Peter Donald and Meta Carson
Printed by J. & W. Griffin Limited
Late 19th to early 20th century
Black and white photograph
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
This is a publicity postcard for a Scottish music hall act from the early 20th century. Music hall was as popular in the major Scottish cities as in the rest of Great Britain. Scotland produced many performers who were specifically Scottish and rarely travelled south of the border. All the big English stars appeared in Scotland, although there was always a lingering prejudice against them, and the Glasgow Empire was especially feared for its hostile reception of English comedians. Many Scottish acts stressed their origins in their material and 'traditional' costume of kilts and sporrans. The wearing of the tartan had been banned after the Jacobite rebellion in 1746 but was reintroduced as a symbol of Scotland's romantic past by the novelist Sir Walter Scott to celebrate King George IV's visit to Edinburgh in 1822.