- An imaginary name that sometimes appears on British playbills,especially for productions of Shakespeare, to disguise the fact thatthe same actor is playing two roles. Its use dates from about 1900,when the name was used by the versatile actor Oscar Asche (1871 - 1936),and it is still occasionally seen. The original Walter Plinge is thoughtto have been the landlord of a public house near the Lyceum Theatre,London. The US equivalent is the name George Spelvin, whichfirst appeared on the bill for the 1886 New York production of CharlesA. Gardiner's Karl the Peddler. Estimates suggest that thename Spelvin has been used on Broadway more than 10,000 times foractors, gag writers, animals, dummies, and dolls posing as babies.