Print that centered on a theatrical production connected, engaged with, and renegotiated the performance arts, like drama and opera. The potentially ephemeral playbill, for example, was an important source of information about popular cultural events. Its striking graphic design allowed it to weave theatrical events like The Beggar’s Opera into the fabric of society. Libretti and musical scores demonstrate how print helped to link people to performances, allowing individuals to engage intimately with productions. Similarly, images of actors like David Garrick, whether in role or formal portrait, not only spread but also established his celebrity. These different printed media reached wide audiences, often crossing social, spatial and temporal boundaries.

 


Credits

Title:
Playbill announcing John Gay’s Beggar’s Opera. Presented Tuesday, December 10th, 1839 at Drury Lane.
Creator:
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
Date:
1839
Bibliographic Citation:
Playbill announcing John Gay’s Beggar’s Opera. Presented Tuesday, December 10th, 1839 at Drury Lane. London : R. Francis, 1839.
Notes:
Playbills were posters that were pasted around cities to advertise upcoming performances. This one announces a performance of John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera that ran some one hundred and eleven years after its first debut. These bold graphic designs were used to catch the attention of potential theatre patrons.
Language:
English
Subject:
Playbills.
Beggar’s opera.
Publisher:
Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University
is Part Of:
Playbill Collection
is Part Of Exhibition:
Print in the Media Ecology
Exhibition Theme:
The Stage
Image Identifier:
001_theatre_royal_beggars_opera-playbill