The Pit Door / La Porte du Parterre

After Robert Dighton the Elder British
Publisher Carington Bowles I British

Not on view

The struggling crowd hoping to attend the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London, demonstrates how strenuous attending a play could be in the eighteenth century. At this time, unreserved seats on benches in the pit cost three shillings, wealthier patrons sat in more expensive boxes above, and ordinary folk climbed to the upper galleries. A poster on the wall indicates that the attraction is Sarah Siddons in a royal command performance of The Grecian Daughter. Siddons had established herself in 1782 as the city’s leading tragedienne, with a dramatic style that stirred up extreme emotions in the audience, and ticket demand for her performances far exceeded supply. This mezzotint droll equates the trials of getting into the theater with the emotional ecstasy anticipated by the audience.

The Pit Door / La Porte du Parterre, After Robert Dighton the Elder (British, London ca. 1751–1814 London), Mezzotint

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