A Record of Thirty-five Years' Experience
on the English Stage
With a Preface by
Sir William S. Gilbert
Published by Grant Richards, London, 1908.
You may order a printed copy of this book from Lulu
To my very good friend Mrs. D'Oyly Carte, to whose consideration and kindly thought
for the comfort of all and sundry in her employ, is due the maintenance of the best tradition
of the Savoy, that of "A Happy Family."
I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness to Sir William S. Gilbert, not only for his kindness in supplying a Foreword to my book, but also for the self-imposed task of reading the
proofs and pointing out certain errors.
If it should be my misfortune in the following pages to wound in the slightest degree the feelings of any person I may have alluded to, I humbly implore all such persons to believe
that it has been done quite inadvertently.
I have been asked by my old friend Mr. Rutland
Barrington to write a few words of introduction to
his volume of reminiscences. I should have thought
that he could do this for himself more effectively
than I could do it for him, but perhaps he has formed
such a modest estimate of his personal and professional claims to consideration that he is unwilling
to draw a bill upon public attention unless his draft
is, so to speak, " backed " by one who is in a position
to testify to the fact that he is a man of undoubted
substance. His action in the matter must be referable either to this motive or to an underlying
principle, never to do for himself that which he can
induce any one to do for him. Personally, I am
disposed to believe that both of these influences may
The private identity of a popular actor is, un
doubtedly, an object of infinite curiosity to the
general body of playgoers who, having known him
for many years under a plurality of physical and
moral disguises, are naturally curious to know how
he looks, acts, and thinks, when he is playing the
leading part in the comedy, drama, tragedy, or farce
of his own existence. I was myself the slave of this
particular form of curiosity until it was extinguished by familiar intercourse with many distinguished
members of the profession. I remember that when I
was a boy of thirteen I followed Mr. Tom Barry (the
then well-known clown at Astley's Amphitheatre) all
the way from Temple Bar to Westminster Bridge,
trying to make up my mind to ask him the time. Unfortunately, however, just as I had screwed up my
courage to the sticking point, Mr. Barry baffled me
by turning suddenly into a public house of refresh
ment, whither I had not the enterprise to follow him.
I may state that I have long given up the practice of
Mr. Rutland Barrington's claims upon public
attention are so numerous and so generally recognized that the incidents of his professional career,
his private life, and his personal opinion on men and
things, are sure to prove attractive and interesting to
that vast body of his admirers who never see him
except with a row of footlights between him and
them. They know nothing of his performance in
one of the best of his parts — certainly the longest —
himself; and this volume reveals its many delightful
characteristics. His native geniality, good humour,
and sense of fun — qualities to which no one can
testify more authoritatively than I — find kindred
expression in a book which is eloquent both of the
man and his methods.
W. S. GILBERT.
||EARLY ACTING — BANKING — THE OLYMPIC — ENTERTAINMENT
||"SORCERER" AND "PINAFORE"
||"PIRATES OF PENZANCE" — "PATIENCE" — "IOLANTHE"
||"TRIAL BY JURY" — "PRINCESS IDA" — "MIKADO" — "RUDDIGORE"
||GILBERT — SULLIVAN — CARTE
||ST. JAMES'S — "THE DEAN'S DAUGHTER" — "BRANTINGHAM HALL" — COMEDY — "MERRY MARGATE" —
"PICKWICK " — "AREA BELLE" — SAVOY — "GONDOLIERS"
||"IVANHOE " — " VICAR OF BRAY" — "NAUTCH GIRL" — " HADDON HALL" — "UTOPIA" — "JANE ANNIE "
||"HIS EXCELLENCY" — "KNIGHT ERRANT" —"THOROUGHBRED" — GERMAN REEDS — "GRAND DUKE" —
||"GAIETY GIRL" — "MIKADO" REVIVAL — "GEISHA" — "SAN TOY"
||MUSICAL COMEDY — "GREEK SLAVE" — "COUNTRY GIRL"
||"WATER-BABIES" — "BLACK SAMBO" — "CINGALEE"
|| CONCERT TOUR — THE COLISEUM — "THE WHITE CHRYSANTHEMUM" — "CANDIDATE"
||"GEISHA" REVIVAL — "AMASIS"
|| KENNINGTON AND CORONET — TRIPLE BILL
|| SECOND TOUR OF "AMASIS"
||"MUMMYDOM" SKETCH — MOSS AND STOLL EMPIRES
||SAVOYARD DINNER — AUDIENCES — "PYGMALION"
||SPORTS AND PASTIMES
|| SOME PLAYS AND PLAYERS
||"BACK TO THE LAND"