The Performing Century: Nineteenth-Century Theatre’s History by Tracy C. Davis, Peter Holland (eds.)

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By Tracy C. Davis, Peter Holland (eds.)

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Twenty years later J. Ewing Ritchie described the Victoria's audience: And now the dull, dark day, by the magic power of gas, has been transformed into gay and brilliant night. The thousands who have spent the day sightseeing are not satiated, and are flocking round the entrances of the various theatres. Let us stand on the stage of the Victoria, and see them to the number of fifteen hundred mounted upon the gallery benches. Through the small door near the ceiling they come down like a Niagara, and you expect to see them hurled by hundreds into the pit.

But for those who did attend it evoked nostalgic memories such as those of F. C. Burnand, who recalled in detail his own childhood reminiscences of pantomime at Drury Lane, including the 'stout women with big baskets ... struggling between the seats in pit and gallery, hawking their "ginger beer, lemonade, and bill 0' the play'" and then 'Oh glorious moment in the Christmas life of a town-bred child - the overture to the pantomime commences! ' Illustrated Times, 1855. Ibid. Ibid. In 1860 The Players (2 January 1860, 7) described the gallery of a minor theatre on Boxing Night, focusing particularly on a Mrs Gullins and her four blooming daughters.

B . I I ness of 2nd SOP. I- -- . ~ the I '" the - I~ ~L. --==--- dawn. ----- I - - - -~ Ah! rs r~r n -i--F-- IJ -J-- --~: -- -- ,.. , In your ears the ring. of EI rhyme: fin A CHO. u. -- e~ ft' $ ~ -~ 6{ i $ .. , -- OJ CHO. rr-& Ah~ way, dears. ~ 1 -----~ ~ Ah! r,.. ,-- ~ ~~ -- po<--'- ,. -- ... 6t- --_. q~ #~ .. t ! ----J =6t ~-------------------------------- Illustration 9 Finale score for Pinkie and the Fairies, Act II. This is scored for Sleeping Beauty to sing, but according to the script she has already exited.

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