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Playbill - Beauty & The Beast

Beauty & The Beast

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (designed)

  • Date:

    1826 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Reynolds, W. (printer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ink printed paper

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Pearce

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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.

Physical description

Printed playbill with black typography.

Place of Origin

London (designed)


1826 (designed)


Reynolds, W. (printer)

Materials and Techniques

Ink printed paper

Marks and inscriptions


Height: 334 mm, Width: 210 mm

Object history note

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.

Descriptive line

Playbill for Beauty & The Beast and The Duenna, Theatre Royal Covent Garden, 1826


Paper; Ink




Entertainment & Leisure; Theatre; Advertising; Posters


Theatre and Performance Collection

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