Wallack's Memories of Fifty Years (1889)

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Wallack's Memories of Fifty Years (1889)


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Muspratt, Susan Cushman, 1822-1859
Wallack, Lester, 1820-1888
Actors and Actresses--US American
Relationships--Patrons and Protégés


Wallack presents himself grateful to Charlotte Cushman who was supportive of him as an actor.


Hathi Trust


Wallack, Lester, 1820-1888


Charles Scribner's





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But to return to Manchester and my early experiences there. Charlotte and Susan Cushman, with both of whom I afterwards became very intimate, played "Romeo and Juliet" at the Queen's in 1845 ; and were the cause of my going to London, that Mecca of all young English actors. Susan was the Juliet, and Charlotte said to Mr. Sloane, who was then the lessee of that theatre, " Who is your Mercutio ? " Sloane replied : "There I think we shall be all right ; I have got young Wallack." She asked: "Whom do you mean by young Wallack ? I know Mr. James Wallack ; I have played with him, and have the greatest admiration for him. I know he has a son; is he on the stage ? " "Yes," said Sloane. " I do not see his name here." " No, he calls himself Mr. Lester." " Very inexperienced, I am afraid," said Miss Cushman. "Yes, very inexperienced, but he is said to have a good deal of promise about him." At the end of the first rehearsal without books, Charlotte Cushman put her hand on my shoulder and said: "Young gentleman, there is a great future before you, if you take care and do not let your vanity run away with you." After that we became great friends, and when she wrent to fulfil an engagement at the Haymarket she said to Mr. Webster: " Wallack is the coming young man of the day." As I had often seen my father in the part of Mercutio, I suppose, for a youngster, it was a better performance than they expected ; and that was the commencement of my approach to London. Mr. Webster thought that he would very much like to get a young man who would hit the public, because Charles Mathews had just left him to go to the Lyceum Theatre. Webster had the Adelphi and the Haymarket both, at that time. Miss Cushman's recommendation of me worked upon him, and he finally engaged me to play at the latter house. My first appearance in London was in a piece called 'The Little Devil,' a two-act play which Mr. Mathews and his wife had been very successful in. Mr. Farren, Mr. Webster and I consulted as to what would be best for my metropolitan début; (75-77)



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Hathi Trust, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/loc.ark:/13960/t2t450852

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Wallack, Lester, 1820-1888, “Wallack's Memories of Fifty Years (1889),” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed September 29, 2023, https://www.archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/475.

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