23 April 2019

23rd April 1886 - Withered Leaves at Essex County Asylum

I read in the Chelmsford Chronicle - on 23rd April 1886 - that two plays were performed at the Recreation Hall of the Essex County Asylum at Brentwood.

During the winter a series of performances had been presented to relieve the tedium of the winter months and this was the last.

The patients thoroughly enjoyed the plays and followed them with keen and intelligent interest. In the first, a comedy, called Withered leaves, the audience showed unmistakably their sense of right and wrong by vigorously hissing Cecil Vane, the villain of the piece. The Asylum band under Mr Byford played a capital selection of music during the intervals. There then followed an amusing farce called 'Who's to win'.

Loud applause greeted the performers at the close of the performance.

Thanks to the British Newspaper archive for the article and date.

The recreation hall had been added in 1879 at the centre of the main building. More about Essex County Asylum is here

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