Herbert Beerbohm Tree

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Related to Herbert Beerbohm Tree: Max Beerbohm, Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tree, Herbert Beerbohm


Born Dec. 17, 1853, in London; died there July 2, 1917. English actor, manager, and producer.

Tree’s professional stage career began in 1876. He managed the Haymarket Theater from 1887 to 1896 and Her Majesty’s (later His Majesty’s) Theater from 1897 to 1915. Between 1888 and 1914 he staged 18 Shakespearean plays. As a producer, Tree continued the traditions of C. Kean and H. Irving. He staged visually spectacular productions, often including scenes of the fan :tastic or supernatural, musical numbers, and arias. He staged crowd scenes with particular care. Tree could be quite free in dealing with a written text, rearranging or omitting entire scenes.

Tree’s Shakespearean roles included Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Macbeth, Richard II, and Hamlet. He also played Nekhliudov in a dramatic version of Tolstoy’s Resurrection and Henry Higgins in Shaw’s Pygmalion. Tree founded a school of dramatic art in 1904 in London that later became the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.


Thoughts and Afterthoughts. London, 1913.


Beerbohm, M. Herbert Beerbohm Tree: Some Memories of Him and of His Art. London [1920].
Pearson, H. Beerbohm Tree: His Life and Laughter. London, 1956.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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In contrast to the absence of ceremony in Irving's Much Ado About Nothing, Herbert Beerbohm Tree utilised the rituals associated with prayer on stage.
Incidentally, the Cambridge theatre bookseller, Peter Wood (01223 842419) has original letters from Herbert Beerbohm Tree in his current catalogue for pounds 25.
Herbert Beerbohm Tree was the archetypal actor-manager of the late Victorian era, a magnificent ham who directed and starred in the premieres of Oscar Wilde's plays, a luvvie before we'd invented the term.
The esteemed Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree originated the role of Henry Higgins on the West End would look longingly at Eliza as she leaves, even finding bouquets to throw in her direction.
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1914 PLAYWRIGHT George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion opened in London at His Majesty's Theatre and starred Mrs Patrick Campbell as Cockney flower girl Eliza and Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree as Professor Higgins.
Born in 1891, she began in 1911 as a singing fairy in Herbert Beerbohm Tree's production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and ended with a cameo appearance with Jeremy Brett in a made-for-TV Sherlock Holmes film at the age of 100 before dying in 1992.
Actor-manager Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree played Higgins in Pygmalion and also directed the production, which opened at His Majesty's Theatre on April 11, 1914.