13 February 2014 / Events

A Respectable Actor: Rehearsed reading

Presented by Professor David Roberts

Thomas Betterton was Restoration London’s leading actor and theatre manager. He worked with the foremost playwrights of his day and with the first generation of English actresses. A friend of Pope and Steele, he was widely revered for his professionalism and respectability, a quality celebrated in what is arguably the first biography of an English actor, The Life of Mr Thomas Betterton (1710). This rehearsed reading of David Roberts’s A Respectable Actor features Robert Lister as Betterton. Robert has enjoyed a distinguished career with the RSC, RNT and BBC. The reading marks the 2013 publication by the Society for Theatre Research of The Library of a Seventeenth-Century Actor, an edition prepared by David Roberts of the sale catalogue of Betterton’s book and picture collection, a unique and neglected document in theatre history.

Professor David Roberts is Dean of Performance, Media and English at Birmingham City University and a National Teaching Fellow. His 2010 study of Betterton was published by Cambridge University Press and short-listed for the Theatre Library Association’s 2011 George Freedley Award.


13 February 2014




Swedenborg Hall, Holborn, London

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