The Stage's Glory: John Rich (1692-1761)

Overview

John Rich (1692-1761) was a profoundly influential figure of the eighteenth-century London stage. As producer, manager, and performer, he transformed the urban entertainment market, creating genres and promotional methods still with us today. This volume gives the first comprehensive overview of Rich's multifaceted career, appreciation of which has suffered from his performing identity as Lun, London's most celebrated Harlequin. Far from the lightweight buffoon that this stereotype has suggested, Rich–the first ...

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The Stage's Glory: John Rich (1692-1761)

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Overview

John Rich (1692-1761) was a profoundly influential figure of the eighteenth-century London stage. As producer, manager, and performer, he transformed the urban entertainment market, creating genres and promotional methods still with us today. This volume gives the first comprehensive overview of Rich's multifaceted career, appreciation of which has suffered from his performing identity as Lun, London's most celebrated Harlequin. Far from the lightweight buffoon that this stereotype has suggested, Rich–the first producer of The Beggar's Opera, the founder of Covent Garden, the dauntless backer of Handel, and the promoter of the principal dancers from the Parisian opera–is revealed as an agent of changes much more enduring than those of his younger contemporary, David Garrick. Contributions by leading scholars from a range of disciplines–theatre, dance, music, art, and cultural history–provide detailed analyses of Rich's productions and representations. These findings complement Robert D. Hume's lead article, a study that radically alters our perception of Rich.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
John Rich, long overshadowed in British theater history by the Renaissance masters and later theater greats like David Garrick, is brought forward in this surprising collection of essays, which provides a comprehensive discussion of this influential 18th-century London theater practitioner. With sections on management, dance theater, musical theater, dramatic theater, and scenography and iconography—Rich's producing, acting, and design work (both for stage productions and theater construction)—this book is a treasure trove of historical research. Born out of a 2008 conference about Rich, the 17 essays are scholarly and thorough and include remarkable illustrations. Though the contributors' writing styles differ, the overall effect is of deeply felt desire to provide Rich his rightful place in history. Any theater historian or production group tackling 18th-century dramatic literature will find this book a must have because it looks at the theater process as a whole as it existed in situ. This is a great resource.
CHOICE
John Rich, long overshadowed in British theater history by the Renaissance masters and later theater greats like David Garrick, is brought forward in this surprising collection of essays, which provides a comprehensive discussion of this influential 18th-century London theater practitioner. With sections on management, dance theater, musical theater, dramatic theater, and "scenography and iconography"—Rich's producing, acting, and design work (both for stage productions and theater construction)—this book is a treasure trove of historical research. Born out of a 2008 conference about Rich, the 17 essays are scholarly and thorough and include remarkable illustrations. Though the contributors' writing styles differ, the overall effect is of deeply felt desire to provide Rich his rightful place in history. Any theater historian or production group tackling 18th-century dramatic literature will find this book a must have because it looks at the theater process as a whole as it existed in situ. This is a great resource.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611490329
  • Publisher: University of Delaware Press
  • Publication date: 7/16/2011
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Berta Joncus is a lecturer in music at Goldsmiths, University of London, and a research associate of the Faculty of Music, University of Oxford. Jeremy Barlow is author of The Enraged Musician: Hogarth's Musical Imagery, and The Music of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera.

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Table of Contents

1 Preface 2 List of Illustrations 3 Abbreviations 4 Contributors 5 Chronology 6 Family Tree 7 Introduction Part 8 I. Management Chapter 9 1. John Rich as Manager and Entrepreneur Chapter 10 2. The Finances of an Eighteenth-Century Theatre Revisited: Tales of John Rich's Company in 1724-1725 Chapter 11 3. What the Prompter Saw: The Diary of Rich's Prompter, John Stede Chapter 12 4. John Rich, Theatrical Regulation, and the Dilemma of the Commercial Stage Part 13 II. Dance Theatre Chapter 14 5. John Rich, French Dancing, and English Pantomimes Chapter 15 6. Harlequin Choreographies: Repetition, Difference, and Representation Chapter 16 7. Pierrot Strikes Back: François Nivelon at Lincoln's Inn Fields and Covent Garden, 1723-1738 Part 17 III. Musical Theatre Chapter 18 8. Good for the Garden: The Composition of Handel's Ariodante Chapter 19 9. "Heathen Gods and Heroes": Singers and the Pantomimes at Lincoln's Inn Fields Chapter 20 10.The Beggar's Opera in London's Theatres, 1728-1761 Chapter 21 11. Beyond The Beggar's Opera: John Rich and English Ballad Opera Chapter 22 IV. Dramatic Theatre Chapter 23 12. The Impact of the Shakespeare Ladies Club on John Rich's Repertory in the 1737-738 Theatrical Season Chapter 24 13. The Nation in Breeches: Actress Margaret Woffington Part 25 V. Scenography and Iconography Chapter 26 14. Scenographies behind the Scenes: Mapping, Classifying, and Interpreting John Rich's 1744 Inventory of Covent Garden Chapter 27 15. Harlequin Newton: John Rich's Necromancer and the Public Science of the 1720s Chapter 28 16. Hogarth and Rich: Gesture and Expression in The Beggar's Opera Chapter 29 17. Picturing John Rich Part 30 Appendices Chapter 31 1. John Rich, Preface to The Rape of Proserpine (1727) Chapter 32 2. The Sublime Society of Beefsteaks

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