Thursday, 6 January 2011

Toole's Theatre (William IV Street)

John Lawrence Toole was unique in having one of London's West End theatre named after him.

From Theatres in Victorian London we read, originally 'The Charing Cross Music Hall' (1869), this very minor playhouse hosted J. S. Clarke's revival of Sheridan's The Rivals in 1872, featuring Mrs. Stirling as Mrs. Malaprop, The role that made her famous. Renamed 'The Folly Theatre' by new owner Alexander Henderson in 1876, it became a burlesque house. On 7 November 1879 noted comedian and great friend of Charles Dickens, John Laurence Toole (1830-1906), took up the management; after a lengthy tour, he re-opened the theatre in1882 under his own name. Here, Sir Edmund Barrie's first play, Walker, London opened in 1892. After it was demolished in 1896, its site was used for an extension of Charing Cross Hospital"

Toole's Theatre / Polygraphic Hall / Charing Cross Theatre / The Folly: "Toole's Theatre, in King William Street, once known as Charing Cross Theatre, was reopened by Mr. J. L. Toole, after enlargement, in 1882, and finally closed in 1896"

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