< Theatre Notebook

Vol. 63, No. 2

Spring 2010

Articles

  1. Actors' Names as Textual Evidence

    David Kathman

    Actors’ names which are printed in the First Folio texts of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing3 Henry VI, and 2 Henry VI, but are not present in the corresponding quarto texts, are discussed. The texts sometimes identify the character as he enters, or at the beginning of each speech, and sometimes name an actual actor, thought the performance to which this refers is not stated. Some of the names can be identified, for example as boy actors who were apprenticed to freemen of the City of London. Corresponding characters in the True Tragedie of Richard Duke of York are considered.

  2. Letters from Thomas Coutts to William 'Gentleman' Smith

    Timothy J. Viator & Martha Graham Viator

    Among the papers of actor William Smith are twelve letters from the banker Thomas Coutts, between 1791 and 1814. Coutts was an enthusiastic and generous theatre-goer who conveys his opinions and gossip to Smith, including information about the less successful actor Archibald Montgomery, who appeared as Charles Barry, and his low opinion of Master Betty.

  3. Theatrical Custom versus Rights: The Performers' Dispute with the Proprietors of Covent Garden in 1800.

    Judith Milhous & Robert Hume

    In 1799 the proprietors of Covent Garden introduced less favourable rules on benefit charges, orders for free admission (for performers’ friends), and fines for refusing a part. Figures are given for the receipts from benefits for ten leading actors. In many cases the benefit, after deduction of the theatre’s costs, was more than the total annual salary. The proprietors thought they could determine the deductions; the performers thought that they were entitled the customary low deduction. Neither side was inclined to give way, so it was agreed to seek the arbitration of the Lord Chamberlain (the First Marquis of Salisbury). The performers published their position in a pamphlet, and submitted a ‘Memorial’ to the Lord Chamberlain, who found in favour of the proprietors.

BOOK REVIEWS

Aphra Behn Stages the Social Scene in the Restoration Theatre

Dawn Lewcock

London in Early Modern English Drama: Representing the Built Environment

Darryll Grantley

Ruskin, the Theatre and Victorian Visual Culture

Anselm Heinrich, Katherine Newey and Jeffrey Richards (eds)

Actors’ Names as Textual Evidence –§– Letters from Thomas Coutts to William ‘Gentleman’ Smith –§– Theatrical Custom versus Rights: The Performers’ Dispute with the Proprietors of Covent Garden in 1800.

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