Established 1996
THE

IRVING
SOCIETY

FOUNDER PATRON Sir John Gielgud OM CH


PATRONS:
ELLEN TERRY CRAIG  JOHN H. B. IRVING
SIR DONALD SINDEN CBE FRSA
 

CHAIR: 
FRANCES HUGHES


 
NOW OUT

The Irvingite No 67 - May 2014

  
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Henry Irving

Sir Henry Irving
(1838-1905)

The Irving Society was established in 1996 to bring together individuals and organisations interested in promoting appreciation of British theatre in the age of the actor-manager Sir Henry Irving, and of his cultural and artistic contribution to the
Victorian Era.

 

FAUST

Irving as Mephistopheles by Becken

Irving as Mephistopheles

In 1902 Irving revived Faust with new scenery, the original sets having been destroyed by fire in 1898.  Here was H.I. using a tried success to hold on to a dwindling London audience. The original production of 1885 came in for some considerable criticism. Nevertheless and in spite of W. G. Willsí trivial script it attracted Goethe students and a public that sought gas-lit spectacle. It was the actor-managerís greatest commercial achievement, filling the old Lyceum for two consecutive seasons through to 1887. It was played in American on the tour of 1887 and revived in London again in 1888 and 1894. There were several tours of the UK, the last in 1902 with a final performance at Bristol, December that year. Altogether Faust played 792 times, which with the exception of The Bells was the greatest number of performances of any play in the actorís repertoire.  That final revival just over a century ago spawned Faust memorabilia including a brilliant poster design, and was seized upon by commerce as a promotional tool. 

 

 

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