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Farewell performance at the Criterion Theatre

  • Object:

    Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    London (probably, drawn)

  • Date:

    29th July 1899 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Begg, Samuel, born 1854 - died 1936 (artist)
    The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    watercolour on card

  • Museum number:

    S.4618-2013

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Series of greyscale watercolour illustrations documenting 'The Farewell Performance at the Criterion Theatre' of the actor/manager Sir. Charles Wyndham (1837-1919). The sketches were created for publication in The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, July 29th 1899. They have been signed by the artist, Samuel Begg (1854-1936) in the bottom right hand corner.

The illustrations were produced to mark Sir. Charles Wyndham's departure from the Criterion Theatre after twenty three consecutive years managing the venue. The departure was marked with a performance of the comedy Rosemaryby Louis N. Parker and actor Murray Carson, in which the actress Miss Mary Moore took the leading role and Sir Charles Wyndham played the part of Sir Jasper Thorndyke.

Charles Wyndham (1837-1919) was associated with the theatre for over 20 years. As a young man Wyndham combined acting with medicine. He travelled to America in 1862 to enlist in the Federal army as a medical officer but also appeared onstage. On his return to England in 1865, he dedicated himself solely to the theatre becoming the dashing young hero of Victorian farce. He made his name at London's Royalty Theatre in a burlesque comedy in 1866, and appeared at the Criterion in December 1875 in the comedy Brighton. By Easter 1876 he was a profit-sharing partner in the Criterion, leased by Alexander Henderson. Wyndham was in his element in risqué farces, often adapted from French originals. The profits he made from managing the Criterion theatre enabled him to build Wyndham's Theatre in 1899 and the New Theatre (later the Albery) in 1903. His record of continuous and simultaneous West End management is without equal and his experience of touring internationally also exceptional. He received his knighthood in 1902.

Physical description

Series of greyscale watercolour illustrations documenting 'The Farewell Performance at the Criterion Theatre' of the actor/manager Sir. Charles Wyndham (1837-1919). They have been signed by the artist, 'S.Begg' in the bottom right hand corner. The depict a series of scenes from the production of Rosemary which was staged to mark the occasion. An image of the members of the royal family who occupied the Royal Box during the performance is also included in the top right hand corner of the illustration.

Place of Origin

London (probably, drawn)

Date

29th July 1899 (drawn)

Artist/maker

Begg, Samuel, born 1854 - died 1936 (artist)
The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

watercolour on card

Marks and inscriptions

'Criterion Theatre/July 21st 1899/Mr Charles Wyndham's Farewell to the Criterion/(29th July 99)/1350/51'
Handwritten annotation in pen on the rear of the sketch. Below this intitial annotation is a list of the cast members who appeared in the production

'S.Begg'
Handwritten artist's signature in the bottom right hand corner

'Farewell/Performance/At/The/Criterion/Theatre'
Handwritten title in the top left hand corner of the illustration.

Dimensions

Height: 36.5 cm, Width: 27.3 cm

Descriptive line

Series of greyscale watercolour illustrations documenting 'The Farewell Performance at the Criterion Theatre' of the actor/manager Sir. Charles Wyndham (1837-1919). The sketches were created for publication in The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, July 29th 1899. They have been signed by the artist, Samuel Begg (1854-1936) in the bottom right hand corner

Materials

Card; Pen and ink; Watercolour

Techniques

Drawing (image-making); Painting

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Illustration

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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