Posts Tagged ‘William Terriss’


William Terriss in The Union Jack

June 21, 2013

William Terriss (1847-1897), English actor manager, as Jack Medway in The Union Jack, Adelphi Theatre, London, 18 July 1888
(caricature by Alfred Bryan from The Entr’acte, London, Saturday, 18 August 1888, p. 8)

‘On the reopening of the Adelphi after restoration, July 21st, 1888, The Union Jack was produced. Into his character of “Jack Medway,” who wore the smart uniform of a petty officer in the navy, Terriss threw extraordinary power; “the true breath of passion breathed into the play, enabling him to grip the house, so to speak, by the throat. The grace and dignity with which he wore his simple uniform, the resonant effect of his mellow tones, and the bright intelligence of his piercing glance, won for him half the battle of success. And the triumph was grand and cumulative. The truth and delicacy of his scenes with Miss [Jessie] Millward in the first act of the play, the simple chivalry of his behaviour, and the suggestion of just germinating affection in his voice, were admirable enough. But Terriss rose beyond the region of melodrama in the scene outside the cottage, where Rose Medway confesses to her brother the sad secret of her fall. Here his acting was truly elevated. His agonized start, as if physically wounded, as the terrible truth struck home, the manly recoil after the momentary collapse, the bitterness of the strong man’s supposed grief, were all admirably depicted.’
(from Arthur J. Smythe, with an introduction by Clement Scott, The Life of William Terriss. Actor, Archibald Constable & Co, Westminster, 1898)


Ellaline Terriss (1872-1971), English actress, as she appeared in the title role of the pantomime, Cinderella, Lyceum Theatre, London, 26 December 1893, and Abbey’s Theatre, New York, 30 April 1894

December 27, 2012

Ellaline Terriss (1872-1971), English actress, as she appeared in the title role of the pantomime, Cinderella, Lyceum Theatre, London, 26 December 1893, and Abbey’s Theatre, New York, 30 April 1894 (photo: Sarony, New York, 1894)

‘CINDERELLA. A veritable feast of light and color is the spectacle which, having replaced [Henry] Irving in London [at the Lyceum Theatre, 26 December 1893], was sent over to replace Irving in New York. It has converted the stage of Abbey’s [New York, 30 April 1894] into a fascinating fairyland, presided over by a most bewitching queen.

‘Pretty Ellaline Terriss is an ideal Cinderella. She is scarcely twenty, was born in the Falkland Islands, and is the daughter of William Terriss, of the Irving Company. She is one of the most natural, ingenuous girls it has ever been our pleasure to see on the stage. She does not act a character; she lives it. There may be others who can better fill the world’s idea of Cinderella, but if so our imagination has not yet conceived of them.

‘Our portrait [above] shows Miss Terriss in her kitchen dress, with the daisy chain about her neck. In private life she is Mrs. Seymour Hicks, her husband being the very versatile young man who so cleverly impersonates Thisbe [which part in London had been played by Victor Stevens], one of the two stepsisters. He is only twenty three, has written five plays, and has been on the stage seven years. The scene which Thisbe and Clorinda (Fred Eastman [which part has been played in London by Fred Emney]) have to themselves at the opening of the second act includes some of the most refreshingly droll business that the local boards have lately seen. Both these actors are manly, unaffected fellows, and it gives one an odd sensation to look in at their dressing room and behold them sitting there in their flaunting skirts, pipe in mouth and ”hot Scotch” at elbow.’ (Munsey’s Magazine, New York, July 1894, pp. 410-411)