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Important events

(detail)1869 | opening

(detail)1895 | closure



Toole's Theatre, LONDON, in King William Street (now William IV Street), Charing Cross. Originally a hall, this was converted into a theatre, opening as the Charing Cross on 19 June 1869. In Nov. 1872 the American actor John S. Clarke took it over, reviving Sheridan's The Rivals with himself as Bob Acres and Mrs. Stirling  as Mrs. Malaprop, her first appearance in what was to become her best-known part. In 1876 Alexander Henderson took the theatre and renamed it the Folly. His wife, Lydia Thompson, starred under him in burlesque. On 7 Nov. 1879 Toole started in management and on 16 Feb. 1882 reopened the theatre after a long gap, occasioned by his being on tour, under his own name, following for the first time in London a habit already established in New York, notably by Daly, whose company made their first London appearance at Toole's in 1884. In 1892 Barrie's first play, Walker, London, began a successful run. Toole remained at the theatre until 1895, his last production, on 13 Feb., being Lumley's Thoroughbred. On 28 Sept. it closed and was demolished in the spring of 1896, the site being needed for the extension of Charing Cross Hospital.


In: Hartnoll, Phyllis, ed. The concise Oxford companion to the theatre. 1st ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1972.  ISBN 0-19-281102-9. p. 355



Author: Hartnoll Phyllis

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