Download A History of English Drama 1660-1900: Volume 4, Early by Allardyce Nicoll PDF

By Allardyce Nicoll

Allardyce Nicoll's background of English Drama, 1660-1900 used to be a tremendous scholarly success and the paintings of 1 guy. Nicoll's historical past, which tells the tale of English drama from the reopening of the theatres on the time of the recovery all through to the top of the Victorian interval, was once considered via Notes and Queries (1952) as 'a nice paintings of exploration, an in depth consultant to the untrodden acres of our dramatic historical past, hitherto mostly missed as barren and with out interest'. The historical past is reissued in seven paperback volumes, on hand individually and as a suite. In volumes 1-5 Nicoll describes the stipulations of the degree, actors and bosses in addition to dramatic genres. The 6th and 7th volumes provide a accomplished checklist of all of the performs recognized to were produced or revealed in England among 1660 and 1930, with their authors and substitute titles; it has hence self sustaining price in addition to offering an index to the sooner volumes.

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The consequence of this, itself one of the causes of theatrical doctrine in the age, must be treated later1 ; here the bare facts alone must be noted. In addition to this, one may observe the carelessness with which even more important productions were prepared. The actor-manager was sure of his part, probably sure of his patronage among the audience, and as a result the rehearsals were permitted to take care of themselves. Perhaps the lesser actors, knowing that all eyes would be on the star, and losing heart, chose the primrose path of easy dalliance.

He told me, with a . gust of satisfaction, that he had engaged the Burmah bulls, 1 Op. cit. i. 169. 1 E. Fitzball, op. cit. i. v-vi. 1 T. J. L. 1800), Prologue. • Op. cit. ii. 24. 26 T H E T HEATRE elephants, ostriches, I think, and heaven knows what besides, from the Surrey Zoological Gardens1• Nor were these by any means uncommon. It is certainly at no rare intervals that we run across notices such as the following in the daily and monthly press : An oriental spectacle, entitled, Hyder Ali, or the Lions of Mysore, was this evening produced, in which the principal actors were the inhabitants of the menagetie at Paris2• All efforts were made to secure novelty.

T H E THEATRE 43 May 28 the bills altered their wording for the purpose of drawing attention to the real ships of 1 00 , 74, and 60 guns, &c. built, rigged, and manceuvred in the most correct manner, as every nautical character who has seen them implicitly allows, which work down with the wind on their starboard beam, wear and haul the wind on their larboard tacks, to regain their situations, never attempted at any Theatre in this or any other country : the ships firing their broadsides, the conflagration of the town in various places, the defence of the garrison, and attack by the floating batteries, is so faithfully and naturally represented, that when the floating batteries take fire, some blowing up with a dreadful explosion, and others, after burning to the water's edge, sink to the bottom ; while the gallant Sir Roger Curtis appears in his boat to save the drowning Spaniards, the British tars for that purpose plunging into the water, the effect is such as to produce an unprecedented climax of astonishment and applause.

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