The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

W.S. Penley as 'Charley's Aunt'

W.S. Penley as 'Charley's Aunt'

A cabinet card portrait of William Sydney Penley (1851-1912), the English actor, singer and comedian best-remembered as producer and star of the phenomenally successful Brandon Thomas farce Charley’s Aunt, first produced in 1892.

Thomas wrote the play as a vehicle for Penley and it turned out to be an phenomenal hit. Penley first played the part of Lord Fancourt Babberley (who impersonates Donna Lucia from Brazil) at the Theatre Royal in Bury St. Edmunds on 29 February 1892. It opened in the West End at the Royalty in December 1892, transferring to the Globe Theatre in 1893. It had an unprecedented run of 1466 performances, setting a record that lasted for decades.

Photographed by Norman and Burnacle of Newport in Wales.

Code: 122174
  Back           Home Contact   
© Paul Frecker 2019