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Fun Facts

The Clandestine Marriage

Did you know?


Fun Fact #1

The Clandestine Marriage premiered on February 20, 1766, at the Royal Theatre in Drury Lane. David Garrick and George Colman used The Marriage Act by John Shebbeare, a political satire published in 1754, as a source for the plot and themes of their scandalous comedy. Secret marriages were a scourge on society at the time and presented a problem to the church and state. In response to the epidemic, Lord Harwicke’s Marriage Act was passed in 1753 to prevent these illegitimate unions.


Fun Fact #2

Although George Washington saw The Clandestine Marriage on June 5, 1789, the last mention of an American production is in New York in the 1950s. In England, Ian McKellen directed a production in London and Edinburgh in 1975; the play also had productions in 1982 at Theatre Royale Plymouth, the Old Vic Bristol in 1990, and in 1995 at Queen’s Theatre in London. More recently, the distinguished actor Sir Nigel Hawthorne ("Yes, Prime Minister" TV series) directed and played in The Clandestine Marriage , and produced a full-length film version with Joan Collins in 1999.


Fun Fact #3

The character of Lord Ogleby was written with David Garrick in mind. In the Folger production, Lord Ogleby will be played by acclaimed Washington actor Ted Van Griethuysen. Garrick has portrayed seventeen of Shakespeare’s characters and Van Griethuysen has portrayed thirteen thus far in his career.  These men share three roles in common—Macbeth, King Lear, and Henry IV.


Pastorini. Interior view of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Engraving, 1776.

Mr. King in the character of Lord Ogleby in the Clandestine Marriage. Hand-colored engraving, 1769

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