Opera Scotland

Beggar's Opera 1922Platt and Eaton Company

Read more about the opera Beggar's Opera

Frederic Austin's exhumation of The Beggar's Opera at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, in 1920 was one of the greatest theatrical successes of the period, and by the time it came on tour to Scotland it had been running continuously in London for over two years. The tour was under the management of Taylor Platt and Wilfred Eaton.

While the conductor Eugene Goossens was a familiar figure in Scottish theatres, the sound of a harpsichord played by Miss Bertha Tomlin, supplementing (in Dundee) Mr McDonald's resident pit band, would have been a much greater surprise for most of the audience.  The instrument was made in 1784.

This tour's thunder may have been stolen, at least in Dundee, by the occurrence of a General Election the previous Thursday. In this, one of the city's long-serving MPs (since 1908), a Liberal by the name of  Winston Churchill, was unseated by Edwin Scrymgeour, a representative of the Prohibitionist cause.  Churchill's campaign was much hindered by the urgent need to have his appendix removed.


Modern Revival: Edition by Frederic Austin.

First Performance at Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, June 5 1920.

The London cast consisted of: Frederic Austin, Alfred Heather, Nonny Lock, Violet Marquesita, Sylvia Nelis, Frederick Ranalow, and Arthur Wynn.

Later cast changes included Colin Ashdown, Phyllis Blackburne, Frederic Davies, Kathlyn Hilliard, Tristan Rawson, H Scott Russell, and Dorothy Smithard.

The complete cast for Edinburgh is from a programme in the OperaScotland collection.  Confirmation for major roles is as reviewed in Dundee.


Additional Scottish tour dates (probably Glasgow and Aberdeen) to be established.

Performance Cast


Cecil J Woodings (Edi)

Mr Peachum a 'fence'

Sydney Groom (Dnd, Edi)

Filch employee of Peachum

Stanley Vilven (Dnd, Edi)

Mrs Peachum

Gladys Godwin (Edi)

Polly Peachum Peachum's daughter

Rose Hignell (Dnd, Edi)

Macheath a highwayman

Gordon Sherry (Dnd, Edi)

Drawer in the tavern

Mr H Larkin (Edi)

Lockit the gaoler

Colin Coop (Dnd, Edi)

Lucy Lockit Lockit's daughter

Dorothy Gill (Dnd, Edi)


Sidney Elliot (Edi)

Jenny Diver a woman of the town

Linda Hope (Edi)

Mrs Diana Trapes

Gertrude Green (Edi)

Performance DatesBeggar's Opera 1922

Map List

King's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

20 Nov, 19.30 21 Nov, 19.30 22 Nov, 19.30 23 Nov, 19.30 24 Nov, 19.30 25 Nov, 14.30 25 Nov, 19.30

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

4 Dec, 19.30 5 Dec, 19.30 6 Dec, 19.30 7 Dec, 19.30 8 Dec, 19.30 9 Dec, 14.00 9 Dec, 19.15

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