Lillie Langtry SI

Lillie Langtry

Lillie Langtry, the Jersey-born actress sometimes referred to as ‘the Jersey Lily’, was born on 13 October 1853 at the Old Rectory in the Island’s parish of St Saviour. Her acting career offered her a variety of roles, some of which are commemorated within this stamp issue, marking 100 years since she retired from the stage.

Lillie made her first appearance on stage in 1881 as Lady Clara in an amateur production of A Fair Encounter at Twickenham Town Hall. It seems she found her first acting experience quite daunting, initially forgetting her lines, but Lillie was persuaded back on stage and she made her debut before the London public as Kate Hardcastle in Oliver Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer at the Haymarket Theatre. It was not until 1891, aged 37, that Lillie made her first appearance in a Jersey theatre, The Theatre Royal. Sadly the theatre was destroyed by fire in 1899 but a new theatre was soon built in its place and Lillie opened The Opera House, on 9 July 1900, performing in its first play, Sydney Grundy’s The Degenerates.

Eight stamps and a Miniature Sheet feature photographs of Lillie in some of her many acting roles:

49p pink            Kate Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer

49p lilac            Blanche Hayes in Ours

63p olive            Rosalind in As You Like It

63p pink            Hester Grazebrook in An Unequal Match   

73p                                    Mademoiselle Mars in Mademoiselle Mars

79p                                    Lena Despard in As in a Looking-Glass

90p                                    Lady Macbeth in Macbeth

£1.07                                    Pauline in The Lady of Lyons

The Miniature Sheet features a photograph of Lillie as Cleopatra in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra.

Technical Details

Issue Date: 22.09.2017
Printer: Cartor Security Printing, France
Process: Four colour process offset lithography + spot silver iridescent ink
Colours: 4 Colours
Size: Stamp die size 40mm deep x 30mm wide. Overall Miniature Sheet size 92mm deep x 125mm wide. Stamp within Miniature Sheet die size 54mm deep x 64mm wide
Values: 49p, 63p, 73p, 79, 90p, £1.07