Not currently on display at the V&A

Beauty & The Beast

Playbill
1826 (designed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The early nineteenth century saw the birth of spectacular theatre, with monumental scenery, stage trickery, lighting effects and even water stunts attracting large audiences to fill rapidly expanding theatres. This playbill demonstrate the importance of scenery in this period, designating half of the text to descriptions of backdrops and scene changes, painted primarily by the famous Grieve family. John Henderson Grieve, who initially began working for the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 1794, established a generational business designing elaborate scenery for pantomimes, operas and ballets. In this production, Scene 6 presents 'A Panoramick Aerial Voyage' successively portraying Constantinople, St Petersburg, Amsterdam and finally the cliffs of Dover.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Ink printed paper
Brief Description
Playbill for Beauty & The Beast and The Duenna, Theatre Royal Covent Garden, 1826
Physical Description
Printed playbill with black typography.
Dimensions
  • Height: 334mm
  • Width: 210mm
Marks and Inscriptions
Credit line
Bequeathed by John Pearce
Object history
This playbill was produced for the 11th January 1826 performances of the opera The Duenna and the pantomime Harlequin and the Magick Rose: or, Beauty & the Beast. The main entertainment, Beauty & the Beast, included music composed by Mr Watson, and scenery painted by Mess. Grieve, Pugh, T. and W. Grieve, Luppino and assistants. The machinery was operated by Mr. E. Saul and 'tricks, transformations and decorations' by Mess. Bradwell. The dresses were by Mr. Palmer and Miss Egan. The whole production was composed and produced by Mr. Farley. Prince Azor (the Beast and eventual Harlequin) was played by Mr. Ellar and Selima (later Colombine) was played by Miss Romer. The part of Chichichoo, a servant and later clown, was played by Joseph Grimaldi.
Summary
The early nineteenth century saw the birth of spectacular theatre, with monumental scenery, stage trickery, lighting effects and even water stunts attracting large audiences to fill rapidly expanding theatres. This playbill demonstrate the importance of scenery in this period, designating half of the text to descriptions of backdrops and scene changes, painted primarily by the famous Grieve family. John Henderson Grieve, who initially began working for the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 1794, established a generational business designing elaborate scenery for pantomimes, operas and ballets. In this production, Scene 6 presents 'A Panoramick Aerial Voyage' successively portraying Constantinople, St Petersburg, Amsterdam and finally the cliffs of Dover.
Collection
Accession Number
S.642-2016

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record createdApril 29, 2016
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