Not surprisingly, Garrick's talents and ambition drew him quickly towards theater management, where he could shape the entire spectacle. He cut his teeth as co-manager of Smock Alley in Dublin for the 1745-46 season, with Thomas Sheridan. Garrick then returned to London where he put in motion a plan to become co-manager of James Lacy's Drury Lane by playing the 1746-47 season for Lacy's rival, John Rich, at Covent Garden. Garrick's continued success under Rich had the desired effect, and he was able to strike a deal with Lacy for joint management of Drury Lane. He purchased a half-share of the patent for Â£12,000 and agreed to receive Â£500 per year as co-owner, and Â£525 per year plus a benefit as a principal actor. Lacy took responsibility for everything relating to the building, while Garrick took responsibility for everything relating to productions.
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