The Princes Theatre on the 21st December 1868 were the hosts to the ‘De Trafford Club’ which was the home of the East Lancashire Provincial Masonic Lodge. One of their hierarchy was Willliam Romaine Callender Junior, who held the position of ‘Deputy Grand Master of the Provincial Lodge of East Lancashire’
The Lodge put on a play ‘Uncle Zachery’ which was written by a Freemason and all the male actors were Freemasons. There were only two females in the play, these actresses were Miss E Romer and Fanny Brough who was a very talented and reknown actress of that era. Below is a photo of her.
The next time Freemasons appeared at this theatre was in 1902 when a new play called ‘Are You a Mason?‘ was staged. It was so popular that it returned to this theatre several times. In 1915 Hollywood made it into a silent movie starring John Barrymore and in 1934 it was remade into a film in England and starred Sonnie Hale and Robertson Hare. It was said to be a very funny storyline of two men, both pretending to the other that they members of a Masonic Lodge
Below is the playbill for the play ‘Are You A Mason?’
This play was put on by Georges Edwardes and Charles Frohman, two of the top impresario’s of their day. A sad little known fact about the demise of Charles Frohman he died in the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 when he was at the height of his fame.
Below is advert for the 1915 film .
And finally for anyone who has ever been to a ‘Masonic Ladies Night’ here is a song that is often sung during the evening.