Mr J. C. Williamson's BioTableau.
A large audienoe filled the Oddfellows' Hall last evening on the occasion of the lirat visit to Ashburton of Mr J. 0. Williamson's Bio-Tableau Company. The eiiow tikes the form of a display of Biograph pictures, accompanied by appropriate sound effecls, Bad alto^efchsc forms tho most interesting evonina's amusement which Ashburton has scon for somo timo. The programme was an excellently varied one, comprising scenes in the Far East, Russian troops, Cossacks on the march across frozen Lake Baikal, clever feats of horsemanship by Cos3acks, and thy arrival of General Kuropatkia and his staff at Irkutsk. A novelty in the way of Biogroph vi^ws is the series depicting" Cheap-jacks atChoapside " where vurious hawkers take their tarn find display their wares baforo the audience. The Japaue.=e troops are not neglected, and many views aro given, showing the little brown man on the march, in the trenches, aboard a train, and storming a hill. It maybe said that the views of both Russian and Japanese soldiery &hown by the Bio-Tableau are perfectly genuine, some of. the war views ehotfn by other companies in Ashburton having been bare-faced " fakes." One of the most interesting views was that of the great Nikko procession, part of a Japanese religious festival. The fantastic garb of the slowly moving multitude, representing apparently every era and every costume in Japanese history, from the elaborate armour of a hundred years ago to the strange official garb of the present day, combined with the weird music of the orchestra, with its occasional clash of drum or symbol, gave the moving representation much of the charm which mast belocg to the original spectacle. One of the most realistic views we have ever seen was one of a series of pictures of Russian artillery. The battery Jaas to pass through a ford, which though not very deep is sharply graded. Gun after gun is galloped up to the ford, the horses dash into the water, the air is filled with the sounds of straining harness, splashing water, and the cracking of whips, and then with a supreme effort the horse* struggle up the bank, and apparently rush on top of the audience. The Biograph lends itself admirably to the rapresentation of the marvellous, and the series entitled " The Ballet Master's Dream" and the gorgeous pantomime " Tubmarina," with its marvellous scenic effects, have to be seen to be appreciated. Unique in the history of cinematograph snapshots is the series depicting the great fire at Toronto. The alarm cf fire is given, the doois of the great fire station open, and engine after engine issues forth, with ita freight of firemen. .Then we are shown the brigade coming down a busy street at full tilt. Then again the scene shifts to the conflagration itself; tall buildings are outlined in black silhouette against the fierce red of the flames, and the water from the firemen's hose can be seen playing upon the blaze. We are then given a panoramic view of the ruins left by the conflagration, and a melancholy spectacle it is. Some of the vast walls of six and eight Btorey buildings have been left standing without the support of adjoining walls, so that they are Ruble to come dowu at any minute. We are—per Bio-Tableau—permitted to witness the dynamiting of some of these walls by the fire department, There is a pause—then a flash of white smoke and a rumbling roar, and part of the lofty, wall Beems to collapse from top to bottom, and falls with a sliding crash to the ground. Several humorous pictures are shown, but to describe in detail the whole of the entertainment would take up too much space. The show is Bio-Tableau all through, living pictures being shown the whole of the evening. There is very little flicker in the views shown, and the realistic sound effects add much to the general effect of the various scenes. The orchestra attached to the company deserves special mention, as though small in numbers ifc is remarkably efficient. It consists of a Tiolinisfc, a cornetist, and a pianist, and the quality of the music turned out by this combination is excellent, considering the sparseness of the instrumentation. We understand that the violinist and the cornetist, both apparently lads in their taens, are brothers, who hail from New Plymouth, and were " discovered " by Mr J. C. Williamson. If the pair consistently study and make the most of their remarkable talent, we can confidently predict an extremely prosperous future for them.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6560, 3 May 1905
Mr J. C. Williamson's Bio-Tableau. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6560, 3 May 1905
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