Thomas Walker (1698–1744) was an English actor and dramatist.
He was the son of Francis Walker of Soho, London. At around the year 1714 he joined the Shepherd's company (perhaps the Shepherd who was at William Pinkethman's theatre in Greenwich in 1710). Barton Booth saw Walker in a droll, The Siege of Troy, and recommended him to the management of the Drury Lane Theatre.
William Pinkethman (c.1660–1725) was an English comic actor in the droll style. He was considered an imitator of Anthony Leigh.
Greenwich is an area of southeast London, England, located 5.5 miles (8.9 km) east-southeast of Charing Cross. It is located within the Royal Borough of Greenwich, to which it lends its name.
Barton Booth was one of the most famous dramatic actors of the first part of the 18th century.
In November 1715 Walker seems to have played Tyrrel in Colley Cibber's Richard III; on 12 December 1715 he was Young Fashion in a revival of The Relapse (John Vanburgh).On 23 September 1721 he appeared at Lincoln's Inn Fields as Edmund in King Lear , and he remained there until 1733. On 29 January 1728 Walker took on his major original part, Captain Macheath in the Beggar's Opera , and his reputation was established.
Colley Cibber was an English actor-manager, playwright and Poet Laureate. His colourful memoir Apology for the Life of Colley Cibber (1740) describes his life in a personal, anecdotal and even rambling style. He wrote 25 plays for his own company at Drury Lane, half of which were adapted from various sources, which led Robert Lowe and Alexander Pope, among others, to criticise his "miserable mutilation" of "crucified Molière [and] hapless Shakespeare". He regarded himself as first and foremost an actor and had great popular success in comical fop parts, while as a tragic actor he was persistent but much ridiculed. Cibber's brash, extroverted personality did not sit well with his contemporaries, and he was frequently accused of tasteless theatrical productions, shady business methods, and a social and political opportunism that was thought to have gained him the laureateship over far better poets. He rose to ignominious fame when he became the chief target, the head Dunce, of Alexander Pope's satirical poem The Dunciad.
King Lear is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. It depicts the gradual descent into madness of the title character, after he disposes of his kingdom by giving bequests to two of his three daughters egged on by their continual flattery, bringing tragic consequences for all. Derived from the legend of Leir of Britain, a mythological pre-Roman Celtic king, the play has been widely adapted for the stage and motion pictures, with the title role coveted by many of the world's most accomplished actors.
Captain Macheath is a fictional character who appears both in John Gay's The Beggar's Opera (1728), its sequel Polly (1777), and roughly 200 years later in Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera.
On 10 February 1733, at the new Covent Garden Theatre, Walker was the first Periphas in John Gay's Achilles.The last part in which he is mentioned at Covent Garden is Ambrosio in Don Quixote, which he played on 17 May 1739. In 1739–40 he seems to have been resting, but he played, 17 May 1740, Macheath for his benefit at Drury Lane. In 1740–41 he was seen in many of his major parts at Goodman's Fields Theatre. But after David Garrick's arrival at Goodman's Fields in 1741, Walker's name was taken from the bills and did not reappear until 27 May 1742, when the Beggar's Opera and the Virgin Unmasked (Henry Fielding) were given for his benefit. He seems to have played in Dublin in 1742 as Kite in The Recruiting Officer , with Garrick as Plume.
John Gay was an English poet and dramatist and member of the Scriblerus Club. He is best remembered for The Beggar's Opera (1728), a ballad opera. The characters, including Captain Macheath and Polly Peachum, became household names.
Two 18th century theatres bearing the name Goodman's Fields Theatre were located on Alie Street, Whitechapel, London. The first opened on 31 October 1727 in a small shop by Thomas Odell, deputy Licenser of Plays. The first play performed was George Farquhar's The Recruiting Officer. Henry Fielding's second play The Temple Beau premièred here on 26 January 1730. Upon retirement, Odell passed the management on to Henry Giffard, after a sermon was preached against the theatre at St Botolph's, Aldgate. Giffard operated the theatre until 1732. After he left, the theatre was used for a variety of acrobatic performances.
David Garrick was an English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer who influenced nearly all aspects of theatrical practice throughout the 18th century, and was a pupil and friend of Dr Samuel Johnson. He appeared in a number of amateur theatricals, and with his appearance in the title role of Shakespeare's Richard III, audiences and managers began to take notice.
Walker's best serious parts were thought to be Bajazet, Hotspur, Edmund, and Falconbridge; in comedy he was best received as Worthy in the Recruiting Officer, Bellmour in the Old Bachelor, and Harcourt in The Country Girl (Garrick, after Wycherley).
Walker's first dramatic effort was to compressing into one play the two parts of Thomas D'Urfey's Massaniello. This work was produced at Lincoln's Inn Fields, 31 July 1724, with Walker as Massaniello. The Quaker's Opera, 1728, an imitation by Walker of the Beggar's Opera, was acted at Lee and Harper's booth in Bartholomew Fair. The Fate of Villainy, 1730, was given at Goodman's Fields Theatre on 24 February 1730 by Henry Giffard and Mrs. Giffard.
The Bartholomew Fair was one of London's pre-eminent summer Charter fairs. A charter for the fair was granted to Rahere by Henry I to fund the Priory of St Bartholomew; and from 1133 to 1855 it took place each year on 24 August within the precincts of the Priory at West Smithfield, outside Aldersgate of the City of London. The fair continued, after the Dissolution within the Liberty of the parish of St Bartholomew-the-Great.
In 1744 Walker went to Dublin, taking with him the Fate of Villainy, which was acted there under the title of Love and Loyalty. The second night was to have been for his benefit. Not being able to furnish security for the expenses of the house, he could not induce the managers to reproduce it. He died three days later, 5 June 1744.
Susannah Maria Cibber, also known as Susannah Maria Arne, was a celebrated English singer and actress and the sister of the composer Thomas Arne. Although she began her career as a soprano, her voice lowered in the early part of her career to that of a true contralto. She was universally admired for her ability to move her audiences emotionally both as an actress and vocalist. Possessing a sweet, expressive, and agile singing voice with a wide vocal range, Cibber was an immensely popular singer, even if at times her voice was criticized for a lack of polished technique. Charles Burney wrote of her singing that "by a natural pathos, and perfect conception of the words, she often penetrated the heart, when others, with infinitely greater voice and skill, could only reach the ear." Cibber was particularly admired by Handel, who wrote numerous parts especially for her including the contralto arias in his 1741 oratorio Messiah, the role of Micah in Samson, the role of Lichas in Hercules and the role of David in Saul among others. In the mid-1730s she began appearing in plays in addition to appearing in operas and oratorios. She became the greatest dramatic actress of the eighteenth-century London stage and at the time of her death was the highest-paid actress in England.
Margaret Woffington, known professionally as Peg Woffington, was a British actress and socialite of the Georgian era.
This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1696.
Anne Oldfield was an English actress. She was born in London, to Anne Gourlaw and William Oldfield, a soldier.
Theophilus Cibber was an English actor, playwright, author, and son of the actor-manager Colley Cibber.
Charlotte Charke was an English actress, playwright, novelist, autobiographer, and noted transvestite. She acted on the stage from the age of 17, mainly in breeches roles, and took to wearing male clothing off the stage. She assumed the name "Charles Brown" and called her daughter "Mrs. Brown." She suffered a series of failures in her business affairs after working in a variety of trades commonly associated with men, from valet, to sausage maker, farmer, pastry chef, and tavern owner, but finally achieved success under her own name as a writer, ending her life as a novelist and memoirist.
Robert Wilks was a British actor and theatrical manager who was one of the leading managers of Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in its heyday of the 1710s. He was, with Colley Cibber and Thomas Doggett, one of the "triumvirate" of actor-managers that was denounced by Alexander Pope and caricatured by William Hogarth as leaders of the decline in theatrical standards and degradation of the stage's literary tradition.
Catherine Clive was a well-known English actress and occasional singer on the stages of London. She created the role of Dalila in Handel's 1743 oratorio Samson. She also did some writing.
Augustan drama can refer to the dramas of Ancient Rome during the reign of Caesar Augustus, but it most commonly refers to the plays of Great Britain in the early 18th century, a subset of 18th-century Augustan literature. King George I referred to himself as "Augustus," and the poets of the era took this reference as apropos, as the literature of Rome during Augustus moved from historical and didactic poetry to the poetry of highly finished and sophisticated epics and satire.
John Bell (1745–1831) was an English publisher. Originally a bookseller and printer, he also innovated in typography, being responsible for an influential font that omitted the long s. He was also noted for drawing the reading public to "the best literature" by commissioning attractive art work to accompany the printed work.
Love in Several Masques is a play by Henry Fielding that was first performed on 16 February 1728 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The moderately received play comically depicts three lovers trying to pursue their individual beloveds. The beloveds require their lovers to meet their various demands, which serves as a means for Fielding to introduce his personal feelings on morality and virtue. In addition, Fielding introduces criticism of women and society in general.
William Powell (1735–1769) was an English actor.
James William Dodd (1740?–1796) was an English actor, one of David Garrick's picked company.
John Moody (1727?–1812), original name John Cochran, was an Irish actor.
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.
William Paget was an English actor and author in the 18th century who played alongside David Garrick and was a member of John Rich’s company, playing in the first season of Theatre Royal, Covent Garden (1732). Toward the end of his life he served time in Fleet Prison before agreeing to participate in the establishment of Halifax, Nova Scotia, dying there in 1752.
Letitia Cross was a British singer and actor. She appeared at the Drury Lane Theatre and was the mistress of Peter the Great when he visited England.