Herbert Beerbohm Tree (1853 – 1917)
Flower Festival 2012:
Arranged by Patrice Dorling and Annie Duarte and given by Nick and Celia Walser in memory of Monica Walser (who died on 23rd June 2005) and Revd Jack Walser (who died on 24th June 2007).
With his ginger hair and blue eyes, his considerable height and flair for flamboyant theatrical productions, Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree (1853 – 1917) must have been an exciting presence in late-Victorian and Edwardian London. He worked briefly for his corn-merchant father before gravitating to the stage.
As actor-manager of the Comedy Theatre, the Haymarket and Her Majesty’s in turn, he rehabilitated the fortunes of Shakespeare on the London stage and energetically encouraged new playwrights. He pushed the boundaries of scenic realism – real waves for ‘The Tempest’, real rabbits in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ – and with a genius for self-transformation was acclaimed in roles as disparate as Svengali, Falstaff and Cardinal Wolsley.
In 1904 he founded RADA and he was knighted in 1909. A close friend of Oscar Wilde, he commissioned and premiered Wilde’s ‘A Woman Of No Importance’.
This page was last updated on July 17th, 2012.