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The Stage Career of Cicely Hamilton (1895–1914)

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Seán Moran

Drawing on recently released or previously neglected archive material, this book is the first dedicated to the stage career of Cicely Hamilton (1872–1952). Best known for her work with the women’s suffrage movement, Hamilton was at the same time deeply committed to the commercial stage as an actress, dramatist and activist. The book draws extensively on Hamilton’s own recollections as well as those of her close associates, supplemented by contemporary press reviews and articles, and concludes with a chronology of the productions in which she performed as a touring actress based on confirmed dates and venues.

This book «(…) is a fascinating and fantastic resource for current and future scholars of Hamilton’s work, as well as those interested in the wider framework of (…) the theatre industry of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.»

Dr. Naomi Paxton (School of Advanced Study, University of London)

«With its documentation and assessment of Hamilton's touring career, (…) this well written and meticulously researched study provides an original contribution to theatre, dramatic, and reception history.»

Prof. Dr. Rudolf Weiss (University of Vienna)

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Appendix 1. Cicely Hamilton’s Theatrical Career 1896–1906

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Appendix 1.Cicely Hamilton’s Theatrical Career 1896–1906

Although Hamilton’s digital footprint is considerable larger than Whitelaw may ever have conceived, this compilation makes no claim to be exhaustive and lists only performances where Hamilton is expressly mentioned by name. In many cases, i.e The Shop Girl, The Romance of the Shopwalker, her name is given as a member of the cast but her performance is not reviewed in detail. Explicit mention of her name, in one form or another, is a vital criterion, as several tours could be criss-crossing the country simultaneously, as was the case with The Shop Girl, The Romance of the Shopwalker or The Sign of the Cross. In addition to this, during her year of touring with Edmund Tearle, for example, she is listed as appearing in Castleford from 16–20 October 1899 but not for the following week at the Theatre Royal in Barnsley from 23 October, although she is back between the 20–23 November in Loughborough. Although it seems feasible that her minor role was simply omitted from the review, the date has not been included here. Even with such precaution, the possibility cannot be discounted that on other occasions Hamilton might have been ill or otherwise unable to perform on the night, although listed in reviews.

The cut-off date has been set as 1906 as the year in which Hamilton’s first play was presented, initiating her transition from touring jobber to West End actress and dramatist in her...

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