By Professor Philip H Highfill Jr PhD, Professor Kalman A Burnim PhD, Edward A. Langhans
A big venture all started in 1973 reaches its end with the book of volumes 15 and sixteen of the Biographical Dictionary, a chain thought of "a reference paintings of the 1st order" via Theatre and acting Arts Collections.Among performers highlighted in those final volumes is Catherine Tofts, a proficient singer whose renowned acclaim was once captured in strains through Samuel Phillips: "How are we pleas’d while beauteous Tofts appears, / To scouse borrow our Souls via our attentive Ears?’ / Ravish’d we hearken to th’ inchanting track, / And capture the falling Accents from her Tongue." the 1st singer of English delivery to grasp the shape of Italian opera, Tofts often received major roles over local Italian singers. Her salary—?400 to ?500 a season—was one of many optimum within the theatre. Her reputation declined, although, as her calls for for fee increased—a state of affairs captured in an epigram Alexander Pope can have penned: "So shiny is thy good looks, so fascinating thy tune, / As had drawn either the beasts and their Orpheus along; / yet such is thy avarice, and such is thy delight, / That the beasts should have starved, and the poets have died."John Vanbrugh, whose play The Relapse is ranked as the best comedies of the recovery interval, turned a subordinate crown architect less than Sir Christopher Wren in 1702. In 1703, Vanbrugh begun plans for the Queen’s Theatre within the Haymarket, an company recommended by way of the equipment Cat membership (of which Vanbrugh used to be a member). although his lavish layout was once acoustically faulty, restructuring helped right the matter and the theatre finally grew to become the particular middle for opera in London.
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Additional info for A biographical dictionary of actors, actresses, musicians, dancers, managers & other stage personnel in London, 1660-1800, Volume 16
When Arthur Murphy and Samuel Foote rented the Drury Lane house for 23 performances in the summer of 1761, Weston joined the company. He repeated Dick and added to his repertoire Dapper in The Citizen, the Doctor in The Wishes, and Brush in All in the Wrong, playing every night of the season. The experience gained him the attention of Garrick and a contract at Drury Lane for the season of 176162, when he added Jeremy in Love for Love, Butler in The Drummer, a character in The Genii, Charino in Love Makes a Man, and Shallow in The Merry Wives of Windsor.
He coasted through the Haymarket summer of 1769 and the following Drury Lane season with many repetitions of Dr Last and Mawworm and a few minor characters like Simon in The Apprentice. He carried his growing popularity with the gallery back to the Haymarket in the summer of 1770, where he performed some 40 times and was the original Jack in Foote's comedy The Lame Lover and Caleb in Foote's farce Taste; or, The Diversions of the Morning. In September and October Foote gave favorites in his company benefits (Weston's was on 15 October, when he played Shift, Dr Squintum, and Transfer in The Minor and Abel Drugger in The Alchemist).
For instance, as Daniel, the "pleasing simpleton" of The Conscious Lovers, "nature's own comedian, Mr. WESTON, is droll beyond every degree of conception; those who have not seen or heard him must fail of an adequate idea" of the character. The natural actor of his part, Whom nature made a jest on, Where genius borrows not from art, Is little THOMAS WESTON. So ran one verse of "Mr Weston" in P. Lewis's Miscellaneous Pieces of 1774, and "nature" and "natural" ring through all the criticism. The Rational Rosciad of 1767 had noticed it early: Weston, in nature well concealing rule, With strict propriety can playa fool; To catch applause he seldom tries grimace, But keeps a fixed stupidity of face.