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Winifred Hare, English actress and singer, and popular pantomime principal boy

February 2, 2013

Winifred Hare (1875-?1930), English actress and singer,
and popular pantomime principal boy
(photo: Hana, London, circa 1908)

‘When [Hervé’s] Chilperic is produced at the Coronet and Camden Theatres next March it will be found considerably altered in story from the version which set the town a-talking thirty years ago, when, as The Referee reminds us, the brothers Mansell produced it at the Lyceum. The new author, inspired by the whitewashing with which recent historians have rehabilitated Henry VIII., Nero, and other quondam-reprobates, has set himself the task of demonstrating that Fredegonde, the much-abused third wife of Chilperic, was much more sinned against then sinning, and that the charges recited against her by historians are mere symptoms of a monstrous conspiracy organised by Brunchant, Chilperic’s brother’s wife, to punish Fredegonde because she prevented Brunchant from stealing Chilperic’s kingdom. In this formidable task the new author has an ally who will surely convince the most pedantic of critics that the historians must have been mistaken, for “Fredegonde” is to be represented by Miss Winifred Hare, and in this re-incarnation no one will think her capable of any worse crime than that of stealing hearts.
(programme note, Camden Theatre, Camden Town, north London, week beginning Monday, 8 December 1902)

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