Theatre

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At the Play, March 1936: Fashion Aboard a Liner – “Anything Goes”, at the Alhambra Theatre

On Tuesday the 24th of March, 1936, the magnificent Cunard White Star liner, the Queen Mary, left Clydebank, to head for the open sea.  The previous day, readers of The Glasgow Herald were provided with two charts showing the route,…

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Death of Marie Litton, April 1884

A short article on page six of The Glasgow Herald, on Wednesday the 2nd of April, 1884, reads:   "DEATH OF MARIE LITTON. - Miss Marie Litton (Mrs W. Wybrow Robertson), the actress, died yesterday morning at her residence, 6…

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Review of Miss Helen Kirk’s Performance as ‘Julia’, in “The Hunchback”, in the Queen’s Rooms, on Monday the 28th of January, 1867

A review on page two of The Glasgow Herald, on Tuesday the 29th of January, 1867, reads:   "AMATEUR DRAMATIC PERFORMANCE. - A performance was given in the Queen's Rooms, last night, by the members of Mr Harcourt Beatty (Bland's)…

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The Late Mr William Moffat, Professor of Elocution, December 1880

Notice of William Moffat's death on the front page of The Glasgow Herald, on Tuesday the 14th of December, 1880. In the 1879-1880 Post Office Directory, Moffat is listed on page 370, as: "teacher of elocution, 276 Renfrew street, and…

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“Henry Talbot” Dramatic Club, January 1913: Fortnightly Entertainment in the Industrial Shelter for Homeless Men, Possilpark

Article on page seven of The Glasgow Herald, on Monday the 27th of January, 1913.

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Waverley Literary and Dramatic Association, March 1877: “Rob Roy”, at the Queen’s Rooms

A notice on page four of The Glasgow Herald, on Tuesday the 13th of March, 1877, reads:   "WAVERLEY LITERARY AND DRAMATIC ASSOCIATION. — A fault sometimes found with amateur dramatic societies is that they choose pieces the representation of…

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Josh Silsbee, “the Great Yankee Actor”, and Benjamin Barnett, at the Prince’s Theatre, March 1852

Josh Silsbee   A small advertisement on the front page of The Glasgow Herald, on Monday the 15th of March, 1852, notified readers that Josh Silsbee, "the Great  Yankee Actor," would be appearing at the Prince's that evening, in "Two…

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Theatre and Circus Treats to Children, January 1883

From page six of The Glasgow Herald, on Monday the 29th of January, 1883:   "THEATRE AND CIRCUS TREATS TO CHILDREN.- On the invitation of the acting managers of Hengler's Cirque, the Grand Theatre, and the Gaiety, above 1000 school…

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Hillhead Amateur Dramatic Society at the Queen’s Rooms, April 1881

From page four of The Glasgow Herald, on Thursday the 14th of April, 1881:   "HILLHEAD AMATEUR DRAMATIC SOCIETY.- A very enjoyable theatrical entertainment was given last night by the members of the Hillhead Amateur Dramatic Society to a select…

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Amateur Theatrical Performances: Two Benefits for John Dobson, the Stage Manager and Principal Comedian of the Local Irving Club, November 1883

From page four of The Glasgow Herald, on Thursday the 29th of November, 1883:   "AMATEUR THEATRICAL PERFORMANCES.- Mr John Dobson, who is known as the stage manager and principal comedian of the local Irving Dramatic Club, being about to…

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Miss Grace Jean Crocker’s Dramatic and Musical Recital in Hillhead, in the Burgh Hall, on Tuesday the 23rd of November, 1897

A review of the recital was published on page six of The Glasgow Herald, on Wednesday the 24th of November, 1897. It reads:   "In the Burgh Hall, Hillhead, last night a dramatic and musical recital was given by Miss…

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Complimentary Dinner to Mr. W. F. (William Flint) Frame, at Glasgow’s Windsor Hotel, on Tuesday the 8th of November, 1898

From page six of The Glasgow Herald, on Wednesday the 9th of November, 1898:   "Mr W. F. Frame, the well-known comedian and vocalist, was entertained by a number of friends at dinner in the Windsor Hotel last night before…

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Amateur Performances of “Rob Roy”, by the Freemasons of Glasgow, in Aid of the Benevolent Fund, at the Grand Theatre, May 1887.

An advertisement on page nine of The Glasgow Herald, on Wednesday the 4th of May, 1887, informed theatre-goers about the Freemasons of Glasgow's amateur production of Rob Roy at the Grand Theatre, the managing director of which was Mr. Thomas…

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Queen Margaret College Bazaar, Dramatic Performance “Our Regiment”, Queen’s Rooms, November 1892

On the front page of The Glasgow Herald, on Monday the 7th of November 1892, there is an advertisement in the "Popular Entertainments" column for the Queen Margaret College Bazaar Dramatic Performance. Our Regiment was scheduled to take place at…

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Death of Campbell Gullan, Glasgow-born Actor and Producer, in December 1939

  1919 portrait of Campbell Gullan, by Bassano Ltd.   Campbell Gullan (1881-1939), the Glasgow-born actor and producer, died in London on the 1st of December 1939. His death notice on the front page of The Glasgow Herald, on Monday…

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“The Women”, at Glasgow’s Alhambra Theatre, December 1939

Advertisements in The Glasgow Herald, for Clare Boothe's The Women, a comedy of manners, describe it as the "Play that made London and New York gasp;" "one glorious welter of smashing wisecracks;" "a modern 'School for Scandal;' "the most brilliant…

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Mrs Patrick Campbell as “Hedda Gabler”, at Glasgow’s King’s Theatre, September, 1907

Photographic portrait of Mrs. Patrick Campbell, 1902, by George Charles Beresford. Reproduced courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London.     A review of Mrs. Patrick Campbell's performance as 'Hedda Gabler', was reviewed on page ten of The Glasgow Herald…

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Oedipus Rex: “Great Spectacle at the King’s Theatre”, Glasgow, March 1912

"MR MARTIN HARVEY PRESENTS MAX REINHARDT'S Production of SOPHOCLES' OEDIPUS REX" The above was the "IMPORTANT ATTRACTION" advertised on page six of The Glasgow Herald, on Tuesday the 26th of March, 1912. On page seven of the same issue, is…

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Tallulah Bankhead at Glasgow’s Empire Theatre, July 1934

  Photograph of Tallulah Bankhead, by Dorothy Wilding.   "TALLULAH BANKHEAD AT THE EMPIRE" is the heading of the review of the show on page seventeen of The Glasgow Herald, on Tuesday the 1oth of July, 1934.   The critic…

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Gertrude Lawrence and Douglas Fairbanks Junior, at Glasgow’s King’s Theatre, May 1934

  Photograph of Douglas Fairbanks Junior and Gertrude Lawrence, by Dorothy Wilding, 1934. Reproduced courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London.     In May 1934, Gertude Lawrence (1898-1952) and Douglas Fairbanks Junior (1909-2000), starred in The Winding Journey, a…

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Sophie Tucker at Glasgow’s Empire Theatre, July 1934

Sophie Tucker arriving in New York, in 1931.   Sophie Tucker (1886-1966), who was described as "The First and Last of the Red Hot Mommas," in advertisements in Glasgow newspapers, was starring at the city's Empire Theatre, for one week, …

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Glasgow Pantomimes: “Dick Whittington”, starring Vesta Tilley, at the Theatre-Royal, 3rd December 1892 to 25th February 1893

Dick Whittington opened at the Theatre Royal on Saturday the 3rd of December, 1892. A review published on page nine of The Glasgow Herald, on Monday the 5th of December, commented:   "Coming at the beginning of December an entertainment…

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Madame Anna Pavlova in Glasgow, November 1911

[caption id="attachment_1369" align="alignnone" width="214"] Le Mort du Cygne: Anna Pavlova, 1911 by Sir John Lavery 1856-1941. Reproduced courtesy of the Tate.[/caption]   On Tuesday the 21st of November, The Glasgow Herald, on page seven, provided its readers with a positive…

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Anna Pavlova is Coming to Glasgow, November 1911

Photograph of Anna Pavlova, dating from around 1905.   Advertisements in Glasgow's newspapers, such as one on page eight of The Glasgow Herald, 8th of November 1911, informed readers that Anna Pavlova, "THE DANCING REVELATION OF THE AGE", would be…

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Billie Barlow in “The Bicycle Girl”, at The Theatre-Royal, Glasgow, May 1897

  Photograph of Billie Barlow, c. 1890.   Billie Barlow (1862-1937) was a highly successful singer, who performed with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, first in the chorus and then as a soloist, from 1878 to 1883.   In May…

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Opening Night of the Glasgow Empire Palace Theatre, Monday 5th April, 1897: Vesta Tilley Tops the Bill

    Photographic portrait, published in the late 1890s by Ogden's. Reproduced courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery.   Vesta Tilley was the stage name of Matilda Alice Powles (1864-1952). She was one of the most successful music hall entertainers,…

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Glasgow Empire Palace Theatre, April 1897

An extensive article on page nine of The Glasgow Herald, on Saturday the third of April, provides readers with a detailed account of the new theatre which was to open to the public on Monday the fifth.   The building…

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The Glasgow Empire Palace License, April 1887

A notice on page six of The Glasgow Herald, on Saturday the third of April reads: "A special meeting of the Magistrates of Glasgow was held yesterday to consider an application by the Glasgow Empire Palace (Limited) for a license…

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Students’ Amateur Performance, The National Tragedy of “Wallace”, by Professor Buchanan, 20th March 1862

A short article on page four of The Glasgow Herald, on Friday the 21st of March, 1862, reads:   "STUDENTS' AMATEUR PERFORMANCE.- The National Tragedy of 'Wallace,' by Professor Buchanan, was performed last night, in the Prince's Theatre, by students…

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“Wallace: A Tragedy”, Written by Professor Buchanan, Performed by Students, Prince’s Theatre, March 1862

An advertisement on the front page of The Glasgow Herald, on Monday the 17th of March, 1862, provides details of the performance which was scheduled for Thursday the 20th of March. The play, which would be performed by students, was…

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Miss Amy Sedgwick’s First Appearance in Glasgow, as ‘Julia’, in Knowles’s “The Hunchback”, November 1866

Miss Amy Sedgwick c. 1860   Miss Sedgwick was engaged for twelve nights at the Theatre Royal, in November 1866. The newspaper advertisements informed readers that this was her first appearance in Glasgow, and she was to appear as 'Julia'…

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“Wallace and Bruce, or The Scottish Chiefs”, at the Prince of Wales’ Theatre, November 1867

The first performance of the "National Drama" took place on Saturday the 23rd of November, 1867, and, on the 27th, The Glasgow Herald commented, on page four:   "PRINCE OF WALES' THEATRE. - 'Wallace and Bruce,' a new three-act drama,…

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‘New Edition’ of “Rob Roy” at the Royal Colosseum Theatre, April 1869

From page five of The Glasgow Herald, Monday the 12th of April, 1869:   "COLOSSEUM THEATRE.  'ROB ROY.' On Saturday night there was produced at the Colosseum Theatre what the playbill describes as a 'new edition' of the national drama…

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Miss Bateman in “Leah”, Theatre Royal, Dunlop Street, November 1864

In November 1864, the Glasgow newspapers informed readers that Miss Bateman, "the great TRAGEDIENNE", was engaged for twelve nights only, and would "make her First Appearance in Glasgow on MONDAY, 28TH NOVEMBER, In her celebrated character of LEAH", which she…

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Theatre Royal, For Sale, 1814

An advertisement in the Glasgow Herald, Monday 7th February 1814, page 3, reads: "In pursuance of the Orders of a GENERAL MEETING of the PROPRIETORS held here on the 21st current, the THEATRE ROYAL will be sold, by public roup,…

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James Sheridan Knowles: Choice of Glasgow as his burial-place

The Glasgow Daily Herald, Monday 8th December, 1862. "Mr. Knowles died in England, and was by birth a native of the South of Ireland, yet he chose Glasgow as his place of sepulture, (burial) and he now lies among our…

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J. L. (John Lawrence) Toole’s Performance in Aid of the Blantyre Relief Fund, November 1877

On Wednesday the 14th of November, 1877, page one, The Glasgow Herald has an advertisement for a "Morning Performance" by J. L Toole (1832-1906), at the Theatre Royal, on Saturday November the 17th. It was in aid of the Blantyre…

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James Sheridan Knowles & Junior Elocution Class: Lecture in Aid of the Industrious Poor, January 1820

See Glasgow Herald, Monday 10th January 1820, page 3. An advertisement informing readers that the young gentlemen of the junior elocution class "having offered their services in aid of the Fund for the Industrious Poor, Mr. Knowles announces a Lecture…

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Mr. Mason in James Sheridan Knowles’s ‘William Tell’, 19th July 1830, Theatre Royal, York Street

On the 19th of July 1830, an advertisement for the Theatre Royal, York Street, in that day's Herald, page 3, announced that Mr. Mason would be playing the title-role, in James Sheridan Knowles's celebrated tragedy, William Tell. The five-act play,…

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‘Mary Stuart’, the National Melo-Drama, at Theatre Royal, York Street, 30th April 1830

The Glasgow Herald, Friday 30th April 1830, page 3, advertisement for the "National Melo-Drama of Mary Stuart", with Miss Mason as Mary Stuart (Queen of Scots), at the Theatre Royal, York Street.    

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March 1830: Mr. Macarthy’s Benefit at the Theatre Royal, York Street; Mr. Vandenhoff at Dunlop Street

On page 3 of the Glasgow Herald Monday March 15 1830 are two theatre advertisements: one for Mr. Macarthy's benefit at the Theatre Royal, York Street; the other for Mr. Vandenhoff, the distinguished tragedian, in Shakespeare's Coriolanus, and other roles,…

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‘The Beggar’s Daughter of Bethnal Green’: James Sheridan Knowles’s Dedication to Kirkman Finlay

James Sheridan Knowles dedicated his comedy, The Beggar's Daughter of Bethnal Green, to Kirkman Finlay. Published in 1828, it reads: "To Kirkman Finlay, Esq. President of the Roman Catholic Schools' Association, &c. &c. &c. MY DEAR SIR, In the name…

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James Sheridan Knowles: ‘Virginius’, 1820

Following a discussion of Joseph Addison's Cato, 1713, described as perhaps the "most famous and enduring of the Roman republican dramas", by Jeffrey Richards in The Ancient World on the Victorian and Edwardian Stage, 2009, page 30, the author moves…

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James Sheridan Knowles (1784-1862)

Wilhelm Trautschold, James Sheridan Knowles, oil, National Portrait Gallery, London. James Sheridan Knowles, the Irish-born actor and dramatic poet, and teacher of elocution in Glasgow, has been described as "one of the key figures in drama and theatre between the…

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Mr. Sapio, August 1825

  Stipple engraving of Mr. Sapio, Lewis after Wageman, 1824. Mr. Sapio, the Celebrated Vocalist of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, was engaged by Mr. Seymour, for two nights only, to perform in the opera The Siege of Belgrade, at…

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Miss Foote in ‘Valeria! The Blind Orphan!’, Theatre Royal, Queen Street, October 1828

The last night of Miss Foote's engagement at the Theatre Royal, Queen Street, was held on Friday 24th of October. She performed the title-role in Valeria! The Blind Orphan, a new comedy, as performed in London. In her character, Miss…

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Miss Foote at the Theatre Royal, Queen Street, in October 1828

Miss Foote, in character as Maria Darlington in Morton's A Roland for an Oliver, print by Charles Picart, after George Clint, A.R.A, 1822. On the 20th of October 1828, an advertisement in the Glasgow Herald informed readers that Mr. Seymour…

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Hannah Cowley (1743-1809)

Portrait of Hannah Cowley, etching and engraving by George Murray, after Richard Cosway. Born Hannah Parkhouse, she married Thomas Cowley and the couple subsequently moved to London. Her major plays were: The Runaway, 1776; Who's the Dupe?, 1779; Albina, 1779;…

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The National Drama

An extract from Barbara Bell's article, 'The National Drama', published in Theatre Research International, Volume 17, Issue 2, Summer 1992, pages 96-108, and published online by Cambridge University Press in 2009, describes it as: "... a nineteenth-century dramatic genre unique…

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James Sheridan Knowles and the Necropolis

In The Life of James Sheridan Knowles, 1872, page 156, his son James commented: He had often, in speaking of "the city of his affections, "expressed a desire, when his end should come, to be buried there. And now, a…

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‘A History of Scottish Theatre’, edited by Bill Findlay, 1998

Of particular interest in this book, is Chapter Three, 'The Nineteenth Century', by Barbara Bell, pages 137-206.

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Donald Campbell, ‘Playing for Scotland: A History of the Scottish Stage 1715-1965’, 1996

Chapter Six in Donald Campbell's book is titled 'The Glasgow Boys', and the author comments in the opening paragraph, page 72: "The Glasgow Theatre has a history that is completely different from that of Edinburgh. Lacking the status of national…

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‘The Belle’s Stratagem’

The Belle's Stratagem, which was written by the playwright Hannah Cowley (1743-1809), is a romantic comedy of manners. It was premiered at the Drury Lane theatre in 1780, and was Cowley's most successful work. The play drew its name from…

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‘The Family Legend’, The First Night of Miss Baillie’s New Tragedy at the Theatre Royal, Queen Street, March 1810

The Family Legend: A Tragedy tells the story of a fifteenth-century feud between the Lord of Argyll and the Chieftain of Maclean, on the Isle of Mull. It had its first performances at the Edinburgh Theatre in 1810. An advertisement…

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Mrs. Davison at the Theatre Royal, Queen Street, June 1819

On June the 4th, 1819, an advertisement in the Glasgow Herald, page 3, noted that Mr. Mason informed theatre-goers that, after undergoing a number of alterations and improvements, the Theatre Royal would open on the 7th of June, for the…

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Mrs. Glover: Julia Betterton Glover (1779-1850)

Julia Betterton Glover was an Irish-born stage actress, well-known for her comic roles in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Born Julia Butterton, she married Samuel Glover, in 1800, in London. Her father, the theatre manager William Butterton promoted the…

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Mrs. Davison: Maria Rebecca Davison (1750-1858)

Portrait of Rebecca Davison, by Charles Turner (1773-1857), after George Henry Harlow (1787-1819) Born Maria Rebecca Duncan, the daughter of actors, she was a child performer, playing cupids, fairies and hobgoblins. Growing up, she made a number of stage appearances.…

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Miss Foote: Maria Foote (1797-1867)

Maria Stanhope, Countess of Harrington, better known as Maria Foote was born in Plymouth, where her father was a theatre manager. In 1810, she appeared as Juliet, in Romeo and Juliet, at her father's theatre where she also played as…

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Fanny Kemble 1809-93, actress and writer

Portrait of Fanny Kemble, hand-coloured stipple engraving by Charles Picart, after Sir Thomas Lawrence, published in 1831.   Frances Anne "Fanny" Kemble was a notable British actress, member of the famous Kemble theatrical family, and a niece of Sarah Siddons…

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Fanny Kemble in ‘Romeo and Juliet’, Theatre Royal, Dunlop Street, Glasgow, June 1830

Illustration of Miss Fanny Kemble as 'Juliet'. Fairbairn's Portraits, No. 21. c. 1837   Fanny Kemble performed one of her most famous roles at the city's Theatre Royal, Dunlop Street, in June 1830. An advertisement in the Glasgow Herald, 21st June,…

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Mrs. Glover, in ‘The Belle’s Stratagem’, at The Theatre Royal, Queen Street, in 1810

On Friday the 19th of January 1810, an advertisement in the Glasgow Herald, page 3, for Madame Catalani's performances at the Theatre Royal, Queen Street, informed readers that the "favourite Comedy" of The Belle's Stratagem would open at the theatre…

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Glasgow Theatricals – And The What-You-Please Club

In Glasgow and Its Clubs, 1856, John Strang provides an account of Glasgow's theatrical history and one of its best-known clubs. The What-you-please first met some time around 1798. Its originator was Dr. Drumgold who was the inspecting medical officer…

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The Theatre Royal, Queen Street, Glasgow

View of the Theatre Royal, Queen Street, drawn by James Denholm and engraved by Robert Scott. In Glasgow and its Clubs, 1856, writing about The What-You-Please Club, John Strang commented about the theatre, pages 319-20: "It was here that Kean…

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Theatre

Glasgow's incredibly rich cultural heritage embraces: theatres; playwrights; actors and actresses; theatre managers and owners; programmes, playbills and posters. On this site is a taste of what happened and when, and references to published and archival sources for those who…

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