Effie Bancroft (Effie Bancroft)

Effie  Bancroft

Actress. Theatre Manager. Born Effie Marie Wilton in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England, the daughter of actors, she appeared on the stage with her parents throughout her childhood. She made her London debut in 1856 at the Lyceum Theatre in ‘Belphegor.’ Her early career saw great popularity playing the boy roles in several productions including Pippo, in ‘The Maid and the Magpie,’ at the Royal Strand Theatre in 1858. In 1865 she became joint manager of the Prince of Wales’s Theatre in London. Squire Bancroft served as the theatre’s lead actor, and starred in a string of successful comedies in which Effie generally took the female lead. She and Bancroft were married in 1867 and together began a veritable revolution in theatre management. They established a successful theatre company that set new standards of production and raised the status of the acting profession. They are credited with the introduction of the drawing-room comedy, introducing realism to theatre, especially in their production of T.W. Robertson’s plays, and the redesign of their theatre, eliminating the pit, or cheap seats in front of the stage, and replaced them with comfortable cushioned seats, while carpets were laid in the aisles in order to cater to a more upscale audience. In 1879, the Bancrofts moved to the larger Haymarket Theatre, which they rebuilt to suit their needs. They retired from the stage in July 1885. They wrote two volumes of memoirs, published in 1888; ‘Mr and Mrs Bancroft On and Off the Stage, Written by Themselves’ and ‘The Bancrofts: Recollections of Sixty Years.’

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  • May, 30, 2024
  • England


  • May, 30, 2024


  • Brompton Cemetery
  • England

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