Actor & Theatre Manager.
This branch of the Chute family was well known in Bristol and Bath for theater management and theater arts. James Henry Chute married the daughter of William Macready; the family is known as the "Macready Chutes" or the "Bristol Chutes".
Based on the writings of his contemporaries, James seems to started out in the theatre profession at quite a young age, beginning his career as a "light comedian", marrying into the Macready family and moving from there into assembly room and theater management, the profession for which he was best remembered.
He married Mazzarina Emily Macready. They had at least two sons:
Census records show he was born in Hampshire.
The Theatre Royal, King Street, was Bristol's major theatre until James Henry Chute built the New Theatre Royal, Park Row, in 1867. After this, the theatre on King Street was known as the Old Theatre Royal, until the 1880s, the era of Andrew Melville's management, when it was named the Theatre Royal on playbills again. Managers during the period covered by the playbills were: William M'Cready, James Henry Chute, A. Wood and Andrew Melville.
Further information in: Barker, K. The Theatre Royal, Bristol, 1766-1966: two centuries of stage history. Society for Theatre Research, 1974. A series of 102 playbills from 1868-1880.
In the 1860s the Theatre Royal, Bristol, was becoming dilapidated, with cramped scenic facilities, and the King Street area was becoming increasingly run down as the western suburbs developed into fashionable residential districts. Mindful of this, its lessee James Henry Chute decided on the bold move of creating a theatre of his own on the boundary of Bristol and Clifton, in Park Row. This "New Theatre Royal" opened on 14 October 1867, and held nearly double the capacity of the King Street Theatre Royal. In 1878 James Henry Chute died, quite suddenly, and his sons James and George Macready Chute took over management of both theatres in Bristol. The playbills show a mix of touring companies, touring artistes, and the regular company of the New Theatre Royal.
Further information in: Barker, K. The Theatre Royal, Bristol, 1766-1966: two centuries of stage history. Society for Theatre Research, 1974. A series of 64 playbills from 1870-1880.
When the New Theatre Royal opened in Park Row on 14 October 1867, the two Theatres Royal continued side by side for a few months, with some interchange of players. However, as a consequence of overstretched resources and James Henry Chute's near bankruptcy in 1868, the old Theatre Royal had to be closed for a while, and for the next 10 years the theatre was opened only spasmodically, mainly for visits by touring companies. On 23 July 1878 James Henry Chute died quite suddenly and his sons, George and James Macready Chute, took over the management of both the Bristol theatres. When the lease ran out in 1881, it was taken on by George Melville.
Further information in: Barker, K. The Theatre Royal, Bristol, 1766-1966: two centuries of stage history. Society for Theatre Research, 1974. 1 playbill from 1843.
Obituary Article, James Henry Chute
"The good old provincial school of actors and managers appears to be dying out. But amongst them all none deserves more respect or regret than Mr James Henry Chute, of the Bath and Bristol Circuit, who died last week at the age of sixty-nine. Mr Chute, whom we had the pleasure of knowing personally, was one of the few experienced, competent, liberal, and judicious directors who make themselves and their art respected. He began his career early, and was the comrade of the late Mr Compton in York. He was for a long while in Scotland and Ireland, and in 1841 joined the Bristol Company and met his future wife, Miss Macready, the sister of the great tragedian. They ran away together, but Mrs Macready seeing what a good fellow, handsome fellow, and clever actor Mr Chute was, freely forgave them. Mr Chute helped Mrs Macready in managing the theatre, and at her death became sole manager of the old, and afterwards of the new theatre. In Bristol and Bath he was invariably liked and admired both as actor and gentleman, and his fine old face will be sorely missed by many London stars."
"The Musical World", Volume 56, August 3, 1878. Page 505
SEE MORE INFO AND PHOTOS ABOUT THE THEATRE ROYAL IN BRISTOL:
Arnos Vale Cemetery
Bristol Unitary Authority
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Originally Created by: Debra Polly
Record added: Oct 02, 2012
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