Sarah Siddons

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Sarah Siddons
Sarah Kemble
BirthplaceBrecon, Wales

Siddons, Sarah


Born July 5, 1755, in Brecon, Wales; died June 8, 1831, in London. English actress. Born into the Kemble theatrical family.

Siddons began her career in provincial theaters. D. Garrick invited her to perform in the Drury Lane Theater in London in 1775 in the roles of Portia and Lady Anne in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and Richard III, respectively. She played in the provinces again from 1776 to 1782. Her performance of the role of Isabella in Garrick’s version of T. Southerne’s The Fatal Marriage in 1782 brought her fame as a tragic actress. Siddons’ best role at Drury Lane was Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s Macbeth; her other Shakespearean roles included Constance in King John, Ophelia in Hamlet, and Imogene in Cymbeline.

Siddons left the stage in 1812. In 1819 she gave a final performance, acting the role of Lady Randolph in J. Home’s Douglas. Siddons’ acting, influenced by that of Garrick, anticipated the romantic school of acting.


Istoriia zapadnoevropeiskogo teatra, vol. 3. Moscow, 1957–63.
Boaden, J. Memoirs of Mrs. Siddons, vols. 1–2. London, 1827.
Campbell, T. Life Of Mrs. Siddons, vols. 1–2. London, 1834.
Manvell, R. Sarah Siddons: Portrait of an Actress. New York, 1971.


References in periodicals archive ?
From these accounts a rough pallet of the vocal colourings used by Sarah Siddons, as reported by those who heard her, starts to emerge.
See Jan MacDonald, "Acting and the Austere Joys of Motherhood: Sarah Siddons performs Maternity," in Extraordinary Actors: Studies in Honour of Peter Thompson, ed.
Draped in Eve's cape--recalling the scene in which Eve holds Margo's evening gown against herself--and clinging to the Sarah Siddons Award, Phoebe imagines she is a famous, adored actress.
The Duke's influence led to Esten and her mother becoming lessees of the patent of the Theatre Royal Edinburgh, to the disappointment of the previous manager, Stephen Kemble, the brother of Sarah Siddons.
The twelve-year-old Lawrence first met the twenty-six-year-old Sarah Siddons when she was performing in Bath in 1781.
Austen might have seen Sarah Siddons in her prime during her occasional visits to London or Bath as a young woman; in April 1811 she had hoped to see Siddons, now in the twilight of her career, as Constance in Shakespeare's King John at Covent Garden, but she was frustrated in her plans by inaccurate information that Siddons had cancelled: "I should particularly have liked seeing her in Constance, & could swear at her with little effort for disappointing me" (25 April 1811).
Fanny Kemble (1809-1893) was a leading member of a renowned British acting family that included her aunt, the famous Sarah Siddons.
She quickly came to be referred to as "the Colored Siddons" or "the Black Siddons," after British actress Sarah Siddons.
They are thought to have been annotated by John Ward, grandfather of Sarah Siddons and the Kemble brothers, himself an actor and manager of a travelling company.
Estimations of the abilities of the juvenile Master Betty by Tate Wilkinson's daughter Patty and Sarah Siddons were eagerly assimilated; they dismissed him as 'the puppet'.
Sarah Siddons, however, offers the most significant evidence for Carlson's revisionism.
Hazlitt's blindspot can be brought into sharpest focus by considering his theater criticism in light of Liber Amoris and the two animating spirits of his dramatic life, that player, Sarah Walker and her leading lady, Sarah Siddons.