Edgar, Maurice HYMAN

(Londres, 1870-Johannesburg, 1936)

hyman edgar 02

Edgar, Maurice Hyman (c. 1896)

Jean-Claude SEGUIN


Abraham Hyman (Londres, 1815-Londres, 20/12/1866) épouse Amelia Barnett (Aldgate, 1822-Middlesex, 1881). Descendance:

  • Rosetta Hyman (1841-1909)
  • Ann (Annie) Hyman (1842-)
  • Mordeca dit Maurice, Abraham Hyman (Londres, 1846-Middlesex, 27/11/1907) épouse Annie Harris (Londres, [1846]-Middlesex, 15/01/1927). Descendance :
    • Aubrey Hyman (Londres, 1869-)
    • Abraham Hyman (Londres, 1869-)
    • Edgar Maurice Hyman (Londres, 1870-Johannesburg, 15/09/1936)
    • Walter Hyman
    • Harry Hyman
    • Sydney M. Hyman
  • Sophia Hyman (1847-1929)
  • Woolf Benjamin Hyman (1848-1890)
  • Isaac Hyman (1850-)
  • Catherine Hyman (1853-)
  • Rachel Hyman (1854-)
  • Alfred Hyman (1855-)
  • Samuel Hyman (1856-)
  • Abraham Hyman (1859-)


Maurice Hyman, père d'Edgar Hyman, est un homme d'affaires connu dans le East-end londonien. Grâce au journal The Era, nous disposons d'informations relatives aux premières activités professionnelles d'Edgar :

Mr Edgar M. Hyman was for many years fin tie drapery trade, and occupied a responsible position with a great firm in St. Paul's Churchyard. His knowledge of professional life was obtained during a long association with Mr Sam Barnard in the management of the prosperous variety theatre at Woolwich.
Eventually, Mr Edgar Hyman joined his brother Mr Aubrey Hyman in South Africa ; and tried one occupation after another. But he hankered after the management of a music hall, and cast about for someone to join him in such an adventure. He was fortunate in meeting Mr George Alexander, a local gentleman, who had had some experience in catering for the popular entertainment, and who already had his eye on the Globe Theatre. Plenty of monetary support was forthcoming for the new venture ; and the Empire Theatre of Varieties began its career resplendent and well equipped.

The Era, Londres, Saturday 9 March 1895, p. 20.

hyman sydney johannesburg empire palace 1895
Mr. Sydney M. Hyman The Empire Palace, Johannesburg
This gentleman is a well-known figure in the music halls as the London manager for the Empire and Royal Theatre of Varieties, Johannesburg, South Africa. By his careful selection of artistes, and the manner in which these halls are managed, a Johannesburg tour is included in the itinerary of every artiste. The proprietors of the halls with which he is connected are to be congratulated at having such an energetic representative in London to look after their interests, and it is to him that the Empire, Johannesburg, chiefly owes its present success.
Music Hall and Theatre Review, London, Friday 3 January 1896, p. 15.

The Empire de Johannesburg est inauguré le 1er décembre 1894. Toujours grâce au même journal, nous savons que le théâtre est en réalité une entreprise familiale où interviennent, outre Edgar, son frère Sydney M. Hyman (Bureaux: 24, York Road, Lambeth, S.E.) et son père Maurice Hyman :

Mr Hyman, the representative of the undertaking in London, declares that the best artistes are good enough for him, and he has not hesitated to make an offer of a thousand pounds and expenses to a performer whom he is bent on luring to South Africa. A hundred and twenty-five pounds a-week is, to be sure, a large order, and might tempt most people. Just by way of preventing any misunderstanding, Mr Hyman begs to state that a hundred pounds a-week is not the common salary of the artists engaged at the Empire, Johannesburg. But the fact is that, with travelling expenses found and a salary somewhat in excess of that which he commands in England, an artist may regard a trip to Africa as beneficial both to his health and to his pocket. Mr Sydney Hyman, nominally the London manager of the Empire, Johannesburg, has had a useful business training on the Stock Exchange, but he is now devoting himself mainly to his brother's interests here, with the advantage of Mr Maurice Hyman's advice and paternal supervision. The expansion, under responsible managements, of entertainment enterprise in the colonies is of vast moment to the profession-so rapidly overcrowding. A journey to Africa, for instance, once a tremendous undertaking, has become but little more serious a matter than a trip to Manchester or Liverpool used to be. Most music-hall folk are now familiar, by experience or information with the needs, the characteristics, and the emoluments of the variety stage in Johannesburg, and for any misunderstandings have only themselves to blame.

The Era, Londres, Saturday 9 March 1895, p. 20.

Aubrey Hyman rejoint l'affaire de son frère et va s'occuper d'engager les artistes qui doivent intervenir pour la saison 1896-1897:

Mr. Aubrey Hyman leaves Waterloo To-day (Saturday) for Southampton, on his return to South Africa, per Union Company's s.s. Norman, and the following include some of the Artistes Engaged during his stay in England to appear at the above Hall during 1896 and 1897: [...], Carl Hertz [...].

The Era, Saturday 9 November 1895, p. 27.

La tournée avec le theatrograph de Carl Hertz (mai-juillet 1896)

La magicien et homme de spectacle Carl Hertz présente en effet ses tours et le theatrograph à Johannesburg, en juin 1896, avec la complicité d'Edgar M. Hyman :

The Cinematographe, which is being shown by Mr Carl Hertz, assisted by Mr Edgar M. Hyman, is a tremendous success. A notable feature of this performance is a view of Parliament-street, London. 

MR HERTZ is giving grand matinees every Saturday and Wednesday afternoons to the ladies and children of Johannesburg with the Cinematographe. Mr Edgar M. Hyman commences a tour with him next Monday, after which he will leave for England, where he may be expected about Aug. 1st.

The Era, London, Saturday 4 July 1896, p. 16.

Sans doute séduit par le cinématographe de Hertz, Edgar Hyman part donc en tournée avec lui. Ils se rendent à Pretoria (juin 1896, Maritzburg (juin 1896)... Peu après, il se rend à Londres :

Edgar M. Hyman, of the Empire, Johannesburg, arrives at Waterloo Station, between twelve and one to-day. A special train left Waterloo with a host of friends on Thursday, 4.55 p.m., for Southampton, to meet him.

Music Hall and Theatre Review, London, Friday 31 July 1896, p. 10.

Le manager de l'Empire et la fondation de la société "Empire Palace (Johannesburg) Limited" (1896-1898)

En peu de temps, Edgar Hyman est devenu une figure importante à laquelle la presse rend hommage comme on peut le constater dans cet article que lui consacre, avec son portrait, le Music Hall and Theatre Review :

MR. EDGAR M. HYMAN. Among the successful men of the day must be mentioned Mr. Edgar M. Hyman, who, in the course of eighteen months, has made a South African tour, a mere item in every artiste's experience. Mr. Luscombe Searelle was first in the field, and Mr. Hyman, who was then with Mr. Sam Barnard, at the Theatre Royal, Woolwich, immediately saw a great future for a rival music hail in Johannesburg. He was originally of opinion that there was room for both, but this proved not to be the case, and it became a question who would retire from the field. As the result of negotiations, Mr. Luscombe Searelle sold his theatre to Mr. Hyman last Christmas, and the Empire remains the only music hall in Johannesburg, as Mr. Luscombe Searelle's place is being run by Mr. Hyman as a theatre. The twenty-third company will sail on September 12th, one being sent every four weeks, the engagement being for eight weeks. Under Mr. Hyman's management, every star artiste is engaged, his last acquisition being Paul Cinquevalli. England is, however, unable to supply the needs of Johannesburg, and Mr. Hyman goes to America next week to engage everything of note on the other side, returning in the middle of October to England, and early in January to South Africa. That he has greatly raised the tone of the business may be judged from the fact that he pays £ 300 a week for artistes working one turn a night only, and he has already signed on advance contracts aggregating over £ 20,000. He thinks nothing too big for South Africa, and he considers Carl Hertz one of his most successful engagements. Alterations will shortly be commenced largely increasing the accommodation at the Empire to meet the ever-increasing demands of the greatest gold-producing city in the world.

Music Hall and Theatre Review, London, Friday 28 August 1896, p. 13.

Le séjour d'Edgar Hyman en Grande-Bretagne est prévu jusqu'au mois de janvier 1897 :

Mr. Edgar M. Hyman is in England till January, and will give all the information required.

London and Provincial Entra'cte, London, Saturday 29 August 1896, p 14.

En octobre 1896, toujours pour recruter des artistes pour son music-hall, il part aux États-Unis :

Mr. Edgar M. Hyman, the well-known manager of the Empire Palace, Johannesburg, is due to arrive in England on Wednesday next from the States, where he has secured many notable turns to increase the gaiety of South Africa. He expressed himself as being somewhat disappointed with the American market, as he found most of the big guns in New York to be either English or Continental artistes. He considers business there to be decidedly dull in consequence of the elections, and he is of opinion that the enormous salaries paid are hardly justified by the low price of admission.

Music Hall and Theatre Review, London, Friday 23 October 1896, p. 9.

Finalement, il ne repart en Afrique du Sud qu'en mars 1897 :

Mr Edgar M. Hyman is leaving for South Africa on Saturday next, March 13th, by the s.s. Norman. Wishes to thank all Proprietors and Managers in London and the Provinces for the kind way they have treated him during his stay in England, and for postponing Artistes' Dates and allowing them to finish Contracts on Friday Night, so as to sail for South Africa. Has booked the following Artistes during his stay...

The Era, London, Saturday 6 March 1897, p. 27.

Le succès aidant, Edgar Hyman et George Alexander décident de vendre l'Empire Palace afin de constituer une société la "Empire Palace (Johannesburg) Limited". Cette dernière est créée, à Londres, le 12 décembre 1898 (Morning Post, Londres, 12 décembre 1898, p. 8). Son capital s'élève à £ 115,000 (The Stage, Londre, 15 décembre 1898, p. 18). Aubrey et Edgar Hyman font partie du conseil de direction.

hyman empire palace

London and Provincial Entr'acte, Londres, 17 décembre 1898, p. 11.

Le reporter cinématographique de guerre de la Warwick Trading Company (1899-[1902])

C'est au cours de son séjour suivant en Grande-Bretagne - entre le 26 février (The Era, London, Saturday 25 February 1899, p. 19.) et le 23 septembre 1899 Music Hall and Theatre Review, London, Friday 1 September 1899, p. 10), qu'il rentre en contact avec Charles Urban, le patron de la Warwick Trading Company. Il devient alors l'un des opérateurs de la société britannique à partir au moins du début de la guerre des Boers, en octobre 1899 : 

The only genuine animated pictures from the front. Just received. Another consignment of war negatives from our special photographer Mr. Edgar M. Hyman, of the Johannesburg Empire, from Cape Town and Vicinity.
Our Technician, Mr J. Rosenthal, sailed for Durban on the Avondale Castle, Dec, 2d., with Government Permission to photograph every scene of interest on the troopship while en route to the Cape. Permission and passes also secured to Advance to the Front.
Mr. Bennett Stanford also sends us a consignment of negatives from the front. Subjects included in following list.
The Bioscope cameras used do no weigh three-quarters of a ton, and can bien as easily carried as an ordinary & place camera.

The Era, London, Saturday 9 December 1899, p. 28.

La Warwick Trading Company dispose d'une véritable équipe de reporters cinématographiques composée de Bennett Stanford, Edgar Hyman et Joseph Rosenthal qui est envoyé dans un premier temps dans le Natal :

War with the Transvaal.
Our photographic staff now in South Africa:
Orange free state: Mr Bennett Stanford.
Cape Colony: Mr. Edgar M. Hyman.
Natal: Mr J. Rosenthal.

The Era, London, Saturday 30 December 1899, p. 31.

Il continue ses activités au cours de l'année 1900 :

MR. EDGAR M. HYMAN, of the Empire, Johannesburg, has been appointed an officer on General Clement's Staff, and left Cape Town the first week in March to join column at Colesburg. Besides being correspondent for two London dailies Hyman is taking animated pictures for the Bioscope, and some of his pictures may seen at nearly every hall in London and the provinces.

Music Hall and Theatre Review, London, Friday 30 March 1900, p. 10.

Après le départ de Joseph Rosenthal, en juin 1900, remplacé par Sydney Goldman, Hyman continue de couvrir la guerre des Boers:

Mr HYMAN will continue to photographically record all further important events in connection with the Transvaal War in South Africa.

The Era, Londres, samedi 4 août 1900, p. 24. 

Peut-être a-t-il poursuivi son travail de correspondant au-delà.

Et après... ([1902]-1936)

Dans les années qui suivent, Edgar Hyman déploie un réseau de salles en Afrique du Sud. à Johannesburg, au Cap... En 1903, l'Empire est victime d'un incendie :

A fire broke out last Thursday evening at the Empire, Johannesburg , after the conclusion of the performance , resulting in the destruction of the stage, the being protected by the curtain. Messrs . Hyman have arranged for the company to appear at the Gaiety . Mr . Edgar M . Hyman received a further cable on Tuesday evening more particulars of the fire which occurred at the Empire last Thursday night. The management have got permission from the local authorities to erect a temporary stage, therefore the performances will now in a few days.

The Stage, London, Thursday 26 November 1903, p. 19.

Un nouvel établissement est prévu à Durban :

MR. EDGAR M. HYMAN, the managing director of the Empire, Johannesburg, and the Tivoli, Cape Town, is now in America, securing novel acts to send direct to South Africa. On his return to this country he hopes to be able to settle the plans for his new Empire in Durban, Natal.

Music Hall and Theatre Review, London, Friday 10 June 1904, p. 9.

Le New Empire de Johannesburg est inauguré en mai 1906

The New Empire, which is being built in Johannesburg , South Africa , will be opened on May 14 next Johannesburg already owns an Empire Music Hall run by Mr . Edgar M . Hyman, and the new hall will be under the same management. To head the bill for the opening performance the services of Miss Ada Reeve have been secured , Miss Reeve thus making a return to the variety stage for the time.

The Stage, London, Thursday 11 January 1906, p. 18.

Il finit par se défaire de son réseau de salles au profit de I. W. Schlesinger, à la fin de 1912. Il disparaît en 1936 :

Death of Edgar M. Hyman.
There are many in the profession who will hear with regret of the death of Edgar M. Hyman, a pioneer of variety in South Africa, who passed away suddenly in Johannesburg, South Africa, on September 15. Mr. Hyman opened the original Empire, Johannesburg, in 1894, and ran a circuit of other music halls and picture houses until they were taken over by I. W. Schlesinger at the end of 1912. It was Mr. Hyman's proud boast that he presented nearly every British star and many from America in South Africa. He was a stockbroker in Johannesburg and a director of several South African gold mining companies. The late Mr. Hyman will be buried in London in the family vault at Willesden Cemetery.

The Stage, London, Thursday 24 September 1936, p. 6.