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Past Images of the Month - July 2020

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Der Freischutzism, or 'Tis a Hit! A Song, written by a Freeshot, Author of many Rejected Addresses. London, [1824?]. The dedicatee John Pritt Harley (1786-1858), was a popular actor and singer, specialising in comic roles and with a huge repertoire of comic songs. He made his London debut at the Lyceum on 15 July 1815 as Marcelli in The Devil’s Bridge but moved quickly to Drury Lane in September the same year.  When John Bannister retired, Harley took over most of his roles and Bannister, who took a great interest in his career, referred to him as his theatrical son and successor.  In 1828 he became Master of Drury Lane Theatrical Fund replacing the retiring Master, Edmund Kean.  Until 1836 he remained basically at the Lane with summer excursions to the provinces and engagements at the Lyceum, where he was for some time Stage Manager. He worked with Madame Vestris and finally with Charles Kean at the Princess’s. He suffered a stroke in the Theatre where he was playing Lancelot Gobbo and died at home two days later. He was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery on 28 August 1858. © The Trustees of the British Museum.

Der Freischutzism, or 'Tis a Hit! A Song, written by a Freeshot, Author of many Rejected Addresses. London, [1824?]. The dedicatee John Pritt Harley (1786-1858), was a popular actor and singer, specialising in comic roles and with a huge repertoire of comic songs. He made his London debut at the Lyceum on 15 July 1815 as Marcelli in The Devil’s Bridge but moved quickly to Drury Lane in September the same year. When John Bannister retired, Harley took over most of his roles and Bannister, who took a great interest in his career, referred to him as his theatrical son and successor. In 1828 he became Master of Drury Lane Theatrical Fund replacing the retiring Master, Edmund Kean. Until 1836 he remained basically at the Lane with summer excursions to the provinces and engagements at the Lyceum, where he was for some time Stage Manager. He worked with Madame Vestris and finally with Charles Kean at the Princess’s. He suffered a stroke in the Theatre where he was playing Lancelot Gobbo and died at home two days later. He was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery on 28 August 1858. © The Trustees of the British Museum.

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