Author(s): Mimi Colligan
Rose Edouin (nee Bryer) and her husband, entrepreneur and circus performer George Benjamin William Lewis, have received little attention in the history of Australian theatre, and certainly few now would be aware of the achievements of this couple. Fame is ephemeral. For more than half a century, from 1853, Edouin and Lewis forged high-profile careers that encompassed the circus, the popular stage, and theatre management in Europe, Australia, China, India, and New Zealand. Actress Rose started as a child star in London, toured the gold towns of Victoria, and acted in/directed popular theatre in India and China before opening the Bijou Theatre in Bourke Street, Melbourne. George brought a horse circus to Melbourne, opened the building that became the Princess Theatre, built theatres in Calcutta, was an early employer of J.C. Williamson, and, for a decade in the late 1800s, managed the Academy of Music and Bijou Theatre. This book looks at the theatrical lives of both Rose Edouin and G.B.W. Lewis.