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Silk programme

Silk programme

  • Place of origin:

    Richmond (probably, printed)

  • Date:

    1864 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bell, M (printer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed silk

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Silk and satin playbills and programmes were produced from the 18th century onwards to commemorate special evenings at the theatre. This was produced to mark a performance of Cumberland's comedy The Wheel of FortuneBudget of Blunders 'by Desire of the Gentlemen of the Grammar School', an evening obviously considered of some note, to warrant the production of a silk bill.

The Grammar School in Richmond, Yorkshire, was founded in 1567 by Queen Elizabeth I. Like all schools of the time, it was only for boys. The Theatre Royal was built by the actor-manager Samuel Butler in 1788, and managed by him as party of his circuit of theatres at Beverly, Harrogate, Kendal, Northallerton, Ulverston and Whitby. Like all circuit theatres, it would not have had a resident company but would have been visited by companies such as this who travelled to several theatres in the circuit.

Physical description

Silk programme printed on cream silk in black typography with the edges neatened with small loops of black thread. Headed in upper case typeface: 'BY THE DESIRE OF THE GENTLEMEN OF THE GRAMMAR SCHOOL. THEATRE-ROYAL RICHMOND. On MONDAY Evening NOVEMBER the 24th. 1817', and printed with the titles of the main two pieces 'WHEEL OF FORTUNE' and 'Budget of BLUNDERS' in large black typeface, and the rest of the programme in smaller typeface, comprising a comic song by Mr. Jefferson; a dance by Mr. F. O'Connor, and 'The Peasant Boy' by Miss Bellamy.

Place of Origin

Richmond (probably, printed)


1864 (printed)


Bell, M (printer)

Materials and Techniques

Printed silk


Height: 33.0 cm, Width: 21.4 cm

Object history note

This silk playbill was produced for a production at the Theatre Royal 'By Desire of The Gentlemen of the Grammar School', and was credited as being performed by 'Theair Majesties' Servants'. The evening consisted of R. Cumberland's comedy The Wheel of Fortune performed by Mr. Young, Mr. O'Connor, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Chiswell, Mr. Wemyss, Mr. F. O'Connor, Mr. George, Mr. Martin, Master Butler, Mr. Stoker, Mrs. Murray, Miss Butler and Mrs. Martin, folopwed by a comic song by Mr. Jefferson, a dance by Mr. F. O'Connor, The Peasant Boy bu Miss Bellamy, and the afterpiece Budget of Blunders performed by the members of the company.

Descriptive line

Playbill for Wheel of Fortune by R. Cumberland, and Budget of Blunders, Theatre Royal, Richmond (probably Yorkshire), 24 November 1817. Letterpress on silk.

Production Note

The printer is credited as: 'M. Bell, Richmond'


Silk; Letterpress; Silk (textile); Ink


Letterpress; Printed


Entertainment & Leisure


Theatre and Performance Collection

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