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Robert Eddison as the Stranger in 'The Hidden King'

  • Object:

    Statuette

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (
    , made)

  • Date:

    ca.1957 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Chadwick, Diana (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted plaster

  • Credit Line:

    Accepted by HM Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1996

  • Museum number:

    S.1062-1996

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

  • Public access description

    This statuette by Diana Chadwick represents the actor Robert Eddison (1908-1991) as The Stranger in the first production of Jonathan Griffin's verse drama The Hidden King at the Assembly Hall, Edinburgh, during the 1957 Edinburgh Festival. The Stranger was the main protagonist, who claimed he was Dom Sebastian, King of Portugal. Critics complained about the four hour length of the play, cut by half an hour after the first week, and about the fact that it was based on an obscure piece of Portuguese history. They praised the spectacular costumes designed by Leslie Hurry and the cast, including Pauline Jamieson, Michael MacLiammoir and Robert Speaight, who 'spoke the sonorous lines most nobly'. Nevertheless the play did not receive a London transfer.

    Robert Eddison was well known by 1957 as a leading actor on the West End stage. Although Shakespearean roles were his favourite, including Hamlet and Polonius, he played a wide range of characters throughout his long career and was famous for his resonant voice.

  • Physical description

    Painted plaster statuette of Robert Eddison in The Hidden King, showing him seated looking to the middle distance to his right, his arms resting on his knees. He has short brown hair, a beard and a moustache and wears a green jacket decorated with gold lines, green breeches tucked into brown boots, a cream jerkin and a red cloak fastened on his right shoulder with a buckle.

  • Marks and inscriptions

    'ROBERT EDDISON IN 'THE HIDDEN KING''
    Painted on the base in grey paint

    'Diana Chadwick'
    Painted on the base in black paint

  • Dimensions

    Height: 37.5 cm, Width: 21.0 cm maximum, Depth: 25.0 cm maximum

  • Descriptive line

    Robert Eddison as the Stranger in The Hidden King by Jonathan Griffin, Edinburgh Festival, Assembly Hall, 1957. Plaster statuette by Diana Chadwick

  • Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

    Theatre World, October 1957, p.27

  • Collection code

    Theatre and Performance Collection