A PLAQUE has been unveiled to celebrate an 18th century actress schooled in the city, who has been described as the “rock star of her day.”

Sarah Siddons was a Welsh-born English actress, the eldest daughter of Roger and Sarah Kemble who were “strolling players” who performed around the south-west, including Worcester.

Worcester mayor councillor Jo Hodges, who attended the short ceremony on the High Street on Wednesday evening, said: “I’m really pleased to be unveiling the plaque this evening for the memory of Sarah Siddons and her connection to Worcester.

“As a city, we market ourself as an historical city, so this is a wonderful thing to happen.”

David Birtwhistle, president of the Worcester Civic Society, unveiled the plaque with the help of the mayor.

David said: “Sarah was the rock star of her day and was very popular during her time, earning quite a bit of money.”

The plaque on the Costa coffee shop was funded by Worcester Walkers and had been some months in the planning.

Sarah attended school at Thorneloe House, later known as the Worcester Eye Hospital in Barbourne.

The “Barn” used for theatre performances in the city was in the yard of the King’s Head pub, opposite the Guildhall.

As her reputation grew, she went from earning just three pounds a week to commanding between £4,000 and £5,000 a year for her parts as Lady Macbeth and Desdemona.

When Sarah died in 1831, 5,000 people attended her funeral, including the combined companies of Covent Garden Opera House and Drury Lane and she was buried at Paddington Green.

The Sarah Siddons Society, founded in 1952, continues to present the Sarah Siddons Award annually in Chicago to a distinguished actress.

Worcester Civic Society promotes the history of the city and can be joined by visiting their website at: worcestercivicsociety.org.uk/


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