Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue
Sir John Hare (1844-1921), Actor and theatre manager
In person and as an actor he has been described as follows:
A dapper little man in stature and exceedingly well dressed, he was destined chiefly to play character parts, and very often old men, but nevertheless he had the power to dominate a scene in spite of his smallness even on a stage the size of Drury Lane’s. He, again, could switch in an instant from comedy to pathos. His voice was resonant and rich, and with him also his eyes were penetrating and beautifully set. 
Hare was not only a highly strung and sensitive little man but ‘peppery’ too, and people, who all loved and respected him either on his stage or in his private life, had often to mind their p’s and q’s with him. 
Hare was a pioneer in the art of suggesting character by tricks of deportment and facial expression that complete or illuminate the phrases of the author. He showed how this method might be applied without degenerating into grimace or becoming either elaborate or restless. His bearing and conduct on the stage were entirely natural, but were nevertheless informed at every moment with invention, and disciplined by a graceful economy to secure the effect at which he was aiming. 
Footnotesback to top
Referencesback to topAshton 1997
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[Cassell & Co., pub.,] Royal Academy Pictures 1893: illustrating the hundred and twenty-fifth exhibition of the Royal Academy, London, 1893.
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Dark, S., ‘Mr John Hare’, Cassell’s Magazine, Oct. 1904, pp. 517–21.
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Hall, L.A., Catalogue of Dramatic Portraits in the Theatre Collection of the Harvard College Library, 4 vols, Cambridge, MA, 1930–34.
Hare, J., ‘Reminiscences & Reflections’, Strand, vols 35 & 36, 1908 (6 parts).
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Matthews & Mellini 1982
Matthews, R.T., and P. Mellini, In ‘Vanity Fair’, London, 1982.
Palmer, J.L., ‘Hare, Sir John (Fairs) (1844–1921)’, DNB, Oxford, 1927.
Pemberton, T.E., John Hare, Comedian, 1865–1895: A Biography, London, 1895.
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