Posts Tagged ‘Sophie Eyre’


Sophie Eyre, Irish born actress, photographed by Sarony, New York, circa 1885

January 18, 2015

Sophie Eyre (1853?-1892), Irish born dramatic Actress
(cabinet photo: Sarony, New York, circa 1885)

‘The death is announced at Naples, Italy, Nov. 5 [1892], of Sophie Eyre, the well known leading lady. She had been sojourning in that city, and succumbed to an attack of heart disease. Six years ago, Sophie Eyre told THE CLIPPER the story of her life. She was born Sophia Lillian Ryan, at Tipperary, Ire., about 1857, and was the daughter of Maj. Ryan. At the age of seventeen she married Maj. Lonsdale, of the Seventh English Hussars, and went with her husband to India, where, at nineteen, she became a widow. Returning to England, she followed an inclination, which, in an amateur way, had manifested itself while she was quite young, and adopted the stage. Her first professional appearance was made at the Theatre Royal, Portsmouth, Eng., in a small part, and she remained at that house six months. Then she went on a provincial tour in ”Diplomacy,” playing Zicka. The following season she made another tour of the English provinces, doing the lead and playing at all the principal theatres of Great Britain outside of London. The Summer of that year she filled in with the stock at the Torquay Theatre. About May, 1882, she went to London and made her debut June 17 at a special matinee at the Adelphi Theatre as Queen Anne in the historical play, ”The Double Rose,” after which Aug. Harris, of the Drury Lane Theatre, engaged her to support Ristori at his house. Then she signed with the management of the Adelphi, and appeared Nov. 18, 1882, in ”Love and Money.” Later she acted in ”Rachel the Reaper,” after which she returned to the Drury Lane. On March 5, 1884, she created the title role in Sydney Hodges’ ”Gabrielle” at the Gaiety Theatre, London. A few weeks later Lester Wallack engaged her for this country, and she made her American debut June 23, 1884, at Utica, N.Y., with the Wallack Co. in the title role of ”Lady Clare.” She traveled through the West, and in California, about January of 1885, she married Chauncey R. Winslow [1860-1909], a resident of Cincinnati, O. Her New York debut was accomplished Oct. 26, 1885, in ”In His Power,” at Wallack’s. The play was a failure, and was immediately withdrawn. Then Miss Eyre went on the road by arrangement with Mr. Wallack, at the head of Charles Frohman’s Co., playing ”La Belle Russe.” Later Miss Eyre had trouble with Mr. Wallack, and withdrew from the theatre. She was in 1888 divorced from Mr. Winslow, and had since married again.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, Saturday, 12 November 1892, p. 573b/c, with engraved portrait)

* * * * *

‘Kyrle Bellew, Mr. Wallack’s latest imported leading man, is also an ex-Australian… . He has put Mr. Wallack in an unpleasant predicament. Miss Sophie Eyre was engaged for leading parts this season and Mr. Bellew absolutely refuses to play with her on the ground that she is too large and would spoil his appearance on the stage. So much for having a petted actor in a company… .’
(Newark Daily Advocate, Newark, Ohio, 11 December 1885, p. 3c)


Mary Anderson in A Winter’s Tale, Lyceum Theatre, London, 1887

September 3, 2013

Mary Anderson (1859-1940), American actress, as she appeared as Perdita in a revival of A Winter’s Tale, at the Lyceum Theatre, London, 10 September 1887. Other members of the cast were Johnston Forbes-Robertson as Leontes, F.H. Macklin as Polixenes, Fuller Mellish as Florizel, George Warde as Antigonus, Charles Collette as Autolycus and Sophie Eyre as Paulina.
(Henry Van der Weyde, London, 1887)

‘Miss Anderson’s Perdita is much better than her Hermione, though the exquisite beauty of the verse is very far indeed from being realised, and there is a lack of that simplicity which should be the leading feature of the dainty maiden. … The performance will certainly not enhance the reputation of Miss Mary Anderson among lovers of Shakespeare, nor is it likely to add to the popularity of A Winter’s Tale as a stage play.’
(The Standard, London, Monday, 12 September 1887, p. 2f)

‘… A spirit of distaste and hostility pervaded the auditorium during the whole evening. This resulted in part from the fact that the pit space had been contracted for the enlargement of the stalls. This was resented by the occupants of the cheaper portions of the house, the more angry of whom attempted to ”guy” the opening of several scenes; and this doubtless added to the nervousness inseparable from a first-night representation. So little respect did the ”gods” show for the ”immortal bard” and his works, that audible laughter greeted the several appearances of the ”pretty bairn” in swaddling clothes, and in the intervals between the frequent ”tableaux,” the unruly deities, recognising Mr Cody in a private box greeted ”Buffalo Bill” with a series of shrill Indian yells. Such a moral atmosphere is as little consistent with the calm enjoyment of the literary and poetical beauties of Shakespeare’s verse as its often indistinct delivery by unpractised lips; and the attitude of a certain portion of the audience had an infectious influence on the remainder. These circumstances contributed to make the evening an ”unlucky” one, and therefore it is impossible to predict the future fortunes of this revival of The Winter’s Tale. That Miss Mary Anderson’s popularity is in no way diminished was shown by the warm reception she had on her first entry, and by the hearty calls for her between the acts, and at the conclusion of the performance. There is no doubt that many who take little interest in Hermione and Perdita may visit the Lyceum to see again the lovely and clever young actress known across the Atlantic by the affectionate title of ”Our Mary.”’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 17 September 1887, p. 14b)


Lillie Wilson

July 30, 2013

Lillie Wilson (fl. late 1880s), actress
(photo: unknown, possibly London, circa 1888)

This real photograph cigarette card of Lillie Wilson, about whom nothing is at present known, was issued in the United States in the early 1890s with The Old Reliable Sweet Caporal Cigarettes. Miss Wilson is almost certainly the actress of that name who appeared in a minor role at the Princess’s Theatre, London, in November 1888, in The Love that Kills, the ‘Poetical Fancy’ adapted by Jocelyn Brandon from Alphonse Daudet’s L’Artésienne, with music by Georges Bizet, which first opened at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre on 27 January 1888.

The Love that Kills, Jocelyn Brandon’s adaptation of Alphone Daudet’s exquisite play L’Artésienne, was revived for a series of matinées at the Princess’s, commencing November 26 [1888]. Miss Sophie Eyre, Mr. Lawrence Cautley, Mr. Julian Cross, and Mr. Glen Wynn resumed the characters they appeared in when the piece was played at the Prince of Wales’s in June last, and were all warmly applauded. Miss Enid Leslie was the new Jacques, the half-witted boy, and succeeded in a very artistic and sympathetic manner in conveying the struggle of the awakening intellect in the little neglected, almost unloved creature. Miss Nellie Navette, as L’Artésienne, looked the beautiful dangerous creature she should represent, and her dancing of the Farandole gained her an emphatic encore. Miss Grace Hawthorne, but for a little artificiality in her manner, was a tender Vivette. Bizet’s beautiful music was well rendered by an increased orchestra conducted by Mr. Michael Conolly.’
(The Theatre, London, 1 January 1889, p. 66)