G. H. Chirgwin

(1854—1922) music-hall performer

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(1854–1922) English music-hall comedian and musician. Born in London, he was one of the three Brothers Chirgwin, working street-corner pitches, ‘free-and-easies’, and seaside resorts. By the 1870s he was ‘the White-Eyed Kaffir’, sporting a black face and a single diamond-shaped white eye (often reversing the colours), leotard and leggings, or zebra-striped fleshings, and an immense stove-pipe hat. He played the drum, cello, fiddle, and sang in a thin falsetto voice, his most famous songs being ‘My Fiddle Is my Sweetheart’ and ‘The Blind Boy’. He appeared in pantomime regularly, and at the first Royal Variety Performance in 1911.

From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.

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