Critical Essays on the Performers of the London Theatres: Including General Observations on the Practise and Genius of the Stage

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John Hunt, 1807 - 229 pages

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Page 141 - In spite of outward blemishes, she shone, For humour fam'd, and humour all her own. Easy, as if at home, the stage she trod, Nor sought the critic's praise, nor fear'd his rod. Original in spirit and in ease, She pleas'd by hiding all attempts to please. No comic actress ever yet could raise, On humour's base, more merit or more praise.
Page 138 - With all the native vigour of sixteen, Among the merry troop conspicuous seen, See lively Pope advance in jig, and trip Corinna, Cherry, Honeycomb, and Snip ; Not without art, but yet to Nature true, She charms the Town with humour just yet new ; Cheer'd by her promise, we the less deplore The fatal time when Clive shall be no more.
Page 11 - Vitus's dance : by this study of nonentities it would appear that he never pulls out his handkerchief without a design upon the audience, that he has as much thought in making a step as making a speech, in short that his very finger is eloquent and that nothing means something. But all this neither delights nor deceives the audience : of an assembly collected together to enjoy a rational entertainment, the majority will always be displeased with what is irrational though they may be unable to describe...
Page 128 - I dare say all actors have their hours of disquiet, and perhaps more than most men, yet he has not the air of one who elevates his sensations the moment he enters the stage and drops them the instant he departs. It is a very common and a very injurious fault with actors to come before the audience with a manner expressive of beginning a task ; they adjust their neckcloths and hats as if they had dressed in a hurry, look about them as much as to say, " What sort of a house have I got this evening...
Page 78 - Munden, who is unluckily one of the strongest supports to our gigantic farces, and whose powers, like his features, have been so twisted out of their proper direction, that they seem unable to recover themselves. Almost the whole force of his acting consists in two or three ludicrous gestures and an innumerable variety of as fanciful contortions of countenance as ever threw woman into hysterics : his features are like the reflection of a man's face in a ruffled stream, they undergo a perpetual undulation...
Page 2 - This appellation may on all occasions be given to Mr Pope, who has the finest lungs of any man on the stage. A good actor - the general term for an actor who gives good dinners. A charming play - a play full of dancing, music and scenery; a play in which the less the author has to do the better. Great applause - applause mixed with the hisses of the gallery and pit.
Page 157 - Her laughter intermingles itself with her words as fresh ideas afford her fresh merriment; she does not so much indulge as she seems unable to help it; it increases, it lessens, with her fancy; and when you expect it no longer, according to the usual habits of the stage, it sparkles forth at little intervals as recollection revives it, like flame from half-smothered embers.
Page 22 - ... can make it not only imperfect but disgusting. Mr. Pope has not one requisite to an actor but a good voice, and this he uses so unmercifully on all occasions that its value is lost, and he contrives to turn it into a defect. His face is- as hard, as immovable, and as void of meaning as an oak wainscot ; his eyes, which should endeavour to throw some meaning into his vociferous declamation, he generally contrives to keep almost shut ; and what would make...
Page 64 - Citizen : if anything can excel the grave moniedness he affects in order to cheat his father, it is his description of the garret-author, of that miserable pamphleteer who, holding one baby on his knee and rocking another in the cradle with his foot, is writing a political essay with his right hand while he occasionally twirls round a scrag of roast pork with his left : during this description the mirth of the audience becomes impatient to express itself, till the admirable mimic having wound up...

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