David Garrick, Director

David Garrick, Director

David Garrick, Director

David Garrick, Director

Excerpt

--I assure You Sir, I am as delicate in my Care of YSUPSUP SUPSUP Performances, that are put into my hands, as (I hope) I am punctual in keeping my Word & doing Justice to Ye Gentlemen who write 'Em--

David Garrick, in a letter to Sir William Bunbury, July 28, 1752.

OF ALL THE CELEBRATED MEN who practiced the Art of Thespis during the Age of Reason, both in England and on the Continent, David Garrick stood high above his contemporaries. Garrick was surely more completely than any of them a man of the theatre in all its facets. As the most important theatrical figure of Georgian Britain his fame, immediate and immense, spread throughout Europe. He was hailed by his contemporaries as the "English Roscius," and his interpretations of dramatic roles, especially Shakespearean, became the yardstick against which all co- existent and future actors were measured.

Garrick's career on the stage spanned more than a third of a century, during which time, in the words of Edmund Burke, "he raised the character of his profession to the rank of a liberal art." His fame as an electrifying actor, however, has always overshadowed the fact that as the manager of Drury Lane Theatre for twenty-nine years he solely was responsible for almost all decisions in theatrical matters.

Despite his almost mythical reputation in the annals of theatrical history and his special importance in introducing new production techniques, no single study has been devoted to his role as a theatrical producer and stage director. Scholars have analyzed Garrick's treatment and alterations of Shakespearean and non-Shakespearean texts. Others have focused upon his talents as a poet and dramatist. Still others have illuminated his public, his time, and the theatrical repertory. Considerable attention has been given to chronicling the essential facts of his life and career. But the substance of many of the biographies when it concerns matters of theatrical production tends to be anecdotal. One fine . . .

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