This was the week that was

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The Independent Culture
Today On this day in 1858 Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" had its first performance. It celebrated the walking down the aisle of Victoria (daughter of the Queen) and Prince Frederick of Prussia. Somewhat inauspiciously, their first child grew up to be the Kaiser.

Tomorrow In 1907 there was an absolute riot at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, not on stage, but in an audience furious at the "foul language" of J M Synge's Playboy of the Western World. The riots continued in the theatre - but so did the show, thanks to a strong police presence. (Darling, your Garda are wonderful!)

Wednesday Verdi died in 1901 at a ripe old 87. As well as composing, he for a time had a day job as a member of the first Italian Parliament, although he never set his experiences to music (Il Pointo del Ordore?).

Thursday The late, and much lamented Ronnie Scott was born in 1927; he was much applauded for his saxophone, his club and his gloomy request to an unresponsive audience: "Let's all hold hands and try to contact the living!"

Friday At the first children's art competition in 1755, Dick Cosway won the under-14 prize, the then enormous sum of pounds 15. He later became a member of the Royal Academy.

Saturday Stanley Holloway died in 1982. Although his comic monologues were delivered in a Lancashire accent, he was in fact a Londoner and is famed for playing the Cockney bin-emptier in My Fair Lady.

Sunday In 1899 Egyptian archaeologists unearthed five life-sized Pharaonic statues at the Temple of Luxor. These dated back to 1470BC, which meant a waste of the last three-and-a-half millennia when they could have been bringing in easy money to visitors at nine quid a throw.

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