- Museum number
- Object: The Pit Door. La Porte du Parterre.
A struggling crowd, partly within and partly without the pit door, a spiked gateway, of Drury Lane Theatre. Men, respectably dressed but of plebeian appearance, stand in the foreground on the outskirts of the crowd or fight their way in, some with sticks. There are a few women; one who has fainted but is in an erect position owing to the crowd, is being revived with smelling-salts. A man is vomiting. In the foreground two lady's hats, the ribbons partly torn off, lie on the ground with shoes and the broken fragments of a shoe-buckle. In the background two ladies and a man are passing through a narrow door into the theatre itself; through the doorway is seen a section of an upper gallery and boxes below it, both crowded. On the exterior wall, above the heads of the crowd, is a playbill, 'By Command of their Majesties. At the Theatre Royal Drury Lane this present Thursday Oct 21 1784 The Grecian Daughter . . . Euphrasia Mrs Siddons. To which will be added The Devil to Pay'. followed by words in small type among which 'Sir John Lovelace Mr King' is just legible. 'Tomorrow the Tragedy of Hamlet Hamlet by Mr Kemble.' 9 November 1784
- Production date
Height: 350 millimetres
Width: 249 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
The crowd for a performance by Mrs. Siddons of one of her famous parts (cf. BMSat 6126) was especially great, but there were many complaints of the overcrowding at the London theatres.
Reproduced, 'Johnson's England', ed. A. S. Turberville, ii. 178.
Dorothy George records the date from an impression exhibited at the Burlington Fine Arts Club in 1932. An impression with Andrew Edmunds in 2015 was also dated 9 November 1784.
The BM also has a cut uncoloured impression (1860,0623.100).
Dighton's original watercolour for this print from the collection of Mr Jeffrey Rose was sold at Sotheby's, 23 February 1978, lot 71.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number