Who was Walter Plinge?

If you search the STAR database for "Walter Plinge" you will find 3 hits in Shakespeare productions.

Walter Plinge is a pseudonym. It appears in play programmes when an actor was doubling up roles. It may also have been used deliberately to conceal the identity of the actor. There may even have been a need for a placeholder name if the casting was finalised after the programme was printed.

'Walter Plinge' is a reminder to researchers that names can be made up and sometimes they hide the real identity of someone (especially in theatrical performances).

Edith Craig performed under the name 'Ailsa Craig' but reverted to her real name once she found that there was another actor called Ailsa Craig. However, Edith Craig's 'real name' was, in a way, already invented. Her second name was inspired by the Scottish island 'Ailsa Craig' and it usefully concealed the paternity of Edward Godwin, with whom Ellen Terry had a relationship outside marriage.

Introducing The 'Walter Plinge' Brick Wall
(or Thwarted by Pseudonyms)

For family historians, Walter Plinge could create further difficulties. Walter Plinge could be the 'brick wall' when you are searching your theatrical ancestor. If your ancestor was indeed named 'Walter Plinge' you will find numerous Walter Plinges who are no more than pseudonyms. So be prepared!

You may wish to consult reference books to see whether your search for your theatrical ancestor is at risk of being thwarted by pseudonyms. For instance, see Adrian Room, Dictionary of Pseudonyms, McFarland, 2010 (5th edition).

Find out more about your theatrical ancestors

Searching for Theatrical Ancestors is a resource that allows you to search a large body of online data for anyone who was involved in the theatre.

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