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.
Playbill announcing John Gay’s Beggar’s Opera. Presented Tuesday, December 10th, 1839 at Drury Lane.
The beggar’s opera : as it is acted at the Theatre-Royal in Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields / written by Mr. Gay, the title page.
The beggar’s opera / written by Mr. Gay, pages 8 and 9.
Modern antiques, or, The merry mourners, the frontispiece and title page.
Playbill announcing Mr. Piggott the violoncellist’s Grand Concert. Presented Saturday, April 28th, at Theatre Royal, Belfast.
Program for Mr. Piggott the violoncellist’s Grand Concert. Presented Saturday, April 28th, at Theatre Royal, Belfast.
The Enraged Musician, an engraving.
The Old Theatre, Drury Lane, by John Thomas Smith, an engraving.
Programme du 8e spectacle de la saison 1892-1893 by Henri-Gabriel Ibels.
Le théâtre anglois, the frontispiece and title page.
The wonder ! : a woman keeps a secret : a comedy / written by Mrs. Centlivre, the frontispiece and title page.
David Garrick, Esq., by Thomas Nicolas Cochin, an engraving.
D. Garrick, by Lewis Pingo, an engraving.
David Garrick and his wife, by Herbert Bourne, a hand-coloured engraving.