Hallam family

Definition

Theater

  • A family of British and US actors and actresses. LewisHallam (1714 - 56), the son of the actor Adam Hallam, workedon the London stage before emigrating to America in 1752 with hisfamily and a company of ten actors, who performed at Williamsburg,Virginia, in Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice and Jonson'sThe Alchemist. In 1753 Hallam created a company at the NassauStreet Theatre in New York. He died on a tour to Jamaica, and hiswidow married David Douglass, who founded the American Company.

    Hallam's son and namesake, Lewis Hallam (1740 - 1808),became the leading actor with Douglass's American Company in 1758in New York. He won acclaim in 1767 as Arsaces in the first professionallyproduced play, Thomas Godfrey's The Prince of Parthia. TheAmerican War of Independence drove the company to the West Indies;during this period its New York home, the John Street Theatre, wasused for plays by British officers, including the notorious spy MajorJohn André. After the war, Hallam co-managed the company atthe John Street Theatre, which was visited several times by GeorgeWashington.

    The elder Hallam's youngest daughter, Isabella Hallam(1746 - 1826), was left behind in London when the family emigratedto America. She was brought up by an actress aunt and first appearedon stage at the age of five, making her adult debut as Juliet in 1761.She married a provincial actor-manager, George Mattocks, and becameknown for light comedy, specializing in the role of chambermaid. Herlast performance was in 1808 as Flora in Mrs Centlivre's The Wonder,A Woman Keeps A Secret.

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