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David Garrick
Online Exhibition

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Midsummer Night's Dream



Samuel Pepys remarked in the mid-seventeenth century that A Midsummer Night’s Dream was “the most insipid, ridiculous Play that I ever saw in my life.” After that 1662 performance and until Garrick’s 1755 operatic version The Fairies, only one other performance is recorded, and the play saw just eight stagings in the eighteenth century. Some of these revivals achieved a degree of critical and popular success. Others failed completely, closing after a single night. The mid-eighteenth-century Drury Lane Dreams described here coincide with rivalries in spectacle and elaborate stagings between Garrick and John Rich, manager of Covent Garden.

 

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The Fairies
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"Alterations Innumerable"
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