« PreviousContinue »
WITH THE STAGE BUSINESS, CAST OF CHARACTERS
COST IMES, RELATIVE POSITIONS, ETC.
No. 18 ANN-STREET.
This amusing Comedietta, although exclusively a production of the old school,” retains its place upon the stage, despite the mutations of public taste, that has consigned to oblivion rost of the sterling pieces which were the favourite entertainments of our ancestors.
Three Weeks After Marriage,” is from the pen of Arthur Murphy, Esq., a prolific and successful Dramatic author of the last century. Murphy was born near Elphin, in the county of Roscommon, Ireland, Dec. 27, 1730; he was educated at St. Omer's. On leaving college, he entered a mercantile office in London ; but a taste for theatricals led him to venture upon the arduous life of a Player. His success was but moderate, and after a probation of a few months he relinquished the pursuit, and became the Editor of a political paper called the “ Test;" he also engaged as a writer in the famous “ North Briton,” and likewise published a weekly periodical called the Auditor." In addition to these literary occupations, he became a Dramatic author.
" The Way to Keep Him ;” “ All in the Wrong;” “Know your own Mind;" “ The Old Maid ;" “ The Apprentice;" the Tragedy of the “Grecian Daughter," and " Three Weeks after Marriage,” may be considered as standard productions. They still hold a place in the stock lists of acting plays.
The capricious taste of the public condemned this lively little comedy, on its first representation in 1764, under the title of " What we must all come to ;' but in 1775, Mr. Lewis, the celebrated high comedian, produced it for his benefit, with its present name, and it became at once an established stock favourite.
The merit of this piece does not consist in dramatic incidents anl overwrought farcical situation, but is indebted to the delinea
tion of character and a sprightly dialogue for its success. It can scarcely be classed in the rank of a farce, for in the point and finish of its language, it might rank as a comedy.
It is also a graphic picture of the manners of the last century, somewhat caricatured, perhaps, yet not so much as to destroy its actual resemblance to the classes of society, of which the Dramatis Personæ are supposed to be the representative. The vulgarity and simplicity of Drugget and his wife, found their original, in actual life at that period, among the retired “ cits" of London; and the fashionable Sir Charles Racket, and his equally “tonnish" lady, may be considered fair specimens of the leaders of fashion of that period.
“ Three Weeks After Marriage,” affords ample display for the talents of the actors. It was delightfully played at the Park a season or two since. Mr. George Barrett was inimitably fine in Sir Charles—flippant, yet gentlemanly; and Mrs. Bland, in Lady Racket, ably supported the broad goodhumoured vulgarity of Bass, in Old Drugget, and will be remembered with delight by every play-goer; whilst Mrs. Vernon
very beau ideal of the simple-hearted, affectionate, but ignorant Mrs. Drugget.