London: 1844. Princess's Theatre double broadsheet featuring a Chinese themed "New Musical Burlesque Spectacle" with a principal character by the name of "Sloe Leaf the spirit of English Tea", reflecting the English obsession with China, tea and the exotic, in the period just after the First Opium War. Sloe Leaf and the Congou are two main characters, with Congou being (pinyin: gongfu hóngchá) a black Chinese tea variety used by 19th-century tea importers in America and Europe. It was the base of the 19th-century English Breakfast tea blend. (Wikipedia)
The two act spectacle is billed as a "Musical Burlesque Spectacle" written by Gilbert Abbott a Beckett, first published on January 1, 1843, immediately at the conclusion of the First Opium War which ended August 29, 1842.
It features characters such as Sing Song, "Prince of China", Poo Poo, "his Prime Minister", Congou "the great original Teetotaller", and Paperpate "King of the Butterfly Dominions". It is set in the "Gardens and Summer Palace near Pekin", in apartments of the King's Palace, and at the cave of Congou.
The spectacle includes a musical interlude, "Singing for the Million, with a new lesson for the Chinese, written and arranged by Mr. Reynoldson."
The broadsheet also features the "Maid Of Judah", dramatised from Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe, by Rophino Lacy and with music by Rossini. Its cast of characters includes Saxons, Normans, and two Jews, "Isaac of York" and Rebecca, "the maid of Judah". The new tragic opera of "Lucrezia Borgia" is also in the repertoire.
The spectacle measures 17" on a super wide sheet 19 x 19 1/2", text printed in 2 columns. Old folds flattened. Title printed lower left side column, in heavy black type, with some loss of the black within the letters, strengthened from behind with tissue, visually not distracting. Very good overall. Item #24025