The Kemble Company Players

  • 16 Jan 2012
  • Theatre
  • Back
Twelve children were born to the Kembles in various parts of their circuit, four being boys. Roger educated his children remarkably well; John being intended for the priesthood, had a season at the Worcester Cathedral Grammer School, and Sarah was received in the school of Mrs. Harris at Thornloe, and the teacher refused to recieve payment for her education.

As time went on, Kemble succeeded Ward in the management of little troupe of players who ranged the counties of Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, and these formed the chief part of the West-Midland theatrical circuit.

The Kemble Company played at the King's Head, Worcester in 1767 and stayed for weeks, when five members of the Kemble family, including the young Sarah, appeared in an historical drama Charles the First.

This was billed as follows:

Worcester 12th February, 1767

Mr.Kemble's Company of Comedians.

At the Theatre at the Kings Head, this evening will be performed a

Concert of Music (to begin exactly at Six 0'clock). Tickets to be had at the usual places.

Between the Parts of the Concert will be presented gratis, a celebrated historical play

(never performed here) called


The Characters to be dressed in the ancient habits, according to the fashion of those times.

The Part of King Charles, by Mr.Jones;

Duke of Richmond, Mr.Siddons;

Marquis of Lindsey, Mr.Salisbury;

Bishop Juxon, Mr.Fowler;

General Fairfax, Mr.Kemble;

Colonel Crump;

Colonel Tomlinson, Mr.Hughes;

The Part of Oliver Cromwell, Mr.Vaughan;

Servant, Mr.Butler;

James, Duke of York (afterwards King of England); Master J.Kemble;

Duke of Gloucester (King Charle's younger son) Miss Fanny Kemble;

Sergeant Bradshaw (Judge of the pretended High Court of Justice), Mr.Burton;

The Young Princess Elizabeth, Miss Kemble;

Lady Fairfax, Mrs Kemble;

The part of the Queen, Mrs Vaughan;

Singing between the Acts by Mrs Fowler and Miss Kemble. To which will be added a comedy called


Mr.Jones was the star of the Kemble Company and when Master John Kemble came to play major roles he used to announce that he would play them 'after the manner of Mr.Jones', so that the audiences should not think him overvain or ambitious.

Miss Kemble continued the custom of singing a comic song between the acts of a tragedy. It was thought that her gifts were more suitable to comedy; and her brother John declared her to be 'the finest comic singer in the world'.