Archiver > THEATRE-UK > 2011-01 > 1294766997

From: "Barbara Mallyon" <>
Subject: Re: [THEATRE-UK] Victorian Stage Performers
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 17:29:57 -0000
References: <>
In-Reply-To: <>

Hello Debs,

What can I say with all of this information about Gustave FASOLA, its great, wonderful.

The poster of Gustave FASOLA on the website drawn by Wal MALLYON, I was sent a copy of this poster by email, from his grandson surname of GREENWOOD. He was so pleased with the 2 posters, he found me on the internet and emailed them to me. The Posters were sent to the grandson after he advertised in an American magicians magazine.

Yes please I would like the 2 other copies of the posters by Wal MALLYON, grandfather also great grandfather both lithographic artist.

Thank you for your interest and all of the information that you have given to me, what a lot of research you have done, are you related to the GREENWOOD family.

Would you like copies Gustave FASOLA 2 poster that I have they are in colour, he was a very handsome man.

Kind regards

Barbara Lewis Mallyon
Basingstoke, Hants. UK

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3:03 PM
Subject: Re: [THEATRE-UK] Victorian Stage Performers

Hi Barbara

Firstly, just a little information from my personal research on Gustave Fasola.

Far from being the “Indian Fakir and Illusionist” he became renowned as, Gustave Fasola was actually born: Fergus O’Conner Greenwood on 5 April 1875 in Clayton-Le-Moors, Lancashire.

As a teenager, he toured small halls and schools with a friend James Lee, under the billing of “Professor Greenwood, sleight-of-hand entertainer”. During this time the pair were often in trouble with the police, using their “skills” for other than entertainment purposes. In 1892 in Blackburn with Darwen, they were both sent to prison for a month for larceny.

By 1894 he had representation and received some recognition for his act as in October of that year he was being promoted in The Era as “Professor Greenwood, the boy illusionist, acknowledged to be the youngest prestidigitateur in the World.”

By 1897 he was listed as “Miss Lyles American Mysteries assisted by Gustave Fasola, illusionist and hypnotist, light & dark séances, the Phoenix and original locked and corded box illusions.” And in 1899 “Gustave Fasola, ventriloquist and conjurer, also Miss Lyle in her cabinet séance.”

One wonders if this is where he got his idea for his elaborate “bridal chamber” trick, which he performed at the Tivoli Theatre in Adelaide in 1911. “………. a cabinet composed of little else than a framework with a floor was enveloped by a curtain, which, however, gave full view all round the cabinet to the audience. Immediately the curtain was withdrawn, instead of the skeleton cabinet there appeared a furnished bedroom.”

Gustave Fasola toured Australia and New Zealand between 1911 and 1913 where his son Fergus Greenwood Jnr was born in Auckland on 2 March 1912. Fergus Snr died on 14 January 1929 in London.

I have electronic copies of 2 of your gg grandfather’s works, which I wonder if you have – I would be happy to forward them to you:-

1: A playbill for “Merry Old Folks” – Artiste: Walter Cole – Ventriloquist

Date: 14 Sept., 1876 - Lecture Hall, Carter Street, Walworth

2: A Concert Poster for “Jenny Hill” cabaret Artiste – date NK but Walter is working from Castle Street, Camberwell

This link will take you to another poster drawn by Walter for Gustave Fasola

Kind regards


Suffolk, UK

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