The Romps, late 19th century

The Romps, late 19th century

The Romps
Photographed by Bellow and Stocks Company
Late 19th century
Black and white photograph

In the search for audience appeal, numerous acts have involved children, here dressed as Pierrots. The first Pierrot troupe was formed in 1886 and until the 1920s they were hugely popular, appearing in music halls and, especially at sea-side towns all over Britain, often setting up their booths on the beach. Their entertainments consisted of songs, dances and comedy sketches. Their traditional white baggy costume, decorated down the front with large black pompoms and 'dunce's' hat, showed their  development from the Pierrot character in the Commedia dell'arte.