Monday, September 20, 2010

Theatrical Copywriting: Some Origins

From the playbill of the December 1, 1864, performance of
Coriolanus, starring Edwin Forrest, at the American Academy of Music, in Philadelphia, which was under the management of John T. Ford:

"The Splendid, Popular and Artistic Triumphs, which the Presence and Applause of the Nightly Crowded Audience conveyed, has abundantly confirmed Mr. Ford's confidence in the appreciative taste of Philadelphia, and encourages his anticipation of a succession of similar triumphs, the Wealth and Brilliancy of which will become Memorable in the Annals of Art."

From a London Times review of the same Mr. Forrest, in an 1836 production of Spartacus, at the Drury-Lane Theatre, in London:

"Mr. Forrest was received with a hearty warmth, which, from the first moment of his appearance, left no doubt, if any could have been entertained, that the audience were well disposed to accept his exertions for their entertainment. He is a tall, rather robust man, of some 30 years of age, not remarkably handsome, but with expressive features, and that cast of countenance which is well suited for theatrical effect."