Most prominent in the nineteenth century when an actor, for example Henry Irving, both performed in and ran his own company (always playing the Lead). Irving also owned his own theatre, the Lyceum, which at one point in his later career became thought of as almost a National Theatre - and he was followed by Beerbohm Tree at His Majesty's Theatre. While the conditions of the modern stage and the nature of contemporary drama made the director the primary creative figure in charge of productions, actor-managers continued to exist up to the middle of the twentieth century, as personified in Oscar Asche, who ran his own theatre appearing as the star in a series of popular musical comedies from Chu Chin Chow in 1915 up to the 1930s, or later in touring companies such as Donald Wolfit's Shakespeare troupe, which Edward Bond was so impressed by in the 1940s.

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