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Thomas Betterton

(1635—1710) actor and theatre manager

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All Is True

All Is True  

During a performance of this play on 29 June 1613 the cannon fired to salute the King's entry in 1.4 set alight the Globe theatre's thatch, and the whole building ...
Anne Bracegirdle

Anne Bracegirdle  

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(?1673/4–1748),a famous actress, the friend of Congreve, to the success of whose comedies on stage she largely contributed. She was finally eclipsed by Mrs Oldfield in 1707 and retired from the stage.
Barton Booth

Barton Booth  

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(1681–1733)English actor and manager. Along with Wilks and Colley Cibber, Booth was part of the triumvirate of actor-managers who ruled Drury Lane during the 1710s and 1720s. He achieved ...
biographies of Shakespeare

biographies of Shakespeare  

Attempts to garner information about Shakespeare's life and career were made more or less haphazardly during the 17th century by, for instance, John Ward, John Dowdall, Gerard Langbaine, Thomas ...
Chandos portrait

Chandos portrait  

Oil on canvas, 552×438 mm, National Portrait Gallery. This celebrated portrait, dated c.1610, is the only likeness of Shakespeare thought to have been executed before his death. Traditionally ...
Cockpit

Cockpit  

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London, public theatre in Drury Lane, built for cockfights in 1609 and converted in 1616 by Christopher Beeston, on plans drawn up possibly by Inigo Jones, into a roofed or ...
Dorset Garden Theatre

Dorset Garden Theatre  

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In 1639 the courtier and playwright William Davenant produced a plan for a theatre providing a wholly new kind of staging. It was to be England's first operatic playhouse, offering ...
Drury Lane

Drury Lane  

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The site in London of the Theatre Royal, one of London's most famous theatres, where Nell Gwyn (1650–87) is said to have sold oranges. While under Sheridan's managament in the late 18th century, it ...
Elizabeth Barry

Elizabeth Barry  

(1658–1713),a celebrated actress who owed her entrance to the stage to the patronage of the earl of Rochester. She created more than 100 roles, including Monimia in Otway's The Orphan. Otway was ...
Elkanah Settle

Elkanah Settle  

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Literature
(1648–1724),the author of a series of bombastic oriental melodramas which threatened Dryden's popularity and aroused his hostility. His The Empress of Morocco (1673) had such a vogue that Dryden, ...
Fairy Queen

Fairy Queen  

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Music
Semi-opera in five acts by Purcell to a libretto anonymously adapted from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (London, 1692). The score was lost by 1700 but was found in the library of the Royal ...
Hamlet

Hamlet  

A legendary prince of Denmark, hero of a tragedy by Shakespeare. The story is based on one in Saxo Grammaticus's Historiae Danicae, in which the young prince is opposed to the usurping uncle who has ...
Henry Harris

Henry Harris  

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(c.1634–1704),English actor of the Restoration period, accounted by some contemporary critics superior even to Betterton. He joined Davenant's company at the Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre in 1661, ...
Henry IV Part 1

Henry IV Part 1  

Immediately and enduringly popular, this rich and assured sequel to the events dramatized in Richard II (1595) was probably composed and first acted in 1596: the changes to certain characters' ...
Henry IV Part 2

Henry IV Part 2  

Adarker more worldly play than its exuberant predecessor, 2 Henry IV was probably begun soon after 1 Henry IV, in 1597, but it may have been laid aside while Shakespeare ...
Henry VIII

Henry VIII  

A historical drama. Shakespeare has been claimed as its sole author, but it is usually held that he was responsible for less than half of the play, the remainder being written by J. Fletcher. Its ...
James Nokes

James Nokes  

(d. 1696),actor, whose comic playing was admired and copied by Colley Cibber. He took women's roles at the Restoration and was dubbed ‘Nurse Nokes’ for his performance as the ...
Jeremy Collier

Jeremy Collier  

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Literature
(1650–1726),became a non‐juring bishop in 1713. He is chiefly remembered for his Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage (1698), in which he attacked Dryden, Wycherley, ...
John Lowin

John Lowin  

(c.1576–c.1659)English actor and manager. Lowin made his career with the King's Men (see Chamberlain's Men) whom he joined by 1603 when he appeared in the cast list for Jonson's ...
John Vanbrugh

John Vanbrugh  

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 (1664–1726) English playwright and architect.After a varied career, eventually as a renowned playwright (The Relapse 1696; The Provok’d Wife 1697), Vanbrugh’s ambitions took a sudden and unexplained ...

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