Lessee of (second) Theatre Royal

Lesse oF the Theatre Royal. Cardiff, was Born in July. 1837, at Lichfield, the birth-place of Dr. Johnson, and also near to the doctor's home. His father, Mr George Fletcher, was for some time connected with the Birmingham Daily Post, to which paper he contributed a number of articles, chiefly short, tales or works of fiction. He was the author of "The Provincialist," and one or two other publications of a similar character. Mr. Edward Fletcher was educated at a private school in Birmingham, and after spending a few years in a merchant's office, he, in January 1857 left home and friends to follow the "Will o'the Wisp" fortune on the "boards of a theatre, guided solely by the love of Shakespeare and the poetic drama. Three years afterwards he was a leading member of a company of which Sir Henry Irving formed one. That was at the old Theatre Royal, Glasgow. Alter a short stay in Glasgow, he went to Sunderland. Newcastle, and thence to London, where, in 1803, he was juvenile lead in the Standard Theatre. When only 25 years of age he returned to Birmingham, and was the Original "Crawley" in "The Poor of Birmingham." He afterwards visited Liverpool, Bradford, Aberdeen, Grimsby. Sheffield, and other places, as leading actor in companies there. In 1870 he went to Whitehaven, and for eight years was manager of the Whitehaven Theatre. In 1881 he came to Cardiff as lessee and manager of the Theatre Royal where he succeeded in elevating, not only the tastes of the people for the drama in its highest and purest, aspect, but he also purified, so to speak, the stage itself, by encouraging members of his own family sometimes to take leading parts in those dramatic performances. Few people were more popular, more respected, and more sought for at banquets given by the highest of our civic dignitaries than Mr. Fletcher. He was e cellent reader, and one of his readings was often the chief feature in the evening's entertainment, He was married in 1863 and on the anniversary of his wedding-day in 1893, Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher were presented with a valuable service of silver plate as a slight token of the esteem and respect with which they were held by the people of Cardiff. It is also here our painful duty to record Mr. Fletcher's death, which occurred a few weeks before this book published. That event brought forth expressions of sincere regret from all parts of the country, from Sir Henry Irving, and from all the great Dramatists of the day, who fell that they had lost a valued friend and residents of the district vied with each other in showing how much they esteemed him, by sending to his residence tributes of respect. On all sides it was admitted that it would be difficult to find a successor to carry on the great work he began, by creating in the minds of all classes a love for the Drama under its present aspects.

Cardiff Directory Advertising Sheet 1891-92