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THE TRAVELLING THEATRICAL SHOW Modern entertainments have not al- together killed the old-time travelling theatrical show. After more than 50 years the show first organised by E. I. Cole (The Bohemian) is still on the road-now under the name of Cole's Varieties, a venture that started as a "medicine show," and now scatters sophisticated variety throughout Aus- tralia, and showing in Launcestoen this week. Founder of the show, 82-years-old Edward I. Cole is still wedded to the cowboy and Indians atmosphere that first brought him success in his Wild West show. At Marrickville, N.S.W he runss, with his wife-formerly bliss Vene Linden and leading lady of the old days, a small factory for the manu- facture of the cowboy suits that small boys love to wear. Cole's Varieties is now controlled by W. H. (Bill) Ayr, who joined the Bohemians as a young actor and later married E. I. Cole's daughter Mabel and became the leading man of the show. Of the third generation, Mil- lie and Ned Ayr are leading players in the present troupe. Tom Ayr re- lieves his father of most of the mana- gerial duties. Old E. I. Cole recently related how he arrived as a young man in Ade- laide, and took his first job at 5/- a week and keep. He was too ambi- tious to work for long for so miser- able a reward, and next he bobbed up in Wilcannia, out west in N.S.W., where he was paid enough to enable him to save a little money. His beginning in the show business was as the Bohemian lecturer. Long haired and impressive in his profess- sional garb, E. I. Cole later joined forces with Texas Jack, an American showman of the Buffalo Bill type, and the Bohemian Dramatic Company was established. Before long "King" Cole had a company of 60 people and 20 horses. He travelled the show in a special train, the carriages of which were fitted as living quarters for the people. Plays of Other Days In 1911-12 he brought his entire show to Tasmania, showing in a large marquee with a museum-entrance at- tached to the show, and later he play- ed a long season at the Albert Hall, before going to Hobart, where he played in his canvas theatre, which was fitted up in the Domain, and also had long runs at the Theatre Royal, Academy of Music, and at the King's Hall, in Bathurst-street, of which he later on became the owner. The shows played by the Bohemians included, be- sides 'Buffalo Bill," with Edward I. Cole in the title role, "The Indian Hero," "Who is the Woman?" "The Parish Priest," "Under Two Flags," "The Missing Partner," "The Anar- chist," "Postmistress of the Czar" "East Lynne," "Uncle Tom's Cabin," "The Octoroon," "Captain Moonlite," "Prairie Scout," "Kia Ora," "The Squatter's Son," "The Gaol Bird," "King of the Road," "Cast Aside," "British Spy," "With the Colours,' "Sentenced for Life," "The Miner's Secret," and many others. Many of these stirring plays of the old days included the trick horses trained and usually introduced by "King" Cole himself. Who could forget the won- derful performance of Black Bess, the gallant nag in "Dick Turpin," who when dying after the famous ride to York kissed her master and was borne off shoulder high by twelve men? Then there was Cowboy in "With the Colours," a horse who, when his mas- ter was wounded, vainly tried to lift him from the ground by grasping the cuff of the soldier's tunic in his teeth, passed a water bag to the wounded man, and then lay beside him to en- able the soldier to crawl on to his back. This accomplished, "Cowboy" would rise with his wounded master and gallop off. But now it is all dif- ferent. The old scripts have been put away, never to be thumbed and studied again. Spangled acrobats and bare-legged dancing girls have taken the places of heroes and villains of the melodrama. And old hands shake their heads and mutter: "They don't want drama nowadays, and they don't want real actors, laddie." In his factory, sitting among the boxes of cowboy and Indian costumes, "Old King Cole," the Bohemian, sits and thinks of the fortunes he made and spent.