THE D'OYLY CARTE OPERA COMPANY

Arthur Hendon (1884-85, 1887)

[Died England Apr 1920]

"Then there was Arthur Hendon. If ever a Christian lived it was this sterling fellow." So wrote Henry A. Lytton in Secrets of a Savoyard, describing the friendship and support he and his wife received from their fellow performer during the desperate times that preceded their D'Oyly Carte successes. "Time after time in those heart-aching days we were on the verge of despair. Luck was dead out. Life was a misery. But Hendon, though he was as sore of heart and as hungry as the rest of us, was always ready with some cheery word, some act of kindness, some 'goodness done by stealth.' Louie and I were rather small in size, and often as we tramped from one place to another he carried one of us in turn in his arms.Only his great heart sustained him in those terrible times as our 'captain courageous."

Hendon, like the Lyttons, joined Mr. D'Oyly Carte's "D" ('Princess Ida' No. 1) Company for the first provincial production of Princess Ida, commencing in Glasgow on February 4, 1884. He played the small part of Guron. He remained with "D" Company for the duration of the tour, until May 1885, playing Guron and, from February 1885, when a Trial by Jury/Sorcerer double bill joined Princess Ida in the repertoire, the Usher in Trial.

Hendon later appeared on tour as one of the ghostly ancestors in Ruddigore with Mr. D'Oyly Carte's "B" Company from April through December 1887.

Arthur Hendon eventually found work in London, appearing frequently there between 1889 and 1892 in such comic operas as Paul Jones and Captain Therese at the Prince of Wales's and Incognita at the Lyric. After that, he branched into pantomime and the legitimate theatre in London and on tour, as a character actor and, later, as a stage manager. He was touring in that capacity with the "Peg O' My Heart Company" when he died suddenly from heart failure in 1920.



Page created August 8, 2002 © 2002 David Stone