Charles Sloggett (1889-1962) performed across Australia from 1911 into the 1950s with a 2 1/2 hour magic review. He began touring in a horse and wagon and later required a fleet of trucks. He featured women in his show throughout his career. His touring finally came to an end when a horrific fire destroyed his equipment and live animals.
A couple of his posters included here are headlined with “Everything new except the name,” which was only half true. The name of his wife changed frequently. The show continued to be called The Sloggetts throughout his four marriages, and at least three of the four women he married were magicians and part of the show, including Athena Pallas (Nola Mansfield), Tex Veletta (Theresa Potts) and Deloras (Emily Walton).
Athena Pallas began performing in 1927 when she joined a show that was billed as the Incomparable Sloggetts. Besides performing in the show, she was also heavily involved with the management of both the show and Charles, as she wound up marrying him.
They traveled with the large comedy illusion show across Australia for 12 years. They presented now classic illusions such as the Doll House, Living Pictures, and a routine in which Nola was decapitated. According to one source, besides acting as an assistant and doing her own acts as magician and ventriloquist, she was also the show’s truck driver, laundry woman, seamstress, cook, doctor, vet (they had many animals in the show) and pianist. As a wife, she was apparently never paid a dime for all of her work. Whether this was the reason, or because it was just not a happy marriage, she left him to go out on her own as a performer in 1941.
While we have few details about her later performing career, we know that she did manipulation from the photos of her included here of her doing the Linking Rings and the Multiplying Billiard Balls. She appears to have had a very successful solo career.
Tex Veletta performed magic in the show as well as being a ventriloquist, juggler and dancer.
Deloras was billed as The Celebrated Sensational Scientific Lady Hypnotist and Mentalist.
I found this description of their act (probably Delores) in an August 1956 Linking Ring: “Charles Sloggett and visitor Mrs. Sloggett intrigued us with a most impressive blind-fold. Mrs. Sloggett’s eyes were covered with cotton wool which was taped into place with adhesive tape. All this was covered with a thick blind-fold. Nevertheless, she was able to identify objects held near her by just passing her hand over them. Her sight once more restored, she took a length of rope and, coiling it. she casually threw the coils which had turned into rings, away.
We have a few pictures from the Sloggetts show, although I believe are all from after Nola left.
Charles’ son Allan continues to be a popular Australian clown and magician. After the fire, he was raised by his father’s ex-wife Nora.