The White Heather (play)

The White Heather is an 1897 melodrama by playwrights Cecil Raleigh and Henry Hamilton. The climactic scene of the play portrays a fight between two underwater divers.

The White Heather
The White Heather The Graphic 25 Sept 1897 Crop.jpg
The climactic scene from The White Heather
Written byCecil Raleigh and Henry Hamilton
Date premiered16 September 1897
Place premieredTheatre Royal, Drury Lane, London
Original languageEnglish


The play debuted at Drury Lane on 16 September 1897, the first produced by new managing director Arthur Collins. Typical of Drury Lane shows of the period, the elaborate production ran for four hours, and included scenes set at the Stock Exchange, Battersea Park, Boulter's Lock, and the Devonshire House Ball of 1897.[1][2][3][4] It had an initial run of 91 performances until 15 December 1897 and returned for 43 more performances from 12 May to 25 June 1898.[5] The Princess's Theatre revived the play in 1899 with Eily Malyon in the cast for 31 performances.[6]

Upon its debut in London, Charles Frohman's London representative William Lestocq immediately acquired the American rights.[7] The play had a successful 184-performance New York run at the Academy of Music from 22 November 1897 to 30 April 1898.[8][9][10][11]

It was adapted into a silent film of the same name in 1919.

Original London castEdit

The primary cast included Mrs. John Wood, Henry Neville, Beatrice Lamb, Patti Browne, Kate Rorke, Dawson Milward, and Robert Loraine.[2]

  • Lord Angus Cameron by Henry Neville
  • Edgar Trefusis by Herman de Lange
  • Captain Alec MacLintock by Dawson Milward
  • Dick Beach by Robert Loraine
  • James Hume by J.B. Gordon
  • Captain Dewar Gay by C.M. Lowne
  • Horace Saxonby by Ernest Lawford
  • Jack Sadler by Albert Mayer
  • Duke of Shetland by Rosier
  • Jackson by Howard Russell
  • Dr. Blake by Akerman May
  • Mr. Craven by Edwin Palmer
  • Hudson by Edward Shrimpton
  • Turner by Frank Damer
  • Max Leclare by Alfred Balfour
  • William Smart by R.A. Lyons
  • Lady Janet MacLintock by Mrs. John Wood
  • Marion Hume by Kate Rorke
  • Lady Molly Fanshaw by Pattie Browne
  • Lady Hermione de Vaux by Beatrice Lamb
  • Hon. Blanche Rossiter by Lillian Menelly
  • Donald by Valli Valli
  • Lady Lumley by Mary Brough
  • Mrs. Andrews by Mrs. E. Palmer

Original New York castEdit

Rose Coghlan as Lady Janet in New York production
Battersea Park scene in New York production
  • Lady Janet Maclintock by Rose Coghlan
  • Marion Hume by Amelia Bingham
  • Lady Mollie Fanshawe by Olive May
  • Lady Hermonie de Vaux by Madeline Bouton
  • Mrs. Andrew by Annie Adams
  • Lord Angus Cameron by Francis Carlyle
  • Edgar Trefusis by Robert Cotton
  • Captain Alec Maclintock by Miller Kent
  • Dick Beach by Richard Bennett
  • James Hume by Harry Harwood
  • Captain Dewar Gay by Lewis Baker
  • The Duke of Shetland by Frank Burbeck
  • Dr. Blake by Robert Jenkins
  • Mr. Craven by Douglas Lloyd
  • Hudson by E.Y. Backus[12][13][14]


  1. ^ Liggera, Lanayre D. The Life of Robert Loraine: The Stage, the Sky, and George Bernard Shaw, pp. 19-20 (2013)
  2. ^ a b (2 October 1897). The New Drama at Old Drury (review), Punch, pp. 155-56
  3. ^ (19 September 1897). Review of London show, New York Tribune, p. 2, col. 1
  4. ^ (27 April 1898). The Secrets of Stage Mechanism, The Sketch, p. 38 (photographs of stage machinery)
  5. ^ Wearing, J.P. The London Stage 1890-1899: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel (2013), p. 355 (1897 debut production), p. 379 (1898 Drury Lane production), p. 404 (1899 Princess's production)
  6. ^ Nissen, Axel. Accustomed to Her Face: Thirty-Five Character Actresses of Golden Age Hollywood, p. 122 (2016)
  7. ^ (3 November 1897). A Chat With Mr. W. Lestocq, The Sketch, p. 82 (paywalled at
  8. ^ At Gotham's Playhouses, The Opera Glass, p. 188 (November 1897, Vol. 4, No. 11)
  9. ^ (23 November 1897). In Melodrama and Farce (review), New York Sun, p. 7, col. 1
  10. ^ Brown, T. Allston. A History of the New York Stage from the First Performance in 1732 ..., Volume 2, p. 113 (1903)
  11. ^ (30 April 1897). Advertisement, New York Tribune (rightmost column has theatre listings for April 30, 1897 and notes "last day" of the play)
  12. ^ (23 November 1897). A Fight Under the Sea (review), The New York Times
  13. ^ Austin, Henry (8 January 1898). "The White Heather" (review), The Illustrated American, pp. 63-64
  14. ^ The Catalogue of the American Play Co., with Original Casts, Volume 2, p. 293 (1911)(cast and scene list)

External linksEdit