|Hicks as Morden Brenner|
|The Blood Red Knight (Hicks?)|
"While fulfilling an engagement at Colchester a fire broke out, and he, at the hazard of his life, saved two children from the flames by ascending a ladder, when even the firemen and all around refused, succeeding in reaching the top of the house where the children lay, and bringing them down in safety. The ladder was absolutely on fire while he was upon it, and went to pieces the moment he had reached the ground."I have been unable to find a serious portrait of Hicks, but the tinsel prints by John Redington were popular for many years for use in children's cut-out theatres. Those on this page come from Toy Theatre website and a number of them can also been found in the digital collection in the New York Public Library.
Hicks married Elizabeth Bell in 1837 and acted with her in a number of productions but in the Census Return of 1871, when he was living in Hogarth's House, the name of his wife is listed as Sarah - possibly he was then widowed and she was a companion or housekeeper. Hicks' obituary states that he had suffered from "brain softening due to overstudy" for some years before his death.
Numerous reviews of Hicks the actor can be found in newspapers of the era: some critics described him as "perfection" but more often than not, they were disparaging or mocking about his enthusiastic and "over-loud" performances, but if the audiences loved him then that is all that mattered.
Here is a website detailing the history of the Surrey Theatre in Lambeth.
Theatrical playbills can be found at the East London Theatre Archive from the Victoria & Albert Museum.
|Hicks as Claude Duval|