Thomas Ryder (1735–1790) was a British actor and theatre manager, associated with the Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin. As a player, he was considered at his best in low comedy.
Since the 17th century there have been numerous theatres in Dublin with the name of Smock Alley.
The son of the actor-manager Preswick Ryder (d. 1771) and his actress wife Sarah, he was perhaps born in Nottinghamshire. He had early stage experience in Scotland, at least.
Nottinghamshire is a county in the East Midlands region of England, bordering South Yorkshire to the north-west, Lincolnshire to the east, Leicestershire to the south, and Derbyshire to the west. The traditional county town is Nottingham, though the county council is based in West Bridgford in the borough of Rushcliffe, at a site facing Nottingham over the River Trent.
Ryder appeared on 7 December 1757 at Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin, then under the management of Thomas Sheridan, playing Captain Plume in The Recruiting Officer to the Captain Brazen of Samuel Foote. He came to immediate favour. After the failure of Sheridan, Ryder remained under his successor, Brown, supporting Frances Abington as Sir Harry in High Life below Stairs (James Townley) and in other parts. Under Henry Mossop, he played at the same house
Thomas Sheridan was an Irish stage actor, an educator, and a major proponent of the elocution movement. He received his M.A. in 1743 from Trinity College in Dublin, and was the godson of Jonathan Swift. He also published a "respelled" dictionary of the English language (1780). He was married (1747) to Frances Chamberlaine. His son was the better known Richard Brinsley Sheridan, while his daughters were also writers - Alicia, a playwright, and Betsy Sheridan a diarist. His work is very noticeable in the writings of Hugh Blair.
The Recruiting Officer is a 1706 play by the Irish writer George Farquhar, which follows the social and sexual exploits of two officers, the womanising Plume and the cowardly Brazen, in the town of Shrewsbury to recruit soldiers. The characters of the play are generally stock, in keeping with the genre of Restoration comedy.
Samuel Foote was a British dramatist, actor and theatre manager from Cornwall. He was known for his comedic acting and writing, and for turning the loss of a leg in a riding accident in 1766 to comedic opportunity.
For five years Ryder then ran a company, working his way around Ireland. He reopened at Smock Alley Theatre as Sir John Restless in All in the Wrong (Arthur Murphy), and temporarily brought back prosperity to the management.During the slack season Ryder performed at Ranelagh Gardens (Dublin).
Arthur Murphy, also known by the pseudonym Charles Ranger, was an Irish writer.
In the autumn of 1772, Mossop having retired ruined, Ryder stepped into the management of Smock Alley Theatre, and opened in September with She would and she would not, in which he played for the first time Trappanti. He was then declared to be the most general actor living for tragedy, comedy, opera, and farce.
Ryder remained in management in Dublin, helped by a lottery prize in the early days, with varying but diminishing success, until 1782. When the Fishamble Street Theatre started to take his business, he had the words of The Duenna taken down in shorthand, producing it as The Governess. A legal action ensued, but failed. He kept a carriage, and a country house known as "Ryder's Folly" which he sold unfinished. He also started as printer, editing plays in which he appeared, printing them and publishing a tri-weekly theatrical paper.
The Duenna is a three-act comic opera, mostly composed by Thomas Linley the elder and his son, Thomas Linley the younger, to an English-language libretto by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. At the time, it was considered one of the most successful operas ever staged in England, and its admirers included Samuel Johnson, William Hazlitt and Lord George Byron.
After trying in vain to manage Crow Street Theatre as well Smock Alley, Ryder yielded up Crow Street to Richard Daly, resigning management in 1782, and becoming a member of Daly's company.
On 25 October 1787, at Covent Garden as Sir John Brute in The Provoked Wife , Ryder made his first appearance in England. His début was not a conspicuous success, and a rival, John Edwin the elder, was the sitting tenant of many of his best parts. During his first season he repeated, however, many favourite characters.At Covent Garden, with one summer visit to the Haymarket, he remained until his death. The main original parts he played at Covent Garden were: Carty in O'Keeffe's Tantarara Rogues All on 1 March 1768; Duke Murcia in Elizabeth Inchbald's Child of Nature on 28 November; and Hector in O'Keeffe's Pharo Table, on 4 April 1789.
On 19 November 1790 Ryder played Old Groveby in the Maid of the Oaks. A week later (26 November 1790) he died at Sandymount, Dublin, and was buried in the churchyard of Drumcondra.
Ryder was responsible for two plays: Like Master Like Man, a farce, Dublin, 1770; this was a reduction to two acts of John Vanbrugh's The Mistake, itself derived from Le Dépit Amoureux; Samuel Reddish, who played it at Drury Lane on 12 April 1768, and it was revived at Drury Lane on 30 March 1773. His second piece, Such Things have been, a two-act comedy taken from Isaac Jackman's Man of Parts, was played by Ryder for his benefit at Covent Garden on 31 March 1789, and was printed.
Ryder married before the season of 1771–2, when Mrs. Ryder was seen as Clementina, Constance in King John , Lady Macbeth, and other characters. Two daughters were for a short time on the stage at Covent Garden, appearing respectively, Miss Ryder as Estifania and Miss R. Ryder as Leonora to their father's Leon in Rule a Wife and have a Wife , on 16 April 1790. Ryder's son, who was in the army, was killed in 1796 in a duel.
Michael Arne was an English composer, harpsichordist, organist, singer, and actor. He was the son of the composer Thomas Arne and the soprano Cecilia Young, a member of the famous Young family of musicians of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Like his father, Arne worked primarily as a composer of stage music and vocal art song, contributing little to other genres of music. He wrote several songs for London's pleasure gardens, the most famous of which is Lass with the Delicate Air (1762). A moderately prolific composer, Arne wrote nine operas and collaborated on at least 15 others. His most successful opera, Cymon (1767), enjoyed several revivals during his lifetime and into the early nineteenth century.
Over the centuries, there have been five theatres in Dublin called the Theatre Royal.
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Mary Bulkley, née Wilford, known professionally as Mrs Bulkley, Miss Bulkley, and later Mrs Barresford, was an English eighteenth-century dancer and comedy stage actress. She performed at various theatres, especially Covent Garden Theatre, the Theatre Royal, Dublin, the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh, the Theatre Royal Haymarket and Shrewsbury Theatre. She performed in all or most of the Shakespearean comedies, and in several tragedies, besides many contemporary comedy plays. She played the part of Hamlet at least twice. She was considered a beauty when young, and her talent was praised. She married George Bulkley and later Captain Ebenezer Barresford, and openly took several lovers. Her early career was successful, but later she was hissed on stage due to her extra-marital affairs, and she died in poverty.