Academic journal article Theatre Notebook

The Charringtons off the Stage

Academic journal article Theatre Notebook

The Charringtons off the Stage

Article excerpt

In The Rise of the Victorian Actor (London, 1978), Michael Baker remarked on how little is known of the private lives of Victorian actors, even those of celebrity status. Janet Achurch is a good example of this, in Baker's phrase, 'conspicuous gap in the history of British theatre' (p. 15), for despite numerous biographical accounts up to the present time, including at least four obituaries, nothing has ever been published on the private person. Similarly, her 'other half', Charles Charrington, has never been studied previously at all and yet was once described by Bernard Shaw as ' ... the only stage-manager of genius the new movement has produced, and quite its farthest seeing pioneer.' (Our Theatres in the Nineties III, London, 1932, 34) Eric Salmon's account of Janet Achurch in the Oxford DNB (I, 2004, 139-141) further illustrates the point by stating:' ... [she] is a figure about whose birth and parentage little is known. Her mother died in giving birth to her possibly on 17th January 1864. Educated privately, she sometimes had Achurch as a surname, at other times Sharp ...'. Uncertainty and errors may now be cleared up, and some new facts presented, these taken from the published Civil Registration and Divorce indexes.

Janet Achurch, whose family name was 'Sharp', was born 17 January 1863 at Chorlton in Manchester, her mother dying four days later as a direct result of childbirth. Janet was descended from well-known provincial theatrical great-grandparents, namely the Achurch Wards of Liverpool and Manchester. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.