successive nights…

Boston: R. C. House, printer…[?], 1836. Illustrated broadside, 17.75” x 6.25”. Woodcut, 3.75” x 3”.

An unrecorded broadside for a popular man-monkey or “Jocko” play in Boston, performed by the prolific British artist Monsieur Gouffe.

Jocko plays became popular in Britain and Europe in the early 19th century, such productions often touring America as well, as seen here. The modern man-monkey performance is generally thought to derive from the the ballet-pantomime Jocko or the Brazilian Ape, first performed in 1825 by Charles Mazurier (1793-1828), a talented but unfortunately short-lived performer. Monsieur Gouffe was one of Mazurier’s most gifted imitators.

Advertised here is Gouffe’s 6 Jan. 1836 appearance in the “pantomimic entertainment” Jack Robinson as the monkey character Mushapug, along with twelve other characters. Several scenes and incidents are briefly narrated, including “Jack’s Hunt”; “Interior of Jack’s Hut”; “Deck of the Santa Maria”; and “Monkey Hangs Himself By the Neck.” The play centers on the havoc Mushapug causes, cutting down Jack’s corn, sucking Jack’s turtle eggs, etc. The monkey later saves Jack from captivity, but in the end inexplicably hangs himself. Two farces are briefly advertised here as well, Loan of a Lover! and Bath Road.

British performer Mons. Gouffe, whose career spanned two decades (1825–1845), made his U.S. debut at the Bowery Theater in New York City in 1831. Regarded as an incomparable monkey impersonator, Gouffe is described by Bernard Ince as having “attracted greater comment than other performers, not only on account of the extraordinary nature and originality of his exhibitions, but also on account of his persona.”

Located in Boston’s West End, Warren Theatre opened in 1832 and in 1836 became the National Theatre. Productions included "original pieces, and the efforts of a well selected stock company, which, with few exceptions, have been American” (Bowen's Picture of Boston). In 1852 the theater burned down and was rebuilt; in 1863 the building was again destroyed by fire.

No copies recorded in Worldcat.

A rare broadside advertising a Boston performance by the incomparable Mons. Gouffe.

REFERENCES: Bowen, Abel, Bowen's Picture of Boston 3rd ed. (Boston: Otis, Broaders and Company, 1838); Ince, Bernard. “Monsieur Gouffe", Man-Monkey: An Early Icon of the Illegitimate Theatre at thefreelibrary.com; Jay, Ricky. Extraordinary Exhibitions (NY, 2005), p. 84; Winsor, Justin, ed. The Memorial History of Boston (Boston: Ticknor and Co., 1880), p. 369.

CONDITION: Losses to text at bottom, but no loss of sense; some foxing and staining, two small holes in printed area slightly affecting text.

Item #6900

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