A poster for the Victoria Theatre; 1839
4 0 c m
actual image size: 15cm x 32cm

A poster for the Victoria Theatre; 1839

J.W. Peel

© Museum of London

Full image caption

A poster for the Victoria Theatre, "Will open for the season, Monday September 16, 1839". It is advertising the perfomance, "King Harold! or the Battle of Hastings".
In the 19th century theatres competed to attract audiences, vying with each other to offer evermore extravagant and spectacular entertainments. Technical developments in the printing industry brought new typefaces which venues seized upon to create bold and eye-catching playbills. The promised attractions were described in great detail and often illustrated with wood-block engravings. Coloured paper was sometimes used if resources allowed.

Plays based on historical events and characters were popular. This bill advertises the programme at the Royal Victoria Theatre for the week beginning Monday 16 September 1839. It includes a new historical drama entitled 'King Harold!: or, The Battle of Hastings'.

The theatre was on New Cut (now renamed The Cut), Waterloo, and opened as The Royal Coburg in 1818. In 1833 it was renamed The Royal Victoria Theatre after Princess (later Queen) Victoria (on this bill this is shortened to The Victoria Theatre.) It is now known as The Old Vic.




1839 AD - 1839 AD

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