Cartoon portraits and biographical sketches of men of the day/Lionel Brough
Mr. Lionel Brough, the popular low comedian, is the son of the late Mr. Barnabas Brough, once well known as a dramatic author, writing under the nom de plume of 'Barnard de Burgh.'
Mr. Lionel Brough is a native of the Principality, having been born at Pontypool, in Monmouthshire, on March 10th, 1836. He is the brother of the late Robert and William Brough, known to all playgoers as the 'Brothers Brough,' and also of the late Mr. John C. Brough, author of works on scientific subjects, and the librarian to the London Institution.
Mr. Lionel Brough has taken to the stage; for, like many leading actors, he was not bred to the profession, but began life as clerk to Mr. John Timbs, editor of the 'Illustrated London News.' at the time when Douglas Jerrold, Albert Smith, John Leech, Charles Dickens, and W. M. Thackeray were in their prime; he was afterwards assistant publisher of the 'Daily Telegraph' for the first seven months of its existence.
He made his first appearance on the London stage at the Lyceum, under the celebrated management of Madame Vestris and Charles Mathews. The piece was an extravaganza entitled 'Prince Prettypet,' produced in December 1854. Madame Vestris died, and Mr. Mathews retired from the management of the Lyceum.
In 1858, Mr. Brough was again at the Lyceum under Mr. E. Falconer's management. He then deserted the stage, and was for five years on the 'Morning Star.' He next gave entertainments—'Cinderella,' 'Der Freischutz,' &c.—at the Polytechnic, afterwards travelling in the provinces with a 'Ghost' performance, which he produced 'by command' at Windsor. Mr. Brough played before the Queen and the late Prince Consort, with the members of the Savage Club, for the Lancashire Belief Fund, and also visited Liverpool and Manchester for the same object.He next joined Mr. Henderson at the Prince of Wales's Theatre,
Mr. Brough came to London in October 1867, and has played at the Queen's, St. James's, and Holborn theatres. In August 1872, Mr. Boucicault opened Covent Garden—at the close of the Opera season—with Mr. Brough as his stage manager.
At Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, and the chief provincial towns, Mr. Brough has often performed, and is a great favourite with his audiences. He has all the requisite qualities as an actor for the parts he plays; and to his great natural humour and fun he adds a conscientious and careful study of the characters he undertakes.
Tony Lumpkin, in 'She Stoops to Conquer,' he played for a long time, with the greatest success, at the St. James's Theatre; and he is the best Tony on the stage. Uncle Ben in 'Dearer than Life,' Spotty in 'The Lancashire Lass,' Sampson Burr in 'The Porter's Knot,' Mark Meddle in 'London Assurance,' Robin Wildbriar in 'Extremes,' are among the best of Mr. Brough's assumptions. He plays them with marked intelligence arid appreciation, and a display of genuine humorous power and versatility not too frequently met with on the stage.
Mr. Brough likewise enjoys considerable celebrity as an actor of burlesque parts, when he never fails to put his audiences in a good temper with themselves and with their entertainer.