Collection online

Acting magistrates committing themselves being their first appearance on this stage as permormed at the National Theatre Covent Garden. Sepr 18 1809

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1862,1217.553

  • Title (object)

    • Acting magistrates committing themselves being their first appearance on this stage as permormed at the National Theatre Covent Garden. Sepr 18 1809
  • Description

    The stage of Covent Garden Theatre is seen from the right with a small part of the pit in the left foreground; the boxes and galleries adjoining the stage form the background on the left. The pittites are standing and blow trumpets, spring rattles, ring bells, and shout. Those in the crowded boxes behave in the same way; with one exception all are men. Two men occupy each of the two boxes over the stage-door; they watch passively. The musicians' seats are empty, but candles burn beside their open music-books, and one of the orchestra stands facing the audience, threatening them with fist and baton. On the stage three men stand together addressing the audience. The man in the centre holds out a paper: 'Riot Act'; he says: "We shall Read the riot act". Behind them stands Kemble wearing a tail-coat and white trousers, appealing to the audience with his hands meekly together as if in prayer. Large notices and placards hang from the galleries and boxes: 'Old Prices' [five times]; 'Harris will but Kemble won,t'; 'No Kembles No more insults'; 'Kemble remember the Dublin Tin Man'; 'No Foreign Sofas'; 'Iohn Bull against Iohn Kemble'; 'No Catalani'; 'Old Prices' [three times]; 'No Italian Private Boxes'; '£6000 for Caterwauling'; 'Catalani', below a print of a cat dressed as a woman, and singing 'Me Yo' from a music-book; 'No Catalani!! Mountain— Billington, and Dickons for ever'; 'Ol Price for ever No caterwauling'; 'Old Prices No Catalani'; a gigantic placard:
    'Statement— £
    Subscribed — £80-000
    Fire Office — 50-000
    Old Materials — 25-000
    155-000
    New Theatre —— 150-000
    Managers of it —— 5-000'
    Held up by a 'John Bull' in the pit who blows a trumpet: 'No Catalani No Pigeon Holes Old Prices No Private Boxes'. A man shouts from a box: "Off Off Off Off"; he springs a rattle.
    September 1809
    Hand-coloured etching

    More 

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1809
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 271 millimetres
    • Width: 410 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title and text within image.
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
    See No. 11414, &c. On the opening day the riots broke out after the singing of 'God save the King', when Kemble appeared to make the opening address. No word was heard of this, of 'Macbeth', or of the farce. A special uproar greeted members of the Kemble family. After the performance the clamour continued (on this first day vocal only), and two Bow Street magistrates, Reed and Nares, appeared on the stage, but could not be heard; one produced a paper, presumed to be the Riot Act, but they were forced to withdraw; several persons were taken into custody. Kemble was dressed as Macbeth. The placards, rattles, &c., were produced on the following day; large banners were later. 'Europ. Mag.', 1809, pp. 211-13. Cf. No. 11432. The favourable treatment of Harris, the 'undisputed manager', at Kemble's expense was unjustified: he and his son held seven-twelfths of the property of the theatre, Kemble one-sixth; Harris insisted on resistance, which was embodied by the haughty 'King John' (cf. No. 11419), who repeatedly addressed the rioters from the stage. The theatre was insured for £50,000; salvage amounted only to c. £3,500. Boaden, 'Life of Kemble', 1825, ii. 455, 500, 528. For the subscriptions see No. 11413.
    Reid, No. 83. Cohn, No. 865. An impression in the collection of Mr. W. T. Spencer (1931) autographed: 'Designed & etched by my Father Isaac Cruikshank the little figures in the Boxes by me G. C.'

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 11418 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British XVIIIc Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1862

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    1862,1217.553

The stage of Covent Garden Theatre is seen from the right with a small part of the pit in the left foreground; the boxes and galleries adjoining the stage form the background on the left. The pittites are standing and blow trumpets, spring rattles, ring bells, and shout. Those in the crowded boxes behave in the same way; with one exception all are men. Two men occupy each of the two boxes over the stage-door; they watch passively. The musicians' seats are empty, but candles burn beside their open music-books, and one of the orchestra stands facing the audience, threatening them with fist and baton. On the stage three men stand together addressing the audience. The man in the centre holds out a paper: 'Riot Act'; he says: "We shall Read the riot act". Behind them stands Kemble wearing a tail-coat and white trousers, appealing to the audience with his hands meekly together as if in prayer. Large notices and placards hang from the galleries and boxes: 'Old Prices' [five times]; 'Harris will but Kemble won,t'; 'No Kembles No more insults'; 'Kemble remember the Dublin Tin Man'; 'No Foreign Sofas'; 'Iohn Bull against Iohn Kemble'; 'No Catalani'; 'Old Prices' [three times]; 'No Italian Private Boxes'; '£6000 for Caterwauling'; 'Catalani', below a print of a cat dressed as a woman, and singing 'Me Yo' from a music-book; 'No Catalani!! Mountain— Billington, and Dickons for ever'; 'Ol Price for ever No caterwauling'; 'Old Prices No Catalani'; a gigantic placard:  'Statement— £  Subscribed — £80-000  Fire Office — 50-000  Old Materials — 25-000  155-000  New Theatre —— 150-000  Managers of it —— 5-000'  Held up by a 'John Bull' in the pit who blows a trumpet: 'No Catalani No Pigeon Holes Old Prices No Private Boxes'. A man shouts from a box: "Off Off Off Off"; he springs a rattle.  September 1809  Hand-coloured etching

Recto

The stage of Covent Garden Theatre is seen from the right with a small part of the pit in the left foreground; the boxes and galleries adjoining the stage form the background on the left. The pittites are standing and blow trumpets, spring rattles, ring bells, and shout. Those in the crowded boxes behave in the same way; with one exception all are men. Two men occupy each of the two boxes over the stage-door; they watch passively. The musicians' seats are empty, but candles burn beside their open music-books, and one of the orchestra stands facing the audience, threatening them with fist and baton. On the stage three men stand together addressing the audience. The man in the centre holds out a paper: 'Riot Act'; he says: "We shall Read the riot act". Behind them stands Kemble wearing a tail-coat and white trousers, appealing to the audience with his hands meekly together as if in prayer. Large notices and placards hang from the galleries and boxes: 'Old Prices' [five times]; 'Harris will but Kemble won,t'; 'No Kembles No more insults'; 'Kemble remember the Dublin Tin Man'; 'No Foreign Sofas'; 'Iohn Bull against Iohn Kemble'; 'No Catalani'; 'Old Prices' [three times]; 'No Italian Private Boxes'; '£6000 for Caterwauling'; 'Catalani', below a print of a cat dressed as a woman, and singing 'Me Yo' from a music-book; 'No Catalani!! Mountain— Billington, and Dickons for ever'; 'Ol Price for ever No caterwauling'; 'Old Prices No Catalani'; a gigantic placard: 'Statement— £ Subscribed — £80-000 Fire Office — 50-000 Old Materials — 25-000 155-000 New Theatre —— 150-000 Managers of it —— 5-000' Held up by a 'John Bull' in the pit who blows a trumpet: 'No Catalani No Pigeon Holes Old Prices No Private Boxes'. A man shouts from a box: "Off Off Off Off"; he springs a rattle. September 1809 Hand-coloured etching

Image description

Recommend


Feedback

If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: PPA163626

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 

Supporters

Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help  

Loading...