Theatre Royal

Theatre Royal. “From a drawing by E. Beattie.” Source: Muir's Bygone Liverpool, Plate 58. “Before the erection of this theatre in Williamson Square there was a theatre in Drury Lane, which was managed with much spirit for a number of years, and to which the principal London actors came. This theatre fell into disuse on the erection of the Theatre Royal, which was opened in June 1772, on which occasion a prologue was read by George Colman, a writer of somewhat loose poems. The theatre was ably managed, and some capital acting was to be seen there, as well, sometimes, as much rowdyness, and many free fights. It was in this theatre one evening that George Cooke was playing in the character of Richard III, when some one in the audience hissed, it is said because the actor was not sober. Cooke paused, and then advancing until he stood near the footlights, looked steadily at the audience, and told them "he was not on the stage to be insulted by a set of wretches," adding, according to Mathews' "Anecdotes of Actors," "there is not a brick in your dirty town but what is cemented by the blood of a negro " —” a remark which is said to have gone home, for large fortunes had been made in Liverpool by the Slave Trade. ” (59).

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Muir, Ramsey. Bygone Liverpool illustrated by ninety-seven plates reproduced from original paintings, drawings, manuscripts, and prints with historical descriptions by Henry S. and Harold E. Young. Liverpool: Henry Young and Sons, 1913. Internet Archive version of a copy in the University of Toronto Library

Last modified 20 July 2016

Victorian Web Victorian Architecture Liverpool

Last modified 14 January 2013