Charles Mosley, The Modern Duel, etching and engraving

London, 29 January 1747

This sixpenny print is one of several made of the popular farce Miss in her Teens, written by the great eighteenth-century actor and playwright David Garrick (1717-79) and first performed as an afterpiece at Covent Garden in January 1747. He is shown here as the feeble Fribble, performing with three of London's leading actors: the great comedian Henry Woodward (1714-77) as the flamboyant Captain Flash; Jane Hippisley (1719-91) - who, as Mrs Green, was later that year to create the part of Mrs Malaprop - as Biddy Bellair; and Hannah Pritchard (1711-68) as Mrs Tag. Flash and Fribble rapidly became household names.

The print is the earliest known view of a performance at Covent Garden and shows members of the audience in boxes on either side of the stage, as well as giving a clear view of the rows of spikes protecting actors. In the coming years there were to be two major theatrical disturbances involving stage invasions: the 1755 Chinese Festival riots objecting to the engagement of a troupe of French dancers at Drury Lane during the build up to the Seven Years War, and the 1763 Half-Price riots at both Theatres Royal in response to an attempt to discontinue the tradition of half-price tickets after 9 p.m.

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Dimensions

Height: 218.000 mm
Width: 383.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1868-8-8-3823 (BM Sat. 2855)

PPA73893

Edward Hawkins Collection

Location

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