Graphics, Image for <i>Flowers of the Forest!</i>
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Graphics, Image for Flowers of the Forest!
THE   ADELPHI   THEATRE   CALENDAR
A Record of Dramatic Performances at a Leading Victorian Theatre

Formerly the Sans Pareil (1806-1819), later the Adelphi (1819-1900)
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Title:Flowers of the Forest!
Description:Flowers of the Forest! by John Buckstone.  Cynthia (left) is played by Céline Céleste, Lemuel by Sarah Jane Woolgar, and Starlight Bess (right) by Fanny Fitzwilliam.
1st Performance:Mar 11, 1847
Theatre:Adelphi
Source:The Illustrated London News, Apr 10, 1847
Review:The Illustrated London News, Apr 10, 1847,

The Flowers of the Forest [1847]

See: Item 23: Scene from Buckstone, The Flowers of the Forest [1847]
Source: http://www.library.illinois.edu/rbx/exhibitions/Victorian%20Entertainments/catalog/catalog.html

John Baldwin Buckstone (1802–79) was a comedian and writer of farces with a secondary line in melodrama.  The Flowers of the Forest, one of his best known melodramas, premiered at the Adelphi Theatre in 1847.  It turns on the trial of an innocent gentleman, Alfred, for a murder that was really committed by a Gypsy boy, Lemuel.

In this climactic scene from the third Act, two young women struggle for control of Lemuel’s person.  Cynthia (left), an Italian Gypsy who harbours a selfless love for Alfred, has just dragged Lemuel out of his tent: "Come away — you shall, and prevent the shedding of innocent blood!"  But Starlight Bess (right), who is Lemuel’s lover, is determined to save him from the gallows; she shrieks at Cynthia: "Let him be!  Take off your hold!  What if he did do what he says; we care for none beyond our own people!"  Lemuel himself vacillates between honor and self-preservation.  "Bess, save me!" he wails feebly.  Cynthia taunts him: "You cannot move!  Your guilt makes you as weak as a child."  Agitated action music is heard throughout the scene.

All three parts were played by women in the first production: Cynthia by Céline Céleste (1810/11–82), a French actress who made her career in Britain; Bess by Fanny Elizabeth Fitzwilliam (1801–54); and Lemuel by Sarah Jane Woolgar (1824–1909).  Dickens spoke of Woolgar’s performance as the "the most remarkable and complete piece of melodrama" he had seen. N.T.

 

The Illustrated London News, Apr 10, 1847

 



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Copyright © 1988, 1992, 2013 and 2016 by Alfred L. Nelson, Gilbert B. Cross, Joseph Donohue.
Originally published by Greenwood Press as The Sans Pareil Theatre 1806-1819, Adelphi Theatre 1819-1850: An Index to Authors, Titles, Performers, 1988, and The Adelphi Theatre 1850-1900: An Index to Authors, Titles, Performers and Management, 1992.
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The Adelphi Theatre Calendar revised, reconstructed and amplified.  Copyright © 2013 and 2016  by Alfred L. Nelson, Gilbert B. Cross, Joseph Donohue.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License, with the exception of graphics from The Clip Art Book, edited by Gerard Quinn and published by Crescent in 1990.  These images are reproduced in accord with the publisher’s note, which states "The Clip Art Book is a new compilation of illustrations that are in the public domain.  The individual illustrations are copyright free and may be reproduced without permission or payment.  However, the selection of illustrations and their layout is the copyright of the publisher, so that one page or more may not be photocopied or reproduced without first contacting the publishers."