A ‘Gentleman Amateur’ hired the Lewes Theatre in 1831 in order to fulfill his ambition to play Hamlet.
He enlisted the support of professional actors who were performing at the Theatre Royal, Brighton.
How well did the ‘Gentleman Amateur’ perform?
The Sussex Weekly Advertiser reported: “The gentleman’s performance, upon the whole, was highly creditable to his talent as an amateur; but the delivery of his soliloquies was too hurried, which spoiled the effect.”
Mrs Egerton (pictured) played Catharine in the ‘afterpiece’ production of Catharine and Petruchio.
It was the convention in Georgian theatre that an evening’s entertainment should conclude with a short comedy.
With this in mind, Lewes Little Theatre will be re-introducing the concept in the opening production of its 75th season in October.
Following the performance of Crime and Punishment, the set will be transformed during the interval and the audience will return for a performance of Polly Honeycombe.
Should be fun.