Christmas drama performances from the 1890s

For December the Special Collections display on Level F in the Hugh Owen Library takes a look back to the 1890s and the early years of the Aberystwyth University Dramatic Society.

A dramtic scene from Much ado about nothing set against back drio of trees, 4 cast members are shown in a variety of poses.

A scene from Much Ado About Nothing 1893

The display is made up of a variety of photos and copies of the college magazine, giving a glimpse into the history of the university and the local area.

The display includes some academic staff from the early years of the University in dramatic garb, including Profs Ainsworth Davies who co-wrote the College Song Edward Edwards and Herman Ethe.

Two pictures, the left shows Edward Edwards from a scene in The Rivals he is in costume and dramatically grasping his head. The picture on the right show the cast of The Rivals shown is a mixture of staff and students in costume. They are arranged in two tiers, some standing some sitting.

Left – Edward Ewards from a scene in The Rivals 1897.
Right – The cast of The Rivals 1897.

Bill Hines the Collection Curator who arranges these displays writes;  In the early years of the College performances by the Dramatic Society formed a rare bonding opportunity in the restricted social round for academics and students, both male and female! The College Magazine gave a full write up to these performances and we are lucky to hold a series of photographs from plays such as “The Rivals” and “The Librarian”.

12 of the cast members from The Librarian from 1894. The picture shows a mixture of female and male staff and students in costume, they are arranged in two tiers some sitting and others standing.

The cast of The Librarian from 1894.

Other displays currently on show include one on Alfred Russel Wallace the evolutionary theorist on Level D of the Hugh Owen Library and in the Thomas Parry Library there is a collection of beautiful horn books.

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