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Natural-born showman: the stage career of Charles Collette, actor & comedian.

Charles Collette (1842-1924) was an actor and comedian whose career spanned over forty years. His formative years were spent under the Bancrofts' management at the Prince of Wales Theatre (in Tottenham Street, rebuilt in 1904 as the Scala Theatre). In 1870 he married the actress Blanche Julia Wilton (1851-1934), a younger sister of Marie Wilton (1839-1921), later Lady Bancroft. After leaving the Bancrofts, Collette rapidly consolidated his reputation as a skilled comedian and actor in an astonishingly wide variety of roles. Although highly regarded, Collette was never considered to be in the highest rank of his profession alongside the likes of C J Mathews or J L Toole, yet when the details of his career are examined, he emerges as an actor of extraordinary versatility, arguably his single greatest asset. For the purposes of discussing and analysing Collette's career, his working life of forty-six years has been divided into four periods: apprenticeship (1868-1876), consolidation (1876-1886), change (1887-1896), and conclusion (1897-1914). A tabulated summary of his individual performances, similarly organised, is presented at the end.

Out of the sixteen or so plays in which Collette appeared, the Bancrofts' various books refer in any detail to only four T W Robertson comedies and four other plays. (1) Three comedies and five farces in which Collette often acted, with his wife and her younger sister Augusta Maria Wilton (1854-1926) are disregarded or covered briefly. Other previously undocumented roles for Collette were in plays including seven comedies and one drama not produced by the Bancrofts. He received encouraging reviews for his appearance as Charles Hampton in the otherwise poorly-received comedy Tame Cats, (2) a performance that is well-documented by the Bancrofts. (3) He also drew rare praise from Squire Bancroft for the 'manly pathos' he displayed in his role as Sergeant Jones in Ours (1870). (4) Of equal importance to Collette's career development were his less well-known performances in farces and other stage productions, including the creation of his own hallmark farce with the almost unpronounceable name, Cryptoconchoidsyphonostomata, which laid the foundation for his distinctive 'song and patter' one-man entertaining style.

His early roles in farces are largely ignored in biographical sources. Those performed under the Bancrofts included, in 1871, Cut off with a Shilling, in which Collette played Colonel Berners to critical acclaim. (5) Collette benefited from the triple-bill system used by the Bancrofts up to 1874 because these farces were played as curtain-raisers or after-pieces to the main piece which in a season could have a run of one hundred performances or more. Collette also played in a number of little-known comedies which are similarly omitted from standard sources. One such comedy was Stage Lands (1875), in which Collette's performance in the role of Platitude Potter prompted a reviewer to remark that 'in "old men" parts Mr. Collette has given many proofs of his excellence' but that he was at times 'rather too extravagant in gesture'. (6) These comments point to two characteristics of Collette's early professional development, the first being his talent in roles involving 'disguise', the second, a perceived flaw in his delivery, being at times rather 'over-the-top', a frequent criticism. Other comedic roles included Feste in Twelfth Night (1875), and Dr Pangloss in Heir-at-Law (1876), which in the opinion of one reviewer was 'the most promising performance by this actor I have yet witnessed'. (7) The only dramatic role played by Collette in this period (apart from Man and Wife) was Major Melroy in Miss Gwilt (1876) in which he provided 'an entertainment sketch of an old gentleman', (8) illustrating his utility in such parts. The first milestone in Collette's comedic development, however, was undoubtedly the creation of his own farce Cryptoconchoidsyphonostomata, originally named While It's To Be Had, and hereafter referred to as Crypto. This was to plant the seeds, in content and style, of his later one-man entertainments. The three subordinate parts were filled by many different players over the years, his daughter Mary Effie Collette (1871-1961) included, but only Collette ever took the leading role, that of Plantagenet Smith. Crypto was first performed at a charity event under its original name in 1874 where Collette's 'patter' capabilities were well appreciated. (9) Crypto is often cited as having been the curtain-raiser, then immediately replaced, on the triple bill at D'Oyly Carte's Royalty Theatre when Gilbert & Sullivan's Trial By Jury received its premiere on 25 March 1875, with Offenbach's La Perichole as the main feature. (10) Albeit insignificant alongside the seminal Trial by Jury, its importance to Collette's career was immense. One reviewer remarked on Collette's extraordinary ability 'to commit to memory so many outlandish words', and suggested that in such characters he could attain an unrivalled position. (11) Crypto was not to everyone's taste initially, with some reviewers utterly baffled by its content. (12) However, it soon became a firm favourite, and was performed on tour as well. The final performances were held at the Imperial Theatre in 1881 on a double bill preceding The Critic. The forerunner to Crypto, While It's to be Had, was, somewhat confusingly, originally named Bounce (not to be confused with Alfred Maltby's later farce of the same name), a title recorded by Allardyce Nicoll from the Lord Chamberlain's manuscripts of plays submitted for licensing. (13) Smith, the principal character, is out to impress one Mr Toddleposh, a grocer whose daughter Polly, whom Smith met at Margate, is already smitten ('Oh, Pa! don't he talk lovely, you won't blight two fond hearts?'). He does this by 'showing off' his knowledge on a range of subjects in a series of tongue-twisting 'patter speech' renditions, some accompanied by music. This first version of Crypto constituted a template for Collette's subsequent career as a stand-up comedian. The original concept was developed further over time, with elements used as 'stock' material long after Crypto had disappeared from the playbills, a very economical approach. Crypto was not a piece fixed in form and content, but was ever transforming, rather like the exotic creatures that Collette conjured up with such brilliant inventiveness, tapping skilfully into his contemporaries' obsession with such aberrations of natural history. Later versions of Crypto included his famous comic song 'What An Afternoon!', which he both wrote and composed, and which proved a big crowd-puller. (14)


Over the next decade, Collette, consolidating his reputation, divided his time predominantly between farces and comedies, but he also acted in three burlesques and seven dramas, and for the first time appeared in pantomime and comic opera. Collette also started touring, thus strengthening his growing reputation on the provincial theatre circuit. His first challenging farcical role was Tom Bounce in (Maltby's) Bounce (1876), (15) in which Collette famously drew on his gift for disguise and mimicry to play twelve characters in order to win the lady of his choice, a performance which also stamped him with the hallmark of versatility. (16) Bounce was written by Maltby specifically for Collette and the lead was only ever acted by him. Like Crypto it was an ephemeral piece, evoking the same mixed initial reaction in early reviews, but eventually gaining in popularity. It was often performed in conjunction with Crypto, and both disappeared from the playbills after 1881. Many of the farces and burlesques in which Collette played during this period are not recorded in standard sources. One notable representation was his 'remarkably clever piece of acting' as Rip with his own company in the West Country in a burlesque adaptation of Rip Van Winkle (1880). (17) He also succeeded in the demanding dual role of Puff and Sir Fretful Plagiary in The Critic (1881), again with his own company. In comedic roles Collette received particular praise for his Tackleton in The Cricket on the Hearth (1877), (18) Professor Lobelia in Love Wins (1878), under his own direction, (19) and Lord Glossmore in Money (1879). (20) His performances in Grandfather Whitehead (1878) and in The Liar (1878) were described as 'vivacious' by The Times, while Joseph Knight commented that Collette had acted with 'animal spirits that ... bordered on the obstreperous'. (21) Descriptive terms like 'vigorous', 'vivacious', 'energetic', 'extravagant', 'irrepressible', 'animated', 'restless', 'obstreperous' and 'intrusive' recur in contemporary reviews of Collette's performances. These were not traits especially developed by him specifically for the stage but expressed his underlying nature, as recorded in the recollections and reminiscences of contemporaries. His interpretation of Old Tom in After Dark (1879) gave Collette the opportunity to demonstrate that he could act serious roles, and with pathos. This came as a pleasant surprise to the critics, (22) but it was a potential he never chose to fulfil. Collette's appearances in pantomime and musical comedy in 1879 were in new genres to which he was eminently suited, but the former, perhaps surprisingly, was never to figure again in his career. He played the 'wicked magician' Abanazar in Aladdin, dispensed 'comic villainy' as Simon Slyboots in Dick Whittington, and acted Cabriolo in the revival of Offenbach's opera The Princess of Trebizonde, for which he received excellent reviews. (23) The part of Cabriolo had been made famous by J L Toole at the Gaiety nine years earlier, and in the same role, Collette demonstrated that he was second-to-none when it came to the delivery of comic monologue and comic singing. From 1880 to 1886, Collette spent much of his time on tour. For at least half this period he toured his own company in F C Burnand's comedy The Colonel in the role of Col. Wootweel W Woodd of the US Cavalry, a part that made him famous throughout the country. (24) Collette then gave his first of many performances as Adonis Evergreen in the younger Charles Mathews' farcical comedy My Awful Dad (1883). This was a further milestone for Collette because eight years earlier it had received its first production at the same theatre, the Gaiety, with Mathews in the title role, and so comparisons were inevitable. Collette rose to the task, one which required all his gifts of 'unflagging vivacity', 'irrepressible energy' and 'rapid articulation', and was duly rewarded with excellent reviews which praised a performance that did much to advance his reputation. (25) Collette also harboured ambitions to be accepted as the 'Modern Mathews' and so it was important for him to take on as many different roles associated with the late master as possible, one other being Young Wilding in The Liar (1884). The Era commented that while Collette appeared excellent in the part (at least for those who had never seen Mathews), 'his volubility is at times excessive'. (26) This criticism of 'excessive volubility' in Collette's delivery was often to be found in contemporary reviews. Collette may have been unable to match the distinctive fluency or 'finesse and airy grace' of Mathews, but at least he could be credited with giving the latter's famous comedy and farcical roles not only a new birth, without which many might possibly have disappeared from the stage, but also a refreshingly new interpretation unique to Collette himself. From mid-1886 until December 1886 Collette toured with the Vaughan-Conway Comedy Company, whose performances were widely covered in the provincial press. In the roles of Moses in The School for Scandal and Acres in The Rivals, (27) in particular, he demonstrated once again his exceptional and rare gift for making subordinate parts stand out.

From 1887 significant changes in the pattern of Collette's activities are seen. Pantomime and burlesque are absent, farcical and comedy roles have diminished somewhat, and a perceptible increase in music hall and comic opera engagements is evident, with only one brief tour in 1890. Collette succeeded in providing much-needed comic relief for productions that were not particularly notable, such as Man and Wife (1887) in which as Bishopriggs, the old waiter, he once again demonstrated his gift for disguise. Collette's comic roles were also significantly reduced to less than a third of the prior period, the two most important being Autolycus in the famous production of The Winter's Tale (1887) [Plate 2] in which Mary Anderson doubled as Hermione and Perdita, and Private Phillip Saunders in Bootle's Baby (1888), in which his humorous characterisation of an officer's servant 'with a strong penchant for the fair sex' went down universally well with the critics. (28)

Collette's role as Autolycus raises some key issues regarding both his interpretation of the rogue, and aspects of his performance style in general at that time. On the positive side, one reviewer considered that he had played Autolycus 'with spirit, and invested it with true Shakespearean humour,' (29) and Kate Terry Gielgud, in her autobiography, considered that 'London ... enjoyed the Autolycus of Charles Collette. (30)' On the opposing side, Collette's obituary in The Era remarked that '[he] was an effective exponent of the Old School of Burlesque, but an incredibly bad Shakespearean clown, as he was the first to admit. (31)' The Stage also remarked, 'The fun of Autolycus by Mr. Charles Collette is a little modern. He always seems on the point of enlivening the audience with a comic song ...'. (32) Coincidentally, E L Blanchard also singled out Collette's Autolycus as 'very humorous, if a trifle modern,' (33) raising the question as to what exactly was then meant by 'modern'. Collette had a mind of his own, and when given the slightest opportunity he was prone to 'throw out' the script and introduce his own material. This tendency to ad lib and 'rewrite the book', also seen in the context of his musical comedy roles, is possibly the answer.

Collette's appearances in various musical comedies at this time were a strategic move to bolster failing productions, but the tactic was not entirely successful. As the 'rollicking Irish servant' in Carina (1889) [Plate 3], where his drunken scene caused understandable mirth, he received generally good reviews, (34) and although his tendency to 'hog the limelight' came in for the usual criticism, he probably saved the show. (35) Recalling earlier remarks about Collette's style, the twentieth-century critic Kurt Ganzl also comments in similar vein on Collette's 'modern interpolations' in Carina. (36) A similar story could be recounted for Gretna Green (1890), (37) The Black Rover (1890), (38) and Wapping Old Stairs (1894), (39) the last being Collette's final musical comedy role; but Cigarette (1892), which he also directed, was more favourably received. (40) Prior to Carina, Collette had introduced his 'Burlesque Monologue Entertainment', first performed at the Alhambra in December 1887 under the banner of 'Collette At Home' and subsequently toured in 1890. The idea no doubt came from the 'At Homes' of the elder Charles Mathews, (41) one which was continued by Mathews fils in 1860. Evidence of the content of Collette's 'At Home' may be found in a review which commented on 'two or three patter songs given in his inimitable style', 'a comic lecture upon Natural History', and 'diagrams of the various wonderful animals whose peculiar characteristics he describes'. (42) The 'comic lecture' probably originated from Collette's little-known 'prose parody' entitled The Menagerie, (43) in which the influence of Crypto is strikingly evident. Indeed, elements of ad lib material introduced into some of his musical comedy roles also originated from 'Collette at Home', a fact only picked up by more observant reviewers. Collette's more frequent appearances at music halls during the 1890s was a trend noted by Rudolf Dircks, a 'defection', as he described it, which included other contemporaries of Collette, including Albert Chevalier. (44) The latter, however, never returned to the legitimate stage. Collette never really left it.


In the final stage of his career Collette performed in two comedies, four dramas, and six farces, and he spent parts of six years on tour. Music hall engagements still featured up to 1905, but Collette's appearances overall were understandably spread more thinly than in the previous decade, with long periods of absence from the stage, and no further London-based performances after 1907. Collette's skills in farcical roles continued to attract excellent reviews, in particular as Jones in What Happened to Jones? (1901) and Adonis Evergreen once again in My Awful Dad (1902), both of which he toured with his own company. Collette had evidently lost nothing to the advancing years and was especially praised for his clever character study as Micawber in David Copperfield (1907) (45) and for his 'mastery of detail and quaint, original comedy' as Edward Ramsay in In The Bishop's Carriage (1907). (46) His role as the Earl of Loam in J M Barrie's comedy The Admirable Crichton (1914), appears to have been his last professional performance.

Over the course of a busy stage career, Collette also gave his time to charitable and other good causes, though probably no more or less than appears to have been the norm for those of his profession at that time. (47) His Christmas entertainments at various hospitals, and for the nursing fraternity in particular, were especially appreciated, evoking the response that 'where there is Collette there is infinite laughter'. (48) He was a life-long member of the Savage Club, to which he was elected on 10 March 1875, and of which, in recognition of special services rendered, he was made an Honorary Life Member on 13 January 1921. (49)


Charles Collette's death brought to an end a remarkable career during which he played ninety or more different roles. (50) The obituary writers remarked on 'a true comedian of infinite wit and humour', and of his 'uncanny skill in alertness and quickness of delivery', and his 'ready knack of characterisation'. (51) If his one main perceived flaw was a tendency to indiscipline bordering on the obstreperous, his re-interpretation of many roles, even minor ones, lifted them from the depths of potential dullness to the heights of a new more liberal style. Balanced against his natural showman's instincts was his ability to deliver carefully studied characterisations, with minute attention to detail. There were many who were patently superior to Collette in their own specialised genres, and others whose creative output was far greater also, and yet, while his prime artistic vision, to be seen as the 'Modern Mathews', may not have been wholly fulfilled, few could match Collette for sheer all-round ability. It is for this reason above all that he should be remembered.


The following list of Charles Collette's roles, which includes performances at benefits, testimonials, and other charitable events, has been compiled from standard theatrical reference sources, newspaper advertisements and reviews, books, playbills in libraries and archives, and documents in the author's private collection. It shows first performance date (or earliest date found) with end date if known (a superscript 'T' after the date denoting a tour), theatre (London and suburbs assumed unless otherwise stated, 'Theatre Royal' implied if the name is a town), play, genre, author, and role (the last given in full for the first occurrence then abbreviated thereafter). Unknown data are represented by blank entries, and uncertain data are distinguished with question marks. A revival is indicated by a superscript asterisk, and a play directed by Collette by a superscript plus sign, both after the play. If he played different roles in the same play, or the same role at different theatres, these are included as separate entries. The same applies to significant revivals and Collette's farce or other material written by him. For convenience, the tabulation of Collette's roles has been sub-divided into the same four periods which are outlined above.

(1) The Bancrofts, Mr & Mrs Bancroft On and Off the Stage, London, 1888 (2 Vols.); The Bancrofts, Recollections of Sixty Years, London, 1909; Mrs Bancroft, Gleanings from On and Off the Stage, London, 1892.

(2) The Era, 20 December 1868, 14. See also The Times, 14 December 1868, 8.

(3) Bancrofts, Mr & Mrs Bancroft On and Off The Stage, vol. I, 269-270.

(4) Bancrofts, Recollections of Sixty Years, 90.

(5) The Era, 16 April 1871, 11.

(6) Dublin University Magazine, LXXXV, March 1875, 382-383.

(7) The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, 13 November 1875, 157.

(8) The Era, 23 April 1876, 13.

(9) The Era, 20 December 1874, 11.

(10) Alan James, Gilbert & Sullivan, London, 1989, 49.

(11) Dublin University Magazine, LXXXV, March 1875, 383-384.

(12) See for example The Times, 2 November 1876, 9. See also John Hollingshead, My Lifetime, London, 1895, vol. 2, 98.

(13) Allardyce Nicoll, A History of English Drama 1660-1900, Cambridge, 1962, Vol.5, 317. The script is filed at the British Library under reference Add. 53144 N and consists of thirty-four folios.

(14) This song was the subject of a court case for breach of copyright, Collette being the plaintiff. The judge found in his favour (see The Musical World, LVI, 1878, 109). Collette sang numerous songs in music hall and other entertainments, 'Something gone Wrong with my Brain' (which he wrote), 'The Company Promoter' and 'The Thirteen Club' being examples.

(15) While touring Bounce, Collette was offered the part of Prince Caramel in W S Gilbert's comic opera Princess Toto, but declined the part as being unsuitable. See Kurt Ganzl, The British Musical Theatre 1865-1914, London, 1984, vol. 1, 104.

(16) The Era, 5 November 1876, 10.

(17) The Troubadour, 1880, 180.

(18) The Era, 6 January 1878, 12.

(19) The Times, 3 October 1878, 6.

(20) The Times, 23 September 1879, 6.

(21) The Times, 5 November 1878, 6. See also Joseph Knight, Theatrical Notes, London, 1893, 242.

(22) The Era, 9 March 1879, 12.

(23) The Era, 10 August 1879, 4. See also Adrienne Simpson, Alice May: Gilbert and Sullivan's First Prima Donna, London, 2003, 107, and C E Pascoe, Dramatic Notes 1879-1882, London, 1883, 7 (for 1879).

(24) Francis C Burnand, Records and Reminiscences, Personal and General, London, 1905, 368. See also Pascoe, Dramatic Notes, 10-13 (for Feb. 1881).

(25) The Era, 3 November 1883, 5. See also The Stage, 9 November 1883, 14.

(26) The Times, 22 April 1884, 10.

(27) Peter Hanley, A Jubilee of Playgoing, London, 1887, 103. See also The Stage, 6 August 1886, 14.

(28) See The Era, 12 May 1888, 14; The Illustrated Naval and Military Magazine, VIII, 1888, 481; The Stage, 11 May 1888, 10, and Punch, 19 May 1888, 229.

(29) Army and Navy Magazine, XV, 1888, 199.

(30) Kate Terry Gielgud, An Autobiography, London, 1953, 119.

(31) The Era, 13 February 1924, 1.

(32) The Stage, 16 September 1887, 16.

(33) E L Blanchard, The Life and Reminiscences of E. L. Blanchard, London, 1891, 625.

(34) The Era, 29 September 1888, 9. See also The Times, 28 September 1888, 7.

(35) The Era, 10 November 1888, 11.

(36) Ganzl, The British Musical Theatre, 337-340.

(37) The Stage, 30 May 1890, 12. See also Ganzl, The British Musical Theatre, 400.

(38) The Times, 24 September 1890, 8. See also The Era, 27 September 1890, 9, and Ganzl, The British Musical Theatre, 397-400.

(39) Ganzl, The British Musical Theatre, 497-501, 526.

(40) The Era, 20 August 1892, 9; The Times, 8 September 1892, 3; The Era, 10 September 1892, 13, and The Stage, 15 September 1892, 12. See also Ganzl, The British Musical Theatre, 436-7, 449, and G B Shaw, Music in London 1890-94, London, 1932, vol. 2, 149.

(41) Richard L Klepac, Mr Mathews At Home, London, 1979.

(42) The Dramatic Review, 8 January 1887, 234.

(43) Walter Hamilton, Parodies of the Works of English and American Authors, London, vol. 6, 1889, 269, in which is shown the full text. Collette wrote another piece also entitled The Menagerie which was along the same lines but in verse form. This was published in The Era Annual, 1910, 72-73.

(44) Rudolf Dircks, Players of To-Day, London, 1892, 138.

(45) The Era, 26 October 1907, 7.

(46) The Era, 29 June 1907, 15, and The Stage, 25 June 1907, 16.

(47) Michael Baker, The Rise of the Victorian Actor, London, 1978, 134, 149.

(48) Guy's Hospital Gazette, 1889, III, 268 & 1890, IV, 12.

(49) Collette served as a Committee member in 1895 and 1898, and chaired eight Saturday Night Dinners (drawing the menu card for several), the last being 17 February 1917. For these and other details, my thanks to Mr Peter Bond, Honourable Archivist.

(50) Collette's funeral was held at Golders Green Crematorium on 14 February 1924, amongst the mourners being Sir Squire Bancroft and the actress Helen Vicary. His widow Blanche Collette died 29 May 1934, and was also cremated at Golders Green on 2 June 1934. They were survived by their daughter and two grand-daughters.

(51) George B Bryan, Stage Deaths: A Biographical Guide to Theatrical Obituaries, 1850 to 1990, London, 1991, 266. See also The Richmond & Twickenham Times, 16 February 1924, 8.

Bernard Ince is an amateur theatre and film historian whose interests lie in the lives and works of the less famous or little known. 'After Janet: A brief biography of St Aubyn Miller' was published in Theatre Notebook, Vol 61, No 2, pp. 107-10. His current project is a study of the theatrical career of Percy Nash, a minor actor who worked for Henry Irving and Beerbohm Tree, and was later a prolific producer of silent films. Research amongst family documents and other primary sources led to the discovery of his unpublished memoir through a surviving relative who had a long and distinguished career at the BBC.
Date Theatre Play

12/12/1868 Prince of Wales Tame Cats


11/01/1869 Prince of Wales A Winning Hazard
27/01/1869 St George's Hall Under False Colours
 (In aid of Lifeboat funds)
27/01/1869 Prince of Wales Intrigue
19/04/1869 Prince of Wales A Lame Excuse
11/09/1869 Prince of Wales Quite by Accident
18/09/1869 Globe Progress
27/12/1869 Prince of Wales Dearest
23/04/1870 Prince of Wales M.P.
21/06/1870 Princess's London Assurance
 (John Hare Benefit)
26/11/1870 Prince of Wales Ours *
10/04/1871 Prince of Wales Cut off with a Shilling
04/05/1872 Prince of Wales Twenty Minutes
 with a Tiger
04/05/1872 Prince of Wales Money
??/??/1873T Brighton Man and Wife
22/02/1873 Prince of Wales Man and Wife
20/09/1873 Prince of Wales School *
11/03/1874 Prince of Wales Don't Judge
 by Appearances
04/04/1874 Prince of Wales School for Scandal
17/12/1874 Holborn While It's To Be Had
 (In aid of the Soldiers'
 Daughters' Home)
02/01/1875 Vaudeville Stage Land
18/02/1875 Prince of Wales Society *
02/03/1875 Crystal Palace Money
04/03/1875 Royalty Crypto.
25/03/1875 Royalty Crypto.
17/04/1875 Prince of Wales The Merchant of Venice
29/04/1875 Crystal Palace The Road to Ruin
08/05/1875 Crystal Palace Twelfth Night
29/05/1875 Prince of Wales Money *
10/07/1875 Olympic Crypto.
??/11/1875 Lyceum The Heir-at-Law
31/01/1876 Criterion The Old Story
??/03/1876 Criterion Crypto.
21/03/1876 Crystal Palace The Heir-at-Law
15/04/1876 Globe Miss Gwilt
24/04/1876 Globe Crypto.
06/05/1876 Prince of Wales Ours *


10/06/1876 Strand Crotchets
07/08/1876T Prince of Wales Bounce
30/10/1876T Opera Comique Crypto.
09/11/1876 Gaiety Bounce
??/12/1876 Globe Crypto.
02/12/1876 Gaiety Crypto.
04/12/1876 Gaiety Cut off with a Shilling *
 The Man in Possession
21/12/1876 Gaiety William Tell Told Again
13/01/1877 Gaiety The Married Bachelor
 Robert Macaire
07/02/1877 Gaiety The Critic
 (John Parry Benefit)
09/02/1877 Gaiety Dearer than Life
 A Regular Turk
12/02/1877 Drury Lane Money (Henry Compton
29/08/1877 Lyceum The Dead Secret
18/10/1877 Crystal Palace Still Waters Run Deep
20/10/1877 Globe Speed the Plough
 (Royal General Theatrical
 Fund Benefit)
08/11/1877 Globe Isaac of York *
17/11/1877 Globe Crypto.
12/12/1877 Alexandra Palace Man is not Perfect
 Nine points of the Law
26/12/1877 Globe Crypto.
 Artful Cards
 Trying a Magistrate
 The Birthplace of Podgers
 The Cricket on the Hearth
??/??/1878 South London Crypto.
??/??/1878 Margate Crypto. ?
17/01/1878 Globe Ici on Parle Francais
02/02/1878 Globe Crypto.
 Paul Pry
20/03/1878 Globe A National Question
 A Fool and his Money
??/04/1878 Globe Our Clerks
11/05/1878 Globe Wig and Gown
??/06/1878 Globe The Pretty Horsebreaker
??/08/1878 Strand Love Wins
29/08/1878 Crystal Palace Bounce
??/10/1878 Crystal Palace Love Wins
04/11/1878 Royal Aquarium Grandfather Whitehead *
 The Liar
??/??/1879 Oliver Twist
??/03/1879 Park After Dark *
??/12/1879 Royal Aquarium Aladdin
02/06/1879 National Crypto.
 Standard Love Wins +
02/08/1879 Alhambra The Princess of
 Trebizonde *
16/09/1879 Crystal Palace Money
20/12/1879 Manchester Dick Whittington
??/??/1880 (T) Dublin Crypto.
29/03/1880 (T) Portsmouth Rip Van Winkle
 The Snowball
10/05/1880 (T) Manchester Micawber
- 17/05/1880 Crypto.
 The Critic
10/05/1881 - Imperial Crypto.
21/05/1881 Bounce
23/05/1881 Imperial Crypto.
 The Critic
25/05/1881 Globe The Rivals
??/06/1881 (T) (UK-wide) The Colonel
06/06/1881 Imperial Paul Pry
??/??/1883 Imperial Bounce
01/11/1883 (T) Gaiety My Awful Dad
??/??/1884 (T) Exeter
21/04/1884 (T) Prince's Cut off with a Shilling
 The Liar
30/04/1884 (T) Prince's My Awful Dad
 The Game of Speculation
 Cool as a Cucumber
04/04/1885 (T) Northampton My Awful Dad
 Used Up
 The Liar
 Paul Pry
 Cool as a Cucumber
20/07/1885 Haymarket Money
 (Bancrofts' Farewell)
03/03/1886 Empire Round the World
14/04/1886 Gaiety She Stoops to Conquer
31/07/1886 (T) Haymarket The School for Scandal
21/08/1886 (T) Haymarket The Rivals
28/08/1886 (T) Haymarket The Busybody
??/09/1886 (T) Portsmouth The School for Scandal
09/09/1886 (T) Birmingham The Rivals
 The School for Scandal
02/11/1886 (T) Hull The School for Scandal
 The Rivals
29/11/1886 (T) Prince's The School for Scandal
 (Manchester) The Rivals
 She Stoops to Conquer
 The Busybody
06/12/1886 (T) Royal Lyceum The School for Scandal
08/12/1886 (T) Royal Lyceum The Rivals
09/12/1886 (T) Royal Lyceum She Stoops to Conquer


29/03/188 (T) Haymarket Man and Wife *
 Cut off with a Shilling
18/04/188 (T) Theatre Nippon Why He Never Tells
 the Truth
26/05/1887 Brighton Man and Wife
11/06/1887 Lyceum Money
 (Miss Amy Roselle Benefit)
14/06/1887 Adelphi Cool as a Cucumber
 (J A Cave Benefit)
10/09/1887 - Lyceum The Winter's Tale *
??/12/1887 Alhambra Collette at Home
24/01/1888 Lyceum A Midsummer's Night
 Dream (Grand Theatre
 Relief Fund)
05/03/1888 Lyceum Vandyke Brown
08/05/1888 Globe Bootle's Baby
 Vandyke Brown
??/06/1888 Avenue Bardell v. Pickwick
 (Arthur Roberts Benefit)
17/07/1888 Crystal Palace Bootle's Baby
26/07/1888 Globe Frou Frou (Buttercup
 and Daisy Fund)
27/09/1888 - Opera Comique Carina
25/01/1889 Opera Comique Cool as a Cucumber
02/02/1889 Opera Comique A Regular Fix
27/03/1889 Trocadero Home Rule
04/04/1889 Shaftesbury The Landlady
09/07/1889 Shaftesbury High Life Below Stairs
 (Mrs Stephen's Farewell)
12/09/1889 Haymarket A Man's Shadow
18/10/1889 Haymarket Done on Both Sides
05/02/1890 Haymarket The Merry Wives
& of Windsor
22/05/1890 - Opera Comique Gretna Green
27/05/1890 Strand The New Wing
23/09/1890 - Globe The Black Rover
??/10/1890 (T) Collette at Home
23/04/1891 Globe Cut off with a Shilling
??/07/1891 Waterloo House Cagliostromantheon
23/04/1892 - Adelphi The White Rose
15/08/1892 Cardiff Cigarette +
07/09/1892 Lyric Cigarette +
15/09/1892 - Haymarket The Queen of Manoa
14/10/1892 - Shaftesbury Cut off with a Shilling
26/10/1892 - Shaftesbury Cigarette +
25/05/1893 Terry's My Awful Dad
 (W H Griffith's Annual
04/01/1894 King's Lynn Wapping Old Stairs
17/02/1894 - Vaudeville Wapping Old Stairs
11/02/1895 Star (Dublin) Music Hall sketches
27/03/1895 Horns' Assembly Music Hall sketches


01/02/1897 - Strand The Prodigal Father
11/05/1897 Vaudeville Solomon's Twins
04/01/1899 Queen's Hall Music Hall sketches
??/12/1900 Crystal Palace Great Wrestling Contests
22/04/1901 (T) Edinburgh What Happened to Jones?
16/10/1901 (T) Manchester What Happened to Jones?
13/10/1902 (T) Bolton What Happened to Jones?
17/10/1902 (T) Bolton My Awful Dad
??/??/1903 Haymarket Done on Both Sides
20/02/1903 Avenue Hard Luck
24/03/1903 Comedy Hard Luck
04/03/1904 Adelphi Hard Luck
 (Richard Mansell
 Complimentary Matinee)
??/??/1905 London Pavillion Music Hall sketches
19/04/1907 (T) Devonshire Park The Coping Stone
06/05/1907 (T) Cardiff David Copperfield
 David Garrick
 Vandyke Brown
24/06/1907 (T) Waldorf In the Bishop's Carriage *
- 05/07/1907
06/07/1907 (T) Adelphi In the Bishop's Carriage
- 26/07/1907 Musical Monologue
24/10/1907 (T) Bradford Dombey and Son
26/10/1907 (T) Bradford David Copperfield
??/??/1910 (T) King's (Southsea) Pyjamas +
??/??/1914 (T) The Admirable Crichton

Date Genre Author Role

12/12/1868 Comedy E Yates Charles


11/01/1869 Comedy J P Wooler
27/01/1869 Comedy A C Steele
27/01/1869 Farce J Poole
19/04/1869 Farce F Hay
11/09/1869 Farce J P Waller
18/09/1869 Comedy T W Robertson Lord
27/12/1869 Comedy W Gordon
23/04/1870 Comedy T W Robertson Mr Bran
21/06/1870 Comedy D Boucicault Solomon
26/11/1870 Comedy T W Robertson Sgt. Jones
10/04/1871 Comedy S T Smith Col. Berners
04/05/1872 Farce C J Mathews Chili
04/05/1872 Comedy Bulwer Lytton Lord
??/??/1873T Drama W Collins Mr Moy
22/02/1873 Drama W Collins Mr Moy
20/09/1873 Comedy T W Robertson Dr Sutcliffe
11/03/1874 Farce J M Morton Maj. Pepper
04/04/1874 Comedy R B Sheridan Sir Oliver
17/12/1874 Farce C Collette Plantagenet
02/01/1875 Comedy G R Douglas Platitude
 Farce C Collette Smith
18/02/1875 Comedy T W Robertson Olinthus
02/03/1875 Comedy Bulwer Lytton Glossmore
04/03/1875 Farce C Collette Smith
25/03/1875 Farce C Collette Smith
17/04/1875 Comedy W Shakespeare Duke of
29/04/1875 Comedy T Holcroft
08/05/1875 Comedy W Shakespeare Feste
29/05/1875 Comedy Bulwer Lytton Glossmore
10/07/1875 Farce C Collette Smith
??/11/1875 Comedy G Coleman Dr Pangloss
 Farce C Collette Smith
31/01/1876 Comedy H J Byron P N Jones
??/03/1876 Farce C Collette Smith
21/03/1876 Comedy G Colman Dr Pangloss
15/04/1876 Drama W Collins Maj. Melroy
24/04/1876 Farce C Collette Smith
06/05/1876 Comedy T W Robertson Sgt. Jones


10/06/1876 Farce F Hay
07/08/1876T Farce A Maltby Tom Bounce
30/10/1876T Farce C Collette Smith
 Farce A Maltby Bounce
09/11/1876 Farce A Maltby Bounce
 Farce C Collette Smith
??/12/1876 Farce C Collette Smith
02/12/1876 Farce C Collette Smith
04/12/1876 Comedy S T Smith Col. Berners
 Comedy J Albery
21/12/1876 Burlesque R Reece Gesler
13/01/1877 Farce P.P. O'Calligan Sharp
 Drama H J Byron Robert
07/02/1877 Comedy R B Sheridan Puff
09/02/1877 Drama H J Byron Bob Gassitt
 Farce R Soutar
12/02/1877 Comedy Bulwer Lytton Sir John
29/08/1877 Drama W Collins Robert
18/10/1877 Comedy T Taylor
20/10/1877 Comedy T Morton Peter
08/11/1877 Burlesque T F Plowman Sir Brian de
 Bois Guilbert
17/11/1877 Farce C Collette Smith
12/12/1877 Farce B Webster
 Comedy T Taylor
26/12/1877 Farce C Collette Smith
 Farce F C Burnand
 Farce J L Toole Magistrate?
 Farce J Hollingshead
 Comedy C Dickens Tackleton
??/??/1878 Farce C Collette Smith
??/??/1878 Farce C Collette Smith
17/01/1878 Farce T J Williams Victor Dubois
02/02/1878 Farce C Collette Smith
 Farce C J Mathews Col. Hardy
20/03/1878 Farce R Reece The O'Brien
 Farce H J Byron Vandeleur
??/04/1878 Farce T Taylor Mouldicot
11/05/1878 Drama J Albery Sombinson
??/06/1878 Farce A Halliday Major
 & W Brough Lollipop
??/08/1878 Comedy S Clarke & H F Professor
 Du Terreaux Lobelia
29/08/1878 Farce A Maltby Bounce
??/10/1878 Comedy S Clarke & H F Prof. Lobelia
 Du Terreaux
04/11/1878 Comedy M Lemon Lawyer
 Comedy S Foote Driver
??/??/1879 Drama C Dickens Sowerberry
??/03/1879 Drama D Boucicault Old Tom
??/12/1879 Panto. A Sturgess? Abanazar
02/06/1879 Farce C Collette Smith
 Comedy S Clarke & H F
 Du Terreaux Prof. Lobelia
02/08/1879 Comic C L Kenney Cabriolo
16/09/1879 Comedy Bulwer Lytton Glossmore
20/12/1879 Panto. J H Wood? Simon
??/??/1880 (T) Farce C Collette Smith
29/03/1880 (T) Burlesque H S Clarke Rip
 Farce S Grundy
10/05/1880 (T) Drama C Dickens Micawber
- 17/05/1880 Farce C Collette Smith
 Farce R B Sheridan Puff
 Farce A Maltby Bounce
10/05/1881 - Farce C Collette Smith
21/05/1881 Farce A Maltby Bounce
23/05/1881 Farce C Collette Smith
 Farce R B Sheridan Puff/Plagiary
25/05/1881 Comedy R B Sheridan Bob Acres
??/06/1881 (T) Comedy F C Burnand Colonel
- ??/??/1884 Wootweel
 W Wood
06/06/1881 Farce C J Mathews Col. Hardy?
 Drama C Dickens Micawber
??/??/1883 Farce A Maltby Bounce
01/11/1883 (T) Comedy C J Mathews Adonis
??/??/1884 (T)
21/04/1884 (T) Comedy S T Smith Col. Berners
 Comedy S Foote Wilding
30/04/1884 (T) Comedy C J Mathews Evergreen
 Farce G H Lewes Affable
 Farce W B Jerrold Plumper
04/04/1885 (T) Comedy C J Mathews Evergreen
 Drama C Dickens Micawber
 Comedy C J Mathews
 Comedy S Foote Wilding
 Farce C J Mathews Col. Hardy?
 Farce W B Jerrold Plumper
20/07/1885 Comedy Bulwer Lytton Vesey
03/03/1886 Grand A Murray Polofsky
14/04/1886 Comedy O Goldsmith Diggory
31/07/1886 (T) Comedy R B Sheridan Moses
21/08/1886 (T) Comedy R B Sheridan Acres
28/08/1886 (T) Comedy J Dryden
??/09/1886 (T) Comedy R B Sheridan Moses
09/09/1886 (T) Comedy R B Sheridan Acres
 Comedy R B Sheridan Moses
02/11/1886 (T) Comedy R B Sheridan Moses
 Comedy R B Sheridan Acres
29/11/1886 (T) Comedy R B Sheridan Moses
 Comedy R B Sheridan Acres
 Comedy O Goldsmith Diggory
 Comedy J Dryden
06/12/1886 (T) Comedy R B Sheridan Moses
08/12/1886 (T) Comedy R B Sheridan Acres
09/12/1886 (T) Comedy O Goldsmith Diggory


29/03/188 (T) Drama W Collins Bishopriggs
 Comedy S T Smith Col. Berners
18/04/188 (T) Musical C Collette
26/05/1887 Drama W Collins Bishopriggs
11/06/1887 Comedy Bulwer Lytton Vesey
14/06/1887 Comedy W B Jerrold Plumper
10/09/1887 - Comedy W Shakespeare Autolycus
??/12/1887 Musical C Collette
24/01/1888 Comedy W Shakespeare Snout
05/03/1888 Farce A C Troughton Vandyke
08/05/1888 Comedy H Moss Pte. Phillip
 Farce A C Troughton Vandyke
??/06/1888 Drama J Hollingshead Court Crier
17/07/1888 Comedy H Moss Saunders
26/07/1888 Comedy H Meilhac & Baron de
 L Halevy Cambri
27/09/1888 - Comic E L Blanchard Patricho
12/01/1889 Opera
25/01/1889 Farce W B Jerrold Plumper
02/02/1889 Farce J M Morton
27/03/1889 Musical May Ostlere
04/04/1889 Comedy A Nelson Uncle
09/07/1889 Farce J Townley
12/09/1889 Drama R Buchanan Picolet
18/10/1889 Farce J M Morton John
05/02/1890 Comedy W Shakespeare Host of
& the
26/02/1890 Garter Inn
22/05/1890 - Comic T Murray Ford Peter Pong
07/06/1890 Opera
27/05/1890 Farcical H A Kennedy George Slab
23/09/1890 - Melo- Pedro
07/11/1890 dramatic W L Searelle Guzman
??/10/1890 (T) Musical C Collette
23/04/1891 Comedy S T Smith Berners
??/07/1891 Vaudeville
23/04/1892 - Drama G R Sims Joseph
16/06/1892 & R Buchanan Tomkins
15/08/1892 Comic B Montour Nicotine
07/09/1892 Comic B Montour Nicotine
15/09/1892 - Drama C H Chambers Maj. Garrett
17/10/1892 & WOTristram
14/10/1892 - Comedy S T Smith Berners
26/10/1892 - Comic J H Parry Nicotine
03/12/1892 Opera
25/05/1893 Comedy C J Mathews Evergreen
04/01/1894 Comic S Robertson Capt. Crook
17/02/1894 - Comic S Robertson Capt. Crook
30/03/1894 Opera
11/02/1895 Musical C Collette
27/03/1895 Musical C Collette
01/02/1897 - Farce G MacDonough Catesby Duff
11/05/1897 Farce K Peile Maj.
04/01/1899 Musical C Collette
??/12/1900 Musical C Collette
22/04/1901 (T) Farce G H Broadhurst Jones
16/10/1901 (T) Farce G H Broadhurst Jones
13/10/1902 (T) Farce G H Broadhurst Jones
17/10/1902 (T) Farce C J Mathews Evergreen
??/??/1903 Farce J M Morton Brownjohn
20/02/1903 Musical C Collette
21/02/1903 Patter
24/03/1903 Musical C Collette
04/03/1904 Musical
 Patter C Collette
??/??/1905 Musical C Collette
19/04/1907 (T) Drama G Lawrence Henry
06/05/1907 (T) Drama C Dickens Micawber
 Comedy T W Robertson Squire Chivy
 Farce A C Troughton Vandyke
24/06/1907 (T) Drama C Pollock Edward
- 05/07/1907 Ramsay
06/07/1907 (T) Drama C Pollock Ramsay
- 26/07/1907 Musical C Collette
24/10/1907 (T) Drama C Dickens Maj. Joseph
26/10/1907 (T) Drama C Dickens Micawber
??/??/1910 (T) Comedy H C Sargent
??/??/1914 (T) Comedy J M Barrie Earl of Loam
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Author:Ince, Bernard
Publication:Theatre Notebook
Article Type:Brief biography
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 1, 2009
Previous Article:Spaces, doors and places in early modern English staging.
Next Article:Lena Ashwell and The Starlight Express.

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