Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Gabrielle Réjane - a late 19th century theater "mega star"

Gabrielle Réjane 

French actress Gabrielle Réjane (1856 - 1920) was - together with her great rival Sarah Bernhardt - an international "mega star" of the late 19th and early 20th century theater world:

In 1894 she appeared in London. The following year, she performed in her most famous role as Catherine in Sardou's Madame Sans-Gêne, in New York City. Her performances in Madame Sans-Gêne (1893) made her as well known in England and the United States as in Paris, and in later years she appeared in characteristic parts in both countries, being particularly successful in Zaza and La Passerelle. She opened the Théâtre Réjane in Paris in 1906.
Along with her great rival, Sarah Bernhardt, she served as the model for the character of the actress Berma in Marcel Proust's novel In Search of Lost Time (A la Recherche du Temps Perdu).The essence of French vivacity and animated expression appeared to be concentrated in Madame Réjane's acting, and made her unrivalled in the parts which she had made her own.

Madame Réjane as Nora.

In 1897 madame Réjane gave four performances in Copenhagen to an enthralled audience, although the reviewer in the Swedish journal Ord och Bild thought she appeared somewhat tired in her famous role as Catherine. But Réjane's Nora in Ibsen's "A Doll's House" seems to have convinced the critic:
"A Parisian Nora, graceful and piquant, but by no means the Norwegian author's warbling skylark and jumping squirrel".

Madame Réjane as Cathrine in Sardou's Madame Sans-Gêne

(Pictures published in the Swedish magazine Ord och Bild in 1897)


  1. If you are going to post content copied from another source, you should cite it.

    1. Dear Unknown,

      Thank you for your comment. To make it even more clear, I have now added that the copied text in the beginning is from Wikipedia. (There was of course a link to Wikipedia already earlier). In my own text I mention and cite the Swedish magazine Ord och Bild (1897), from which the images also come. I have now added a note about the fact that also the pictures are form Ord och Bild.