Cyril Ritchard

Definition

Theater

  • (Cyril Trimnel-Ritchard; 1898 - 1977) Australian-born Britishactor and director, described by the critic Michael Billington asthe "etiolated dandy-mincing revue star".

    Ritchard made his debut in 1918 at His Majesty's Theatre,Sydney, in the chorus of A Waltz Dream. In 1925 he made hisfirst New York appearance in the revue Puzzle of 1925 and hisLondon debut in the revue Bubbly at the Duke of York's Theatre.He subsequently remained in Britain for several years, appearing inrevue, cabaret, and such roles as Algernon in Wilde's The Importanceof Being Earnest (1942).

    After the war Ritchard alternated between Britain and America.Highlights of his later career included playing Sir Novelty Fashionin a London production of Vanbrugh's The Relapse (1947) thatlater transferred to Broadway (1950). The critic Harold Hobson calledhis performance "a gorgeous creation of wit, wigs, taste, andpaste".

    Ritchard is best remembered, however, for playing the dualrole of Mr darling and Captain Hook in the 1954 musical version ofPeter Pan at New York's Winter Garden. He remained in Americafor the last two decades of his career, ending as he began: his farewellperformance in 1975 was a revue, A Musical Jubilee.

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