1936 Toronto playbill for Hamlet, autographed by Sir John Gielgud (1947)

$195.00 CAD

| /

Playbill of production of Hamlet at the Royal Alexandria Theatre Toronto Canada. Four nights, starting on September 30th. This was a rehearsal before his first appearance on Broadway.

Sir John Gielgud was starring as Hamlet, and Lilian Gish as Ophelia. 

Signed below his name, and also added on right ‘Toronto 1936 1947’.

Paper is protected inside of sealed plastic sleeve (see photos). I chose to not remove it.

Vertical and horizontal folds.

20 x 15 cm.


Sir Arthur John Gielgud OM CH (14 April 1904 – 21 May 2000) was an English actor and theatre director whose career spanned eight decades. With Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier, he was one of the trio of actors who dominated the British stage for much of the 20th century…

From September 1936 to February 1937 Gielgud played Hamlet in North America, opening in Toronto before moving to New York and Boston. He was nervous about starring on Broadway for the first time, particularly as it became known that the popular actor Leslie Howard was to appear there in a rival production of the play. When Gielgud opened at the Empire Theatre in October the reviews were mixed, but, as the actor wrote to his mother, the audience response was extraordinary. "They stay at the end and shout every night and the stage door is beset by fans." Howard's production opened in November; it was, in Gielgud's words, a débâcle, and the "battle of the Hamlets" heralded in the New York press was over almost as soon as it had begun. Howard's version closed within a month; the run of Gielgud's production beat Broadway records for the play…

Lillian Diana Gish (October 14, 1893 – February 27, 1993) was an American actress of the screen and stage, as well as a director and writer. Her film acting career spanned 75 years, from 1912 in silent film shorts to 1987. Gish was called the First Lady of American Cinema, and she is credited with pioneering fundamental film performing techniques.