Murray Carrington as Oberon

Murray Carrington as Oberon

Murray Carrington was a stalwart of the Benson company for eight years from his debut with them in 1906. He played over a hundred parts during that time, and returned occasionally even after 1914. He is pictured here as Oberon, against the curved wall of the old Memorial Theatre (a wall which remained after the fire and today forms part of the Swan Theatre).

In the decades either side of 1900, Oberon was often played by a woman. Carrington's large dark eyes and surprisingly thin legs, about which the company used to tease him, make for an otherworldly, ethereal, fragile Fairy King. In 1914 Carrington's name was being mentioned as possible leader of a breakaway company, but plans were suspended owing to the outbreak of World War I.