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Silk programme - Pygmalion and Galatea

Pygmalion and Galatea

  • Object:

    Silk programme

  • Place of origin:

    London (designed)

  • Date:

    1884 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Nassau Steam Press (designers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed silk

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dame Bridget D'Oyly Carte

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

W. S. Gilbert based Pygmalion and Galatea on Ovid's tale of a sculptor who falls in love with a statue. It was first performed at the Haymarket on 9th December 1871, with a New York opening on 1st October 1872.

This silk programme was produced for the Lyceum Theatre's revival begun on 8th December 1883, starring the New York revival's lead actress Mary Anderson in the role of Galatea. It was paired with the especially-written one act play Comedy and Tragedy, which was added to the bill on 26th January 1884. The run closed on 5th April to allow Anderson to tour Britain, with the productions resuming at the Lyceum on 6th September 1884. The plays closed on 25th October.

This was Anderson's first British season and it established her celebrity in the British Isles. Reviews of the production praised her beauty but were critical of her performance. A review from The Times from 8th September 1884 states: 'So far as a first night audience could furnish a test of popularity, there appeared to be no falling-off in the actress's physical attractiveness, which has always been and must apparently continue to be the principal element in her success. In some respects her rendering of both parts [in Pygmalion and Galatea and Comedy and Tragedy] has improved, though her performance, artistically considered, is still by no means remarkable or exceptional.'

Physical description

Fringed cream silk programme printed with green ink, mounted onto an orange cardboard cover.

Place of Origin

London (designed)


1884 (designed)


Nassau Steam Press (designers)

Materials and Techniques

Printed silk


Height: 274 mm, Width: 193 mm, Height: 286 mm, Width: 241 mm

Object history note

This silk programme was produced for the matinee performance of Pygmalion and Galatea at the Royal Lyceum Theatre on Tuesday 12th February 1884. The three act comedy by W. S. Gilbert starred Mr J. H. Barnes as Pygmalion and Miss Mary Anderson as Galatea. This was followed by a one act drama written for Mary Anderson by W. S. Gilbert titled Comedy and Tragedy. The performances featured new scenery by Hawes Craven & W. G. Cuthbert, costumes by Auguste et Cie. from designs by Lewis Wingfield, and original music by Musical Director Mr. Andrew Levey. The stage manager was Mr. Oliver Doud and the acting manager was Mr. Charles J. Abud.

Descriptive line

Silk programme for Pygmalion and Galatea, Royal Lyceum Theatre, 1884


Silk; Ink




Entertainment & Leisure; Opera


Theatre and Performance Collection

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