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The Maggie Collins Christmas Lecture

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Thu 5 Dec, 7.30pm


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About London On Stage: A Theatrical Excursion

Drawing upon the rich wealth of pictorial evidence in the engraved sheets of characters and scenes of the English toy theatre, or Juvenile Drama, Horatio Blood will explore how London was presented on stage during the early nineteenth century. The capital’s river, bridges, streets, public buildings and theatres provided the settings against which many melodramas were enacted. The pantomimes in particular were played out against a background of London shop fronts, with the shopkeepers, tradesmen and street folk acting as the supporting cast to the antics of Harlequin and Clown. Particular attention will be given to the sensational popularity of the numerous rival productions of Pierce Egan’s Life in London. As well as preserving a unique record of stage scenery and costumes, these cheap prints also provide an overlooked topographical depiction of a lost metropolis, and are as evocative and informative as the drawings of George Scharf or Tallis’s Street Views. This event will take place at: The Art Workers' Guild, Queen Square, London