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The Theatre Career of Charles Dibdin the Elder (1745-1814)

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Robert Fahrner

Charles Dibdin made his London debut in 1760 and retired in 1811; indefatigable, he flourished as performer, author-composer, and impresario. Early in his career, he worked in every important theatre and with most of the major theatrical figures of his time - contributing to the light entertainment that late 18th-century theatre-goers increasingly demanded; later, he worked in the proliferating minor theatres which steadily challenged the monopoly of the legitimate houses. Ironically, the theatrical establishment succumbed not long after his death; the prolific Dibdin, with his popular but undemanding forms of entertainment, was riding the wave of the future.
Contents: Traces the career of Charles Dibdin (1745-1814) as performer, composer, and librettist at Covent Garden, Drury Lane, and the Haymarket - As manager of the Royal Circus - As solo entertainer in intimate theatres.