H. Cooper Cliffe

(1862-1939) Cliffe first appeared on stage in 1879 in the chorus of a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The H. M. S. Pinafore. His roles in Shakespeare began in 1886 when he joined the company of Wilson Barrett; he remained with Barrett’s company until 1894. In 1896, he went to Sir Henry Irving‘s Lyceum where he played both Iachimo and Caius Lucius in Cymbeline, Clarence in┬áRichard III, and Lorenzo in The Merchant of Venice.┬áDuring his time with Irving he alsoRead more

Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree

(1853-1917) Born in 1853, Tree’s real name was Herbert Draper Beerbohm. He assumed his famous stage name in the 1870s. After a string of performances, he joined Frank Benson’s company in 1886, where he played Iago before going on to London and the Haymarket Theatre where he eventually became the manager. “He elevated the Haymarket’s status as a Shakespearian playhouse, and his productions of The Merry Wives of Windsor (1889), Hamlet (1892), and Henry IV, Part 1 (1896) earned himRead more

Sir Henry Irving

(1838-1905) Sir Henry Irving was the stage name of John Henry Brodribb, who was born in 1838 and raised in a working-class family. He was one of the most famous British actor-managers and dominated the late Victorian Stage (along with Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree). He was born in Somerset but lived in London from the age of ten. It was seeing Samuel Phelps (also a mentor to Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson) playing Hamlet that inspired Irving to take to the stage,Read more