Sutro, Alfred

Alfred Sutro, OBE, (1863 – 1933), was an English author, dramatist and translator, active in the first quarter of the 20th century. Born in London, to Sigismund Sutro, a medical practitioner of German and Spanish Sephardic ancestry, Sutro lived in London, Brussels, and Paris. After a first success in 1895 with The Chili Widow, an adaptation of a French work, made jointly with actor Arthur Bouchier, he wrote a number of plays in quick succession (The Cave of Illusion, 1900, Arethusa, 1903, A Marriage Has Been Arranged, 1904). His own satirical comedy The Walls of Jericho (again with Bouchier the lead actor) became a resounding success at the Garrick Theatre in 1904. Further plays (all in all more than 20) include Mollentrave on Women (1905), The Perfect Lover (1905), The Fascinating Mr Vanderveldt (1906), John Glayde’s Honour (1907), The Barrier (1907), The Builder of Bridges (1908), Making a Gentleman (1909), The Perplexed Husband (1911), The Fire-Screen (1912), The Two Virtues (1914), The Clever Ones (1914), The Choice (1919) and A Man with a Heart (1925).

Key influences on his plays were Oscar Wilde and Arthur Wing Pinero as well as Belgian dramatist Maurice Maeterlinck, whose plays Sutro translated into English. In terms of style, Sutro wrote well-made plays, and in terms of themes, he focused on adultery and betrayal.


Sawin, Lewis. Alfred Sutro. A Man With a Heart. Niwot: University Press of Colorado, 1989.