Theatrical Pleasures, Plate 2: Contending for a Seat
Theodore Lane British
Publisher Thomas McLean British
Not on view
Lower-middle-class theatergoers struggle here to secure unreserved seats in the pit at London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, while being observed by refined audience members in private boxes above. Two men engaged in fisticuffs cause consternation to those nearby. The titles of dramas lettered on playbills comment on the fracas. Point of Honour and Peeping Tom, on a sheet in the left foreground, suggest the cause of the fight and draw attention to a man in striped trousers looking up a woman’s dress. A second handbill, at the right, lettered The Devil to Pay and Love, Law and Physic, hints at the trials of sitting in the pit and suggests the low taste of the audience since the latter farce was characterized by Cockney humor.