Charles Macklin: An Actor's Life

By William W. Appleton | Go to book overview

VIII
THE WARS OF THE THEATRES

While Macklin was in London the Dublin theatre was in its usual turbulent state.1 The collapse of Smock Alley in April 1759 persuaded Barry and Woodward that they had carried the day, but they had won only a battle, not a campaign, still less, a war. With Mrs. Dancer as their leading lady, they remained at Crow Street until June. In the autumn they were joined by Foote and Henry Mossop. Ten years earlier the latter had made his debut at Smock Alley, but subsequently he had joined Garrick at Drury Lane. Vain, headstrong, and ambitious, he brought to the theatre a savage intensity that captivated audiences. As Richard III he had been acclaimed as second only to Garrick. But such praise exasperated more than gratified him, and after ten years he had tired of subservience to King David. Barry promptly engaged him. Mossop's range was a limited one. He had vainly tried to play young lovers, and he had no feeling for comedy, but he excelled in flamboyant roles, and as Zanga, in Dr. Young's tragedy of The Revenge, he was unmatched. The part became to him what Shylock was to Macklin, Othello to Barry, and Falstaff to Quin. As the curtain rose on a tempestuous seascape and darkened battlements he would stride forward in his Moorish dress, his voice ringing:

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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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