Charles Macklin: An Actor's Life

By William W. Appleton | Go to book overview

VII
ON STAGE AGAIN

For the eighteenth-century actor the Dublin theatres were scarcely less important than Drury Lane or Covent Garden. Ireland was, after all, the cradle of England's leading writers of comedy and the nursery of many of her chief actors--Peg Woffington, James Quin, Henry Mossop, and Spranger Barry, to name but a few. Since Thomas Sheridan had gained control of the Aungier Street and Smock Alley theatres a calm had prevailed in the Dublin theatre world, and for ten years he had reigned supreme, enjoying his comfortable monopoly, until disquieting rumors began to circulate. Spranger Barry, his erstwhile protégé, had soon wearied of supporting David Garrick at Drury Lane. Enlisting at Covent Garden as his rival, after six years he had wearied of this role as well. Like so many other eighteenth- century actors, inspired by Garrick's success, he felt the urge to become a manager. London, with its patent system and Licensing Act, made it difficult to gratify this ambition, but in Ireland these restrictions did not apply, and before long Barry was turning a speculative eye towards his native Dublin. That his fellow Irishman should have encouraged him in this project is natural enough. The failure of The British Inquisition had left Macklin at loose ends. He had no obligations to John Rich and little to hope for from Garrick.

-109-

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Charles Macklin: An Actor's Life
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • I- Early Years 1
  • II- Dissension at Drury Lane 20
  • IV- The Quarrel with Garrick 56
  • V- Actor-Playwright 66
  • VI- Macklin, Orator 98
  • VII- On Stage Again 109
  • VIII- The Wars of the Theatres 127
  • IX- The Science of Acting 151
  • X- Riot and Conspiracy 168
  • XI- The Man of the World 195
  • XII- Last Years 217
  • Appendix 235
  • Notes 245
  • Index 271
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