Will Onda & Company

Advertising card for Will Onda’s Company in Servants Wanted.

Will Onda’s Company was formed in around 1900 by Will Onda who had been an acrobat with the Brothers Onda.

The company marked a change to offering larger productions and comedy sketches rather than just acrobatic shows. Onda also began to hire venues and book acts himself.  By 1905 he offered variety shows including comedy sketches, music hall acts and film shows featuring comedy and topical films.

The advertising card on this page was produced for a comedy sketch called ‘Servants Wanted’. An agreement with the Rain family records that ‘Servants Wanted’ was performed at Chatham Palace of Varieties the week beginning 27.3.1905. Described as a ‘farcical absurdity’ the chaotic images on this card suggest a connection with the use of newspapers to advertise job vacancies and the lack of suitable applicants to work in respectable Edwardian homes.

Several copies of this advertising card survive in the Harris Community History library and the Harris Museum’s Onda archive.

Other sketches performed by Will Onda and Company were Hotel Comfort, Motormania and Quiet Night.

Copyright: Emma Heslewood

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