Manager of the Royalty Theatre, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.
Mr Frank Sephton. 1893.
Mr Frank Sephton was manager of the Royalty Theatre, Sauchiehall Street, in 1893.
Mr Sephton had his first stage appearance in 1855, he was born amidst the Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood’s famous hideaway. His first appearance was here too, his success was under the guardian wing of Mr J K Emmett, in the famous play of “Fritz” at the old Amphi-Theatre, Leeds, and was apprenticed for three seasons in the profession he had so happily chosen at South Shields, under the management of Mr Kimber. Completing this term to the satisfaction of his employers and with credit to himself, young Mr Sephton accepted an engagement at Dublin under the management of Messrs. John and Michael Gunn, with whom he spent two of the happiest years of his professional life.
Anxious and wedded to his profession, he overtaxed his strength and was compelled to bid farewell regretfully to the footlights for about two years; but, ere he was thoroughly convalescent, such was his pluck and ambition that he was again in hardness travelling the midlands, eastern and northern counties representing a Yorkshire firm of English timber merchants. He left the timber trade and went back to his first love “the stage.”
No play, perhaps, in recent times had taken a firmer hold on the public or taxed the energies of an acting manager to a greater extent than the world famous comedy, “Our Boys.” The late Mr Duck was proprietor of this piece, and, joining his company, Mr Sephton was acting manager for him for three years. It may be taken as a guarantee of his ability, perseverance and indomitable energy when we say that during that period he played the exciting roles of Talbot Champneys for over one hundred nights. Percy Pendragon in “Married in Haste,” Charlie Spraggs in “Blow for Blow,” and many other parts in the Byronic repertoire. Leaving Mr Duck for pastures new Mr Sephton joined the well known Mr J B Howard, who was then lessee of the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh. Here he popularity followed him and increased. Doing yeoman service for the lessee for three years, he made an important step in life, and was fortunate enough to gain the heart and hand of Miss Dwight, daughter of the late Mr Charles Dwight, proprietor and manager of the oldest Christy Minstrel troupes on the road. Mrs Sephton was an immense favourite in all the London and provincial theatres and music halls; an excellent and refined comedienne, one of the best Tyrolean artistes on the stage. Although retired, and devoting her energies to that highest of a true woman’s ambition, a happy home-life, Mrs Sephton has ever been ready and willing to emerge from her retirement, and, in conjunction with her clever and popular husband, give her valuable service in aid of charity or any commendable cause.
Appreciated, and, better still, affectionately regarded far outside their profession friends and immediate domestic circle, on their marriage, which was consumed at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Edinburgh, Mr and Mrs Sephton were presented with a purse of sovereigns by their many friends and well wishers, which we believe, far more than covered their honeymoon expenses.
Regretfully Mr Sephton left his friends and manager to open the new Avenue Theatre in Sunderland, which he successfully piloted for six months, giving up the management only to again join Mr Howard on the re-opening of the Theatre Royal, Newcastle-On-Tyne. From Newcastle Mr Sephton came to Glasgow in 1886 to take the management of the Royalty Theatre for the same lessee, and, on the acquisition of the Royalty by Messrs. Howard and Wyndham, he undertook the duel duties of the direction of both houses until, under the strain, his health broke down, and on the advice of his medical man he was reluctantly compelled to forego the active oversight of the latter house.