Florence Brough

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Florence Brough (1856-1932)[1] was an actress and vocalist (contralto).

Also known as Florence Trevelyan, Florence Brough, Mrs Robert Brough, or Florence Brough-Bell.


Born Florence Major on 4 November 1856, Covent Garden, London, the daughter of Richard Major and Harriet Davis. She became an actress in England in 1876 and married the actor Robert Brough on 26 July 1880 in Plymouth. She initially used the stage name Florence Trevelyan, but after her first marriage, was also known as Florence Brough or often Mrs Robert Brough.

The couple moved to Australia in 1886, where her husband became a prominent actor-manager.

After the death of her first husband, she married the actor Cyril Bell in 1909 and died on 7 January 1932 in Sydney, Australia.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

Though F.C.L. Bosman (1980) often mentions a Robert Brough, this usually refers to the writer of a number of plays performed in South Africa during the 19th century, i.e. his father, Robert Barnabas Brough (1928-1960)[2]

However D.C. Boonzaier (1923) does mention one visit to Cape Town by Robert Brough and his wife in 1904, when they appeared in the Good Hope Theatre under the Wheeler Brothers' management during February. He describes Florence as a "finished and accomplished performer" and notes that "manliness, refinement and care" characterised all that her husband did. Nevertheless, though he praises the skill and professionalism of the two performers, he - and presumably the public - did not find the choice of works inspiring, as the season consisted of two well-known plays (The Second Mrs Tanqueray and The Marriage of Kitty) and only one (rather dull) new piece (The Light that Failed).




D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1923. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: p. 419

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