By Professor Philip H Highfill Jr PhD, Professor Kalman A Burnim PhD, Edward A. Langhans

An important undertaking all started in 1973 reaches its end with the ebook of volumes 15 and sixteen of the Biographical Dictionary, a sequence thought of "a reference paintings of the 1st order" by way of Theatre and appearing Arts Collections.Among performers highlighted in those final volumes is Catherine Tofts, a talented singer whose renowned acclaim was once captured in strains by way of Samuel Phillips: "How are we pleas’d while beauteous Tofts appears, / To thieve our Souls via our attentive Ears?’ / Ravish’d we hearken to th’ inchanting music, / And capture the falling Accents from her Tongue." the 1st singer of English start to grasp the shape of Italian opera, Tofts often received best roles over local Italian singers. Her salary—?400 to ?500 a season—was one of many maximum within the theatre. Her recognition declined, even though, as her calls for for check increased—a state of affairs captured in an epigram Alexander Pope could have penned: "So vivid is thy good looks, so fascinating thy track, / As had drawn either the beasts and their Orpheus along; / yet such is thy avarice, and such is thy delight, / That the beasts should have starved, and the poets have died."John Vanbrugh, whose play The Relapse is ranked as the most effective comedies of the recovery interval, turned a subordinate crown architect less than Sir Christopher Wren in 1702. In 1703, Vanbrugh started plans for the Queen’s Theatre within the Haymarket, an company counseled by means of the equipment Cat membership (of which Vanbrugh was once a member). although his lavish layout used to be acoustically faulty, restructuring helped right the matter and the theatre ultimately turned the specific heart for opera in London.

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Additional resources for A biographical dictionary of actors, actresses, musicians, dancers, managers & other stage personnel in London, 1660-1800, Volume 16

Example text

1663], swordsman. Samuel Pepys went to the Vere Street Theatre on 1 June 1663 and found that it was this day begun to be employed by the fencers to play prizes at. And here I came and saw the first prize I ever saw in my life: and it was between one Mathews, who did beat at all weapons, and one Westwicke, who was soundly cut several times both in the head and legs, that he was all over blood: and other deadly blows they did give and take in very good earnest, till Westwicke was in a most sad pickle.

On 25 April 1772, for example, the London Chronicle published an account of a typical tug-of-war between Weston and the Drury Lane management. The actor owed the theatre a large sum, the managers impounded his benefit receipts, and he sent word that he was, consequently, arrested for debt and mewed up in a sponging-house by bailiffs. He warned the managers not to announce that he was absent from his accustomed place because of a "sudden illness" (the usual excuse). When they did so anyway, he rose in the upper gallery to denounce them as liars, explain his predicament, and extort the sympathy of the audience.

West, played at York in 1779 and 1780 and acted at the Royalty Theatre on 3 July 1787. James West, who went to act in America in 1794 and married the widow of John Bignall at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1795, perhaps was a brother. Master West's name was first noticed in the bills on 11 October 1768, when he was about 11, playing Puck in Queen Mab at Drury Lane before the King of Denmark. At Drury Lane on 2 May 1770, Master West and his sister Louisa performed an allemande in the concluding masquerade in Queen Mab.

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A biographical dictionary of actors, actresses, musicians, by Professor Philip H Highfill Jr PhD, Professor Kalman A
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