[From Manx Annals,1901/2]
When the century was young, Douglas was enlivened occasionally by meteoric visits of small companies of theatrical performers mostly of the variety class. For instance "For three nights only (June 1812) at the New Theatre, Douglas, Downward's large room on the quay (any room where a performance was held was termed, for the time being, a theatre), Mr Ingleby, emperor of all conjurors" went through his wonderful performance, whilst Miss Young showed off on the slack wire; and Mr Ingleby, jun, defied the world. Ingleby senior offered at the same time to give private shows at gentleman's houses for ten guineas.
All through February, March, and part of April, 1814, Douglas had Edward's troupe of players, who performed at the "Theatre, Fort Street, late the old Assembly Rooms," every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. They opened on February 7th, when they gave their receipts to the poor. A week afterwards, after giving "Richard III." and whilst playing "The Lovers' Quarrel," the seats of the gallery and part of the pit gave way, and down came the audience. No one was greatly hurt, though many were frightened.
Here is one of their advertisements :-
" On Thursday evening, February 17th, will be presented a comedy called 'The Honeymoon. At the end of the play, .' Beggars and Ballad Singers' by Mr Hope (one of the actors) to which will be' added 'All the World's a Stage. or the Spouting Butler.' Boxes, 3s;- Pit,2s; Gallery 1s. Doors open at six. No admittance' behind the scenes. Tickets to be had of Mr. Edward at Miss Fannin's, Fort Street ; Mr Walsh. York Street (Edward and Walsh were actors);' Messrs Beatson and Copeland, printers (of the. Isle of Man Gazette) Custom House, Quay ; and of Miss Louisa Cannel on the Pier.' In the way of theatricals, Douglas, in the winter of 1819-20, was much better of, than now. In the late summer of 1819, "Mr Kean performed in Dixon's Assembly Rooms," finishing up on the ninth of October. when he gave a performance at noon and another at eight in the evening. This was the celebrated Charles Kean. The week- after the above took place, Munro started playing in Douglas. Here is his advertisement -
Any comments, errors or omissions
gratefully received The
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2009