Graphics, Image for King John
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Graphics, Image for King John
THE   ADELPHI   THEATRE   CALENDAR
A Record of Dramatic Performances at a Leading Victorian Theatre

Formerly the Sans Pareil (1806-1819), later the Adelphi (1819-1900)
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Title:King John
Description:Scene from King John, at the Princess' Theatre.
Theatre:Princess
Source:The Illustrated London News, Apr 17, 1852, p. 309
Review:The Illustrated London News, Apr 17, 1852, pp. 309-310

PRINCESS' THEATRE.

The tragedy of "King John," with its magnificent appointments, still continues to prove attractive.  The character of the hero, notwithstanding his crimes, commands sympathy, for the mind habitually recognises in him the majesty of England and of the age in which he lived, rather than the mere individual.  He is a grand impersonation of the state.  His weakness, his guilt, his religious vacillation, all typify "the condition of England question," as mooted in his time; his person is but, as it were, the plane on which move mighty public interests.  An unsettled state of power and opinion--a struggle for progress, and an uncertainty as to its direction--a rude state of law, in which private vengeance had not yet assumed the disguise of public justice--and the tottering condition of authority, wherein well nigh

All form was formless; order, orderless--

these are the national marks, which present John to us as a representative personage, bearing the yoke of his time and vicariously suffering its evil as his own.

To us this picture of regal sin and suffering has a deep meaning and moves the reflective soul to intense emotion.  Shakspeare [sic], in his rifacimento of the old play, evidently felt all this; and added to the natural pathos of the story by the exquisite snatches of poetry with which he adorned the original meagre dialogue.  The subject was worth his writing up, and he performed the task con amore.  Witness the fine touches which he has thrown over the prison scene between Hubert and Arthur to which this week we have devoted our illustration.  Even the conceits with which this colloquy is overrun only serve to set forth the innocence of childhood in a more affecting manner.  Perhaps the character of the Prince was never more beautifully interpreted than by Miss Kate Terry, whose exquisite acting at Windsor Castle in the part much pleased her Majesty.  Of Mr. Ryder's Hubert, with its rough pity and manly devotedness, we have said sufficient on a former occasion.  To those who have witnessed the performance, our illustration will prove pleasingly suggestive, and they will value it as a record of an excellent example of really fine, natural, and powerfully pathetic acting, in one of the most distinguished of Shakspeare's [sic] situations, marked with some of his best points and irresistibly commanding the sympathies that are strongest in the noblest.  Such dramas are calculated to make the spectator brave and good.

 

The Illustrated London News, Apr 17, 1852, p. 309

 

 

The Illustrated London News, Apr 17, 1852, p. 310

 



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Copyright © 1988, 1992, 2013 by Alfred L. Nelson, Gilbert B. Cross, Joseph Donohue.
Originally published by Greenwood Press as The Sans Pareil Theatre 1806-1819, Adelphi Theatre 1819-1850: An Index to Authors, Titles, Performers, 1988, and The Adelphi Theatre 1850-1900: An Index to Authors, Titles, Performers and Management, 1992.
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The Adelphi Theatre Calendar revised, reconstructed and amplified.  Copyright © 2013, by Alfred L. Nelson, Gilbert B. Cross, Joseph Donohue.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License, with the exception of graphics from The Clip Art Book, edited by Gerard Quinn and published by Crescent in 1990.  These images are reproduced in accord with the publisher’s note, which states "The Clip Art Book is a new compilation of illustrations that are in the public domain.  The individual illustrations are copyright free and may be reproduced without permission or payment.  However, the selection of illustrations and their layout is the copyright of the publisher, so that one page or more may not be photocopied or reproduced without first contacting the publishers."