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Charles Dibdin and Late Georgian Culture$
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Oskar Cox Jensen, David Kennerley, and Ian Newman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198812425

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198812425.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 27 January 2022

Dibdin and the Dilettantes

Dibdin and the Dilettantes

(p.94) 6 Dibdin and the Dilettantes
Charles Dibdin and Late Georgian Culture

Judith Hawley

Oxford University Press

This chapter combines archival research with a broad range of biography and social history to shed light on a little understood aspect of Regency-era entertainment, the private theatrical, by bringing it into dialogue with the world of the professional theatre via Charles Dibdin—a man who, it is argued, was secretly implicated in the private culture which he satirized in his own public entertainments. Beginning by reconstructing the cross-class craze for private theatricals, it then moves to contemporary public criticism of the phenomenon, of which Dibdin’s own Private Theatricals formed a part. Analysis of Dibdin’s performance forms a central part of an argument that reads the faux-‘private’ actions of both Dibdin and the dilettantes as part of the irrevocable destabilization of the patent theatres’ monopoly on spoken drama.

Keywords:   private theatricals, amateur, Earl of Barrymore, patent theatres, gender, Pic Nic, satire, venues

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