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

Matheson Lang

(1879-1948) Matheson Alexander Lang was eighteen when he first appeared on the stage in 1897. Before forming his own company, he acted with the companies of Sir Frank Benson, Lillie Langtry, and Dame Ellen Terry. In his early career he toured the United States and the West Indies; after his success in 1908 in Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet, he toured South Africa, Australia, and Asia, where his company played Shakespeare with great success. Notably, he produced and starred in Romeo & JulietRead more

Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson

(1853-1937) Forever critical of his own acting prowess, Forbes-Robertson’s career, spanning almost forty years from 1874 to 1913, is impossible to summarize in so brief a space. Born in London, he was regarded as one of the preeminent Shakespearean players in the four decades of his active life on the stage. His interpretation of Hamlet is regarded as one of the best of the twentieth century. One of his younger eleven siblings was Norman Forbes-Robertson, also a noted Shakespearean, as wasRead more

Lewis Waller

(1860-1915) Lewis Waller, born in Spain, initially studied to work in the commercial industry. He got his start in the companies of famous Dame Helena Modjeska and J. L. Toole in the 1880s.  During his career, he was best known as something of a matinee-idol in the popular romantic plays of his day like The Three Musketeers and his most popular role in Monsieur Beaucaire, a dramatic adaptation of Booth Tarkington’s novel. For his portrayals, he attracted large female audiencesRead more