'Cutting and Flashing'

  • 16 Jan 2012
  • Theatre
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The Angel Street Theatre opened in 1779 with the same itinerant companies of the West Midlands circuit. Though the provincial stage was a valuable training ground, as the Kembles had shown, the companies were often forced by desperate finacial straits, during the closed seasons in the principal towns, to play in the small playhouses, booths and barns of the lesser towns, often on a stage only six feet square, using as much scenery as could be carried on their wagon.

The standard of performance varied greatly. Often managers improvised and cut plays when they thought it necessary, especially the 'after-pieces', and this led to complaints in the Worcester Journal of 'cutting and flashing the parts in the after pieces to the great disappointment of (those)  who come to see particular scenes or hear particular songs'. In this instance, there followed a denial from the Promptor, who briefly pointed out 'that authors change their scripts'.