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Three playbills for the Theatre Royal, 1780s (reference 1033)

Theatre Royal Playbills

The Record Office holds nine playbills for the Theatre Royal, Bath, for the years 1781-1782 (reference 1033). Very few playbills have survived from this period, and these are an exciting addition to our collections.

The playbills advertise plays such as Isabella, or, the Fatal Marriage, The Duenna, or, Double Elopement and The Clandestine Marriage. One playbill is for a 'New Tragedy', The Count of Narbonne. It was presented on 14 May 1782, with the famous actress Sarah Siddons playing the role of the Countess of Narbonne. This was almost the last appearance of Mrs Siddons in Bath - she joined the Theatre Royal company in October 1778, but in May 1782 she was just about to leave for London where she had been offered a contract at Drury Lane. Her final performance in Bath was on 21 May 1782, just a week after appearing in The Count of Narbonne.

The playbills were donated to the City of Bath in 1967 by Mrs Diana Menuhin, when her husband was director of Bath Music Festival. They were framed and by 1996 were on display in the VIP Room of the Assembly Rooms. They were subsequently taken down and put into storage in the Fashion Museum in the Assembly Rooms. When 'rediscovered', they were transferred to the Record Office.

See  a large image of the playbill for the The Count of Narbonne

See a large image of the playbill for The Clandestine Marriage

See a large image of the playbill for Isabella