(1823–75) English playwright. Hazlewood was a prolific purveyor of melodramas to the Britannia Theatre in the East End of London and to working- and lower-middle-class neighbourhood London theatres. The Britannia gave him about £5 a script, not, apparently, a weekly wage. Between 1863 and 1875 he wrote at least 125 plays for the Britannia, taking his material from crime reports in newspapers, magazine stories, novels, and prints of popular narrative paintings. Such titles as Cast on the Mercy of the World; or, Deserted and Deceived (1862), The Mother's Dying Child; or, Woman's Fate (1864), Alone in the Pirate's Lair (1867), and Pure as Driven Snow; or, Tempted in Vain (1869) indicate the character of Hazlewood's melodramas. Many centre on the suffering of women in humble circumstances. His most famous play, and one occasionally revived today, is Lady Audley's Secret (1863), from Mary Elizabeth Braddon's novel.
From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance in Oxford Reference.