Sir Arthur Wing Pinero

Definition

Theater

  • (1855 - 1934) Popular and prolific British playwright, who beganhis career as an actor with Henry Irving's Lyceum Company (1876 - 81).At Irving's encouragement, he wrote his first play, £200 aYear, in 1877. He enjoyed early success at the Royal Court Theatrewith a series of farces that included The Magistrate (1885)and Dandy Dick (1886). The light comedy Trelawny of the'Wells' (1898) follows the actress Rose Trelawny through the WestEnd of the 1860s. Pinero is now best known for the serious socialdramas he wrote in the 1890s under the influence of Henrik Ibsen.These include The Second Mrs Tanqueray (1893), whichends with a suicide, and The Notorious Mrs Ebbsmith (1895).The latter made the reputation of Mrs Patrick Campbell, whoexcelled in a scene calling for her to rescue a Bible from the flamesand press it to her bosom. Although considered daring at the time, theseplays now seem utterly Victorian in their attitude to the 'fallen' woman.Pinero's later works include His house in Order (1906) and TheFreaks (1918).
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