THE LONDON STAGE 1800-1900

Joseph Donohue and James Ellis, General Editors

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ROYAL ADELPHI THEATRE

(formerly THE SANS PAREIL THEATRE)

1806-1900

Seasonal Summary for 1893-1894

Edited by Meredith Klaus

A Publication of

The Adelphi Calendar Project

Alfred L. Nelson and Gilbert B. Cross, General Editors

Theodore J. Seward, Jr., Systems Analyst

1992

Contents

Theatre Information

Royal Adelphi Theatre. Doors open 7:30, curtain 8:00.

Ticket prices: private boxes (grand tier) 3 guineas, private boxes (pit tier) 2 guineas, private boxes (upper circle tier) 1 guinea, orchestra stalls 10/-, balcony stalls 6/-, upper circle 3/-, pit 2/-, gallery 1/-.

Seasonal Dates

1 July 1893 - 18 August 1894

342 performances: 4 matinee, 338 evening

Dark (17): Theatre closed for repairs (18 Dec 1893, 19 Dec 1893, 20 Dec 1893, 21 Dec 1893, 22 Dec 1893, 23 Dec 1893)
Christmas Day (25 Dec 1893)
Preparations for the new piece (5 Mar 1894, 6 Mar 1894, 7 Mar 1894, 8 Mar 1894, 9 Mar 1894)
Good Friday (23 Mar 1894)
Preparations for the new piece (9 May 1894, 10 May 1894, 11 May 1894, 19 Jun 1894)

The Season

The Adelphi opened the 1893-1894 season with a tried and true formula--Henry Pettitt's play A Woman's Revenge (rather a misleading title, since the woman neither sought nor found vengeance), which gave the audience the sensational murder of a villain whose victim is then wrongfully accused. The Theatre recalled a former Adelphi success, The Cotton King, and quoted "the pious and bow-legged Mr. Binks" who, though only a parish clerk, had his head screwed on the right way. "Give me a good murder," declared Binks, "one as puzzles judge and jury and well-nigh gets the wrong man hanged" (1 August 1893, p. 102). The wrong man in this case was a woman, Mary Lonsdale, played by Elizabeth Robins.

At the beginning of the play, Mary is married to Frank Drummond (played by Charles Warner). It is a marriage of true love, interrupted by the machinations of a trio of villains--Mabel Wentworth (Gertrude Kingston), Jephtha Grimshaw (Charles Cartwright) and Robert Overstone (Herbert Flemming). Before his marriage, Frank had been carrying on a torrid love affair with Mabel. He had faithfully but foolishly recorded his love in a series of letters to the lady, letters which she saved, as women are wont to do. Jephtha and Robert conspire with the lady to use the undated letters, forging on them false dates subsequent to that of the wedding of the hitherto happy pair. Confronted with these letters, Mary flees from her husband's house, leaving Frank neither an explanation of her flight, nor of her whereabouts. He is then led to believe that she has eloped with Robert Overstone, who had long nourished an unrequited passion for both the lady and her property.

Seven years later, the villains fall out. Having no one left to cheer but each other, Overstone leaves Grimshaw to starve, a gratuitous piece of folly that will soon lead to his doom. Grimshaw tracks Overstone to his hiding place, and in the words of the Theatre:

The fleeced wolf follows the fleecer to Miss Robins' lonely retreat, and there, after a thrilling struggle, rendered more thrilling by deafening claps of thunder and blinding flashes of lightning, shoots him. That is sensation the first. On its heels comes sensation the second. The wife, on circumstantial evidence is accused of . . . murder, and her husband, now convinced that he has misjudged her from the first, and being a leading light of the criminal bar, conducts her defence (p. 103).

The trio of villains consisted of Herbert Flemming, a new recruit to the Adelphi, who had been "temporarily associated elsewhere with the 'advanced' drama;" Charles Cartwright, "whose villainous propensities likewise possess an agreeably intellectual cast;" and Gertrude Kingston, who played the adventuress "of whom she is making a speciality."

Both the Theatre and the Times commended the trial scene in which the barrister husband bravely and skillfully defends his wrongly accused wife, though the Times was more wholehearted in its praise, the Theatre remaining rather tongue-in-cheek. The Times noted:

Mr. Charles Warner was warmly welcomed on Saturday night to the scene of his former triumphs, and indeed, the part of Frank Drummond, barrister, is one in which this actor's exuberant method and sympathetic personality are seen to the best advantage . . . his fiery and passionate but well-restrained performance . . . won him the ungrudging good will and admiration of the house (3 July 1893, p. 4).

The Times said of Elizabeth Robins, "It is strange to find Miss Robins, the accredited exponent of Ibsenism, engaged in the delination of Mr. Pettitt's somewhat artless heroines" (3 July 1893).

Scenic effects included not only the smashing thunder and blaze of lightning in the murder scene, but even more remarkably, a representation of the famous Old Bailey "depicted in all its grimness and vulgarity," as the Theatre put it. "The body of the court is thronged with witnesses and the junior bar. The public strains over the gallery balustrade. Everything is there that ought to be" (Theatre, 1 August 1893, p. 103).

The long run of A Woman's Revenge was followed by three plays in quick succession--The Cotton King, The Two Orphans and Shall We Forgive Her? The first two ran only one month each, and the third for two.

With the opening of The Cotton King by Sutton Vane, the Theatre lamented the death of Henry Pettitt, being of the opinion that Vane could not replace him because Pettitt cast "the overshadowing reputation of the one and only master of melodrama" (1 April 1894, p. 228). The Times was less laudatory of Pettitt, claiming that Sutton Vane had gained his theatrical experience in "the transpontine and provincial stage, where the Pettitt tradition strongly prevails" (12 March 1894).

The Cotton King follows the fortunes of Jack Osborn, played by Charles Warner. In the final thrilling rescue scene, he saves the heroine, Hetty Drayson, played by Marion Terry, from being smashed to death by a descending lift, set in motion by the villain. The Times commented, "The lift sensation is probably the most thrilling of its kind ever devised since Boucicault bethought him of tying a man to the metals of the Underground Railway to be crushed by a passing train."

Both the Theatre and the Times agreed that the production was saved by the quality of the acting, particularly commending Warner, Terry, and Cartwright, playing the part of a "pasty-faced drunkard" and Mrs. Dion Boucicault, playing a minor role.

The Two Orphans, a revival from 1878, was praised by the Theatre as one of the best melodramas ever written (1 June 1894, p. 334). Though the Times was enthusiastic about the acting of all the players, the Theatre regretted a certain lack of polish found in the earlier production and missed a "certain distinction, a breath of the grand air which can exalt and dignify even melodrama" (1 June 1894). However the Theatre found solace in the present production because of the performance of Marion Terry as the blind beggar girl, Louise. Despite thunderous applause which greeted the first performance, and optimistic predictions of a long run, alas, the play survived for only one short month.

The Two Orphans was quickly succeeded on 20 June by Shall We Forgive Her?, a new play by Frank Harvey with an Ibsenesque quality. Indeed, the plot sounds like an attempt at a sequel to A Doll's House--the husband, after learning about a secret in his wife's past, banishes her from his home and their children. The husband, played by Fred Terry, was labeled a "pharisee" by the Theatre, a man who, "at the corners of the streets, so to speak . . . gives thanks that he is not as other men are" (1 August 1894, p. 69). Obviously, this is not a typical hero of melodrama, and the Theatre asserted that the title should be changed to Shall We Forgive Him?" Julia Neilson played the wife, "the queenliest heroine conceivable." And Ada Neilson earned high praise for playing a difficult PART: "Any task more thankless than to gather up virtuous skirts lest they brush the tainted heroine whom the house adores could scarcely be devised" (p. 70). Shall We Forgive Her? played until 18 August when the season ended.

MK

Theatre Management And Functionaries

Authors

Harvey, Frank Shall We Forgive Her? (20 Jun 1894)
Oxenford, John Two Orphans, The (12 May 1894)
Pettitt, Henry Woman's Revenge, A (1 Jul 1893)
Vane, Sutton Cotton King, The (10 Mar 1894)

Musical Composers And Arrangers

Jones, Edward Cotton King, The (10 Mar 1894)
Shall We Forgive Her? (20 Jun 1894)
Sprake, Henry Woman's Revenge, A (1 Jul 1893)

Actors

Budd, Herbert

Jerry Blake (52) in Shall We Forgive Her? (20 Jun 1894 - 18 Aug 1894); Marquis de Presles (14) in Two Orphans (2 Jun 1894 - 18 Jun 1894); Marais (18) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 1 Jun 1894)

Carter, John

Silas Kent (51) in Cotton King (10 Mar 1894 - 8 May 1894); John Overstone (207) in Woman's Revenge (1 Jul 1893 - 3 Mar 1894)

Cartwright, Charles M.

James Shillinglaw (51) in Cotton King (10 Mar 1894 - 8 May 1894); Pierre (32) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894); Jephtha Grimwade (207) in Woman's Revenge (1 Jul 1893 - 3 Mar 1894)

Cheesman, William

the doctor (32) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894)

Collins, R.

Charlotte (32) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894)

Cooper, Harwood

Usher of the court (207) in Woman's Revenge (1 Jul 1893 - 3 Mar 1894)

Cross, Julian

Dr. McKerrow (52) in Shall We Forgive Her? (20 Jun 1894 - 18 Aug 1894)

Dalton, Charles

Neil Garth (52) in Shall We Forgive Her? (20 Jun 1894 - 18 Aug 1894)

Dorington, Hugh

Marais (14) in Two Orphans (2 Jun 1894 - 18 Jun 1894)

Everard, Vivian

Count de Mailly (32) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894)

Eversfield, Harry

Reggie (52) in Shall We Forgive Her? (20 Jun 1894 - 18 Aug 1894)

Flemming, Herbert

De Fonseca (51) in Cotton King (10 Mar 1894 - 8 May 1894); James Stapleton (52) in Shall We Forgive Her? (20 Jun 1894 - 18 Aug 1894); Count de Liniere (32) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894); Robert Overstone (207) in Woman's Revenge (1 Jul 1893 - 3 Mar 1894)

Gardiner, Edward W.

Dick Chilton (49) in Woman's Revenge (5 Aug 1893 - 29 Sep 1893)

Harding, Rudge

Sir John Blacklock Q. C. (207) in Woman's Revenge (1 Jul 1893 - 3 Mar 1894)

James, David S.

Picard (32) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894)

Leicester, Ernest

Armand (32) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894)

Leigh, Arthur

Martin Doyle (207) in Woman's Revenge (1 Jul 1893 - 3 Mar 1894)

Lyle, Lyston

Dr. Gilbert (51) in Cotton King (10 Mar 1894 - 8 May 1894); Marquis de Presles (18) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 1 Jun 1894)

Macklin, Francis H.

Paul Elsworth (52) in Shall We Forgive Her? (20 Jun 1894 - 18 Aug 1894)

Nesbitt

Jacquot (32) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894)

Northcote, John

La Fleur (32) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894)

Northcote, W.

George Piper (51) in Cotton King (10 Mar 1894 - 8 May 1894); Martin (32) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894)

Norton, R.

Marquis d'Estrees (18) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 1 Jun 1894)

O'Neill, Edward

Richard Stockley (51) in Cotton King (10 Mar 1894 - 8 May 1894)

Pawle, J. Lennox

Rev. Mr. Ponder (51) in Cotton King (10 Mar 1894 - 8 May 1894)

Rignold, William

Jacques (32) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894)

Russell, Howard

Peter Bell (51) in Cotton King (10 Mar 1894 - 8 May 1894); Mr. Justice Earle (207) in Woman's Revenge (1 Jul 1893 - 3 Mar 1894)

Strickland, R.

Marquis d'Estrees (14) in Two Orphans (2 Jun 1894 - 18 Jun 1894)

Terry, Fred

Oliver West (52) in Shall We Forgive Her? (20 Jun 1894 - 18 Aug 1894)

Tripp

Phillips (51) in Cotton King (10 Mar 1894 - 8 May 1894)

Warner, Charles

Jack Osborn (51) in Cotton King (10 Mar 1894 - 8 May 1894); Frank Drummond (207) in Woman's Revenge (1 Jul 1893 - 3 Mar 1894)

Williams, Arthur

Benjamin Tupper (51) in Cotton King (10 Mar 1894 - 8 May 1894); Dick Chilton (158) in Woman's Revenge (1 Jul 1893 - 3 Mar 1894)

Williamson

Inspector Graham (51) in Cotton King (10 Mar 1894 - 8 May 1894)

Younge, William

Clerk of the Arraigns (207) in Woman's Revenge (1 Jul 1893 - 3 Mar 1894)

Actresses

Achurch, Miss Janet

Hetty Drayson (9) in Cotton King (4 Apr 1894 - 13 Apr 1894)

Barton, Miss Adah

Maggie Westwood (72) in Woman's Revenge (4 Dec 1893 - 3 Mar 1894)

Boucicault, Mrs. Dion L.

Mrs. Drayson (51) in Cotton King (10 Mar 1894 - 8 May 1894)

Bowman, Miss Empsie

Little Mary (207) in Woman's Revenge (1 Jul 1893 - 3 Mar 1894)

Brough, Miss Fanny W.

Lottie Bromley (61) in Woman's Revenge (1 Jul 1893 - 8 Sep 1893)

Caine, Miss L. Hall

Elsie Kent (51) in Cotton King (10 Mar 1894 - 8 May 1894)

Cole, Miss Edith

Marianne (32) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894)

Craig, Miss Ailsa

Cora (32) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894)

Drummond, Miss Dolores

La Frochard (32) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894)

Forster, Miss Florence L.

Maggie Westwood (135) in Woman's Revenge (1 Jul 1893 - 2 Dec 1893)

Hardinge, Miss Mabel

Nellie West (52) in Shall We Forgive Her? (20 Jun 1894 - 18 Aug 1894)

Harrison, Miss

Susan (51) in Cotton King (10 Mar 1894 - 8 May 1894)

Jeffreys, Miss Ellis

Henriette (32) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894)

Kingston, Miss Gertrude

Mabel Wentworth (42) in Woman's Revenge (1 Jul 1893 - 18 Aug 1893)

Leigh, Mrs. Henry

Aunt Martha (52) in Shall We Forgive Her? (20 Jun 1894 - 18 Aug 1894)

Lingard, Miss Alice

Countess de Liniere (32) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894)

Neilson, Miss Ada

Joanna Lightfoot (45) in Shall We Forgive Her? (20 Jun 1894 - 10 Aug 1894)

Neilson, Miss Julia

Grace (52) in Shall We Forgive Her? (20 Jun 1894 - 18 Aug 1894)

Polini, Miss Harrietta

Joanna Lightfoot (7) in Shall We Forgive Her? (11 Aug 1894 - 18 Aug 1894); Genevieve (32) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894)

Robins, Miss Elizabeth

Mary Lonsdale (54) in Woman's Revenge (1 Jul 1893 - 1 Sep 1893)

Roby, Miss Mary

Mabel Wentworth (8) in Woman's Revenge (19 Aug 1893 - 28 Aug 1893)

Rorke, Miss Mary

Mary Lonsdale (153) in Woman's Revenge (2 Sep 1893 - 3 Mar 1894)

Stanley, Miss Alma

Kitty Marshall (51) in Cotton King (10 Mar 1894 - 8 May 1894); Florette (32) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894); Mabel Wentworth (157) in Woman's Revenge (29 Aug 1893 - 3 Mar 1894)

Terry, Miss Marion

Hetty Drayson (42) in Cotton King (10 Mar 1894 - 8 May 1894); Louise (32) in Two Orphans (12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894)

Thomas, Miss Agnes

Lottie Bromley (146) in Woman's Revenge (9 Sep 1893 - 3 Mar 1894)

Musicians

Singers

Pieces Performed And Summary Cast Lists

Cotton King, The

(drama, 4 acts) by Sutton Vane, Edward Jones (comp) (51 times, 10 Mar 1894 - 8 May 1894)

Summary Cast:

Shall We Forgive Her?

(drama, 5 acts) by Frank Harvey, Edward Jones (comp) (52 times, 20 Jun 1894 - 18 Aug 1894)

Summary Cast:

Two Orphans, The

(drama, 5 acts) by John Oxenford (32 times, 12 May 1894 - 18 Jun 1894)

Summary Cast:

Woman's Revenge, A

(drama, 4 acts) by Henry Pettitt, Henry Sprake (comp) (207 times, 1 Jul 1893 - 3 Mar 1894)

Summary Cast:

Genre

Music, Composers, And Musicians

Songs, Composers, And Singers


Adelphi Theatre

End Of 1893-1894 Season

(Generated 01-Oct-1998)


© Copyright 1992 by Alfred L. Nelson and Gilbert B. Cross

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