« ZurückWeiter »
“ and by their well-directed force uphold the pure “ taste of the legitimate drama, the Proprietors of “ this theatre pledge themselves to continue their
labours,” &c. (Dram. Censor.)
In 1810-1811, a 3d theatre was much talked of both in and out of Parliament-it was chiefly owing to the exertions of Mr. Whitbread in settling the affairs of D. L., and to his opposition in the House of Commons, that the bill for a 3d theatre did not pass – the advocates for that measure seem to have overlooked one material point-as Colley Cibber said to Christopher Rich on a similar occasion, “ where are your actors ?”—an Act of Parliament cannot create them, and money can only purchase such as there are—the Proprietors of a $d theatre would probably have seduced some few performers from the D. L. and C. G. Companies by the offer of a larger salary or better parts—(as Jøhn Rich did when he opened L. I. F. in 1714)—they must have completed their establishment from the theatres out
of London-the latter measure would have been only forestalling the market-as it is, a performer who has distinguished himself in a provincial theatre, is pretty sure of an engagement at D. L. or C. G.sooner or later according to circumstances—the result of a 3d theatre must ultimately have been, that the theatrical talents, which existed, would have been divided by 3 instead of 2, and that consequently plays would have been worse acted in all the 3 theatres-rarely has it happened, that with 2 theatres there have been two strong Companies—the only rational plan on which a 3d theatre could have been opened, would have been to have confined it to the performance of Operas.
The promoters of a 3d theatre had formed some very good resolutions.
No freedoms of any kind, or orders, even to authors or performers, were to be granted, as they only serve to influence, or overpower the judgment of the public, as to the merit of plays or actors—and also they occasion cabals, by introducing partizans for insidious purposes-- or they are used as decoys, to give a false appearance to the theatre.
The theatre was to have been built in such a man. ner as to afford the greatest possible security against fire—and to secure to the spectator and auditor the full advantage of sight and hearing, without forcing either the performers or the company to overstrain their organs.
The prices were to have been-boxes 6s.—-pit 38. -galleries 28. and 18.- the size of the theatre was to have been little more than the extent of old D. L., which, exempt from renters and other free people,
would, at the old prices, hold as much money, as the modern excessively large theatres, loaded as they are with so many gratis admissions—the stage boxes were to be appropriated to the friends of the performers, instead of orders-see Dramatic Censor for 1811-pp. 97–218.
It seems that the Proprietor of C. G. had sold the dormant Patent.
Peake the Treasurer of D. L. in a letter dated Nov. 5 1809 says—“ It may be proper to announce
that, should a third theatre be really desirable, and “ called for by the public, the dormant Patent an“nexed to this theatre, under the royal sanction, “ will be immediately put in action for the attainment “ of that object.”
Fry, the Solicitor for the intended Subscription Theatre, in a letter dated Nov. 8 1809 says—“We “ understand that when it was in contemplation to
pull down old Drury, and rebuild the late theatre, “ as the Company was then playing on a patent that “ had not many years to run, in order to induce the
public to subscribe for the erection of the new “ theatre, it became necessary to obtain a more
permanent tenure, than a temporary patent--and “ as Mr. Harris then had lying dormant what was “ considered to be a patent in fee, that patent was
purchased with some of the fund raised for build
ing new Drury”– Oulton)—the Patent mentioned in these letters was that granted to Killegrew.
C. G. 1810-1811.
When the 0. P. riots were last season brought to an end, it had been stipulated, that the whole tier of private boxes, with the exception of 3 on each side, should be thrown open to the public—but on the last night of the season Kemble had stated, that, since the treaty at the Crown and Anchor, an Act of Parliament had been passed for the rebuilding of D. L., which allowed the proprietors to have as many private boxes as they pleased this would give D. L. an advantage over C. G. if the treaty were rigorously enforced-he added—“ we shall be happy “ to receive that as a boon of your liberality, which “ the other theatre will claim as right by law"—this speech was received with a mixture of disapprobation and applause.
On the 1st night of this season, 12 centre boxes of the private circle were thrown open to the publicno more private boxes were retained than there had been in the old theatre before the fire—but because the Crown and Anchor treaty was not strictly adhered to, the O. P. riots were renewed and continued till the Proprietors were compelled to give up the point -the theatre was shut for a week in order to make the necessary alterations-/ Oulton)-might, as is usual in these cases, overcame right-nothing could be more reasonable, than that both the Patent Theatres should be on the same footing - but it would have been more prudent, if the Proprietors of C. G. had waited till D. L. had been rebuilt and openedthey would then have brought forward their appeal with a better grace, and the animosity of their opponents would probably have been softened by timethe reason for making an appeal to the public at the end of last season was, to avoid the expense of the alteration.
Sept. 10. (First night) Beggar's Opera, and Raising the Wind.
12. Wheel of Fortune, and Escapes.
14. Love in a Village. Justice Woodcock = Blanchard : Hodge=Liston :—with Child of Nature, by Mrs. H. Johnston.
17. Suspicious Husband-no play till 24th. 27. School of Reform- -28. All in the Wrong. Oct 4. John Bull
—8. Hamlet. 9. Conscious Lovers, and Of Age To-morrow.
13 (and 29) Shakspeare's King Lear—the Reviser had not as yet found out the difference between Tate and Shakspeare.
16. Heir at Law, with (1st time) Bridal Ring. Marquis de Vinci = Young : **=Fawcett : Victoria Malcour=Mrs. C. Kemble : Juliana = Mrs. H. Johnston :-acted 4 times—this dramatic Romance is attributed to Reynolds, and is not printed.
17. Mrs. Siddons acted Lady Macbeth. 18. Beaux Stratagem- -19. Iron Chest. 20. Henry 8th. King =Egerton—22. Revenge. 23. Gamester. Stukely = Egerton. 24. Inkle and Yarico—25. Mountaineers.