Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson will make his final appearance on the American stage--and not improbably on any stage--in Sanders Theatre on the evening of April 24, when he will act "Hamlet" at the invitation of the English Department. Forbes-Robertson is easily the most notable figure on the stage of today and his "Hamlet" is considered one of the most even interpretations of character ever presented. He gave two performances of "Hamlet" here 14 years ago and because of his pleasant experiences at that time and the extraordinarily fitting conditions under which the performance was given, he has expressed great enthusiasm in agreeing to bestow upon the University the greatest honor at his command, that of acting "Hamlet" in Cambridge for the last time on any American stage.
The performance here on April 24 will wind up a two-year American farewell tour, which Forbes-Robertson and his wife, Gertrude Elliott, who acts with him, are making. The company is now acting on the Pacific coast.
Forbes-Robertson's greatest reputation in the United States, except for his Shakespearian plays, is in his production of "The Passing of the Third Floor Back," by Jerome K. Jerome, which enjoyed such extraordinary popularity, both in England and America.
"Hamlet" will be acted upon an old English stage, first constructed in 1893 for the presentation of Ben Jonson's "Silent Woman." The stage was afterwards remodeled at great expense and is now the most nearly perfect Elizabethan stage in existence. The last time it was used was in 1907 when Maude Adams acted "Twelfth Night" on it. The reconstruction of this stage for use in Sanders Theatre will be started about the middle of April under the direction of Professor G. P. Baker '87.
Forbes-Robertson was born in London on January 16, 1853, and made his debut 21 years later in "Mary Stuart." From 1880-95 he appeared with such artists as the Bancrofts, Madame Modjeska, Irving, Mary Anderson, and Sir John Hare; at the end of that period he opened the Lyceum Theatre, London under his own management. His plays with Henry Irving included "Much Ado About Nothing." "Henry VIII," and "King Arthur." The present American tour is his sixth the first being with Mary Anderson in 1885; and the others following in 1889, 1902, 1905, and 1909-10. His most famous Shakespearian plays besides "Hamlet" are "Macbeth," "Caesar and Cleopatra." "The Merchant of Venice," and "Othello.
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