Posts Tagged ‘Alice Marriott’

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January 11, 2013

Alice Marriott (Mrs Robert Edgar, 1824-1900),
English actress and manageress, as Hamlet,
which she first played at Sadler’s Wells, London, on 22 February 1864
(photo: C.B. Walker, 3 Pembridge Villas, London, probably 1864)

Alice Marriott as Hamlet at the Park Theatre, Brooklyn, April 1869
‘If Shakespeare could a-visit the glimpses of the moon and make a tour among our theatres, the most complete revolution of taste he would note would be in the position woman now holds on the stage. In the Augustan era of the drama, women were admitted to the theatre only as spectators. The heroines of the great bard were personated by men, and the play had often to wait till Ophelia shaved. Women have not only asserted their right to representation on the stage, but have invaded the province of the sterner sex, and play men’s parts. We may say, with some satisfaction that, outside of burlesque, women have with rare exceptions never attained to any encouraging success in male characters. The latest aspirant for honors outside of the legitimate business of her sex, is Miss Marriott, who came to this country a short time since, played a brief engagement in new York, and appeared last evening at the Park Theatre in Hamlet. The house was well filled and the lady was very cordially greeted on her entrance. Miss Marriott has a tall commanding figure and, in this role, a fine manly bearing, and she look the part of the youthful prince to perfection. From the words put in the mouth of Hamlet we gather the author’s idea of his physique, – when he says his uncle is ”no more like my father than I to Hercules.” We can hardly recognize this ideal in the robust figures of [Edwin] Forrest, [H.B.] Conway, or even [E.L.] Davenport. In the performance of the role, Miss Marriott trespasses on none of the stage traditions, and attempts no new reading, but she acts the part intelligently and well. She has a rich deep toned voice, and her elocution is admirable.
‘The support was uneven. Miss Louise Hawthorn made her re-appearance here as Ophelia. She looked as handsome and was just as inanimate as ever. Miss Wren played the Queen quite effectively. Mr. Harris adhered to the old stage conception of the Ghost, a solemn, impassive figure, who talks in a sepulchral monotone. This is considered the most impressive, but all you who ever seen it, prefer Mr. Conway’s reading of the part – making the Ghost talk like a sentient being. Mr. Lambe’s Gravedigger was excellent. Three new comers sustained the rather important roles of Caludius, Polonius and Laertes without adding anything to the brilliancy of the performance.
‘Miss Marriott will play Pauline in the The Lady of Lyons this evening. Miss Harris plays Claude.’
(Brooklyn Daily Eagle,, Brooklyn, New York, Tuesday, 20 April 1869, p.2f)

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