Born on 13rd of February 1804
Died on 6th of November 1878
As an actor (after youthful work on newspapers) Samuel Phelps was unable to achieve great success until he took over the running of the Sadler’s Wells Company. His fame was derived from staging the plays of Shakespeare in their first folio glory, rather than as had long been fashionable in bastardised versions. Phelps won particular acclaim for Hamlet, a role he played in several productions, for Lear (a revelation after Tate’s happy-ending rendering), and as Falstaff.
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