John Rich (1692 - 1761) is an important director and London theater director of the 18th century. Having created New Theater (“New Theater”) of Lincoln' S Inn Fields in 1714, it assembled productions increasingly more extravagant there. It introduced the Pantomime into the English theater and held itself the role of a dumb Arlequin and dancing of 1717 with 1760 under the name of scene of “Lun”. Its theater specialized in what the contemporaries then called the “spectacle” and which one would call today the special Effets. He endeavoured to include in his settings in scene of true blows of guns, the animals, and many simulations of battles.
In 1728 Rich put in scene the Opéra of the gueux ( Beggar' S Opera ) John Gay. The part had such a success that one said whereas it “had returned Gay rich person and merry Rich”. In 1732, Rich opened the Royal Theater of Covent Garden, now known under the name of Royal Opera House.
During its career of producer and director Rich fought many battles against rival theater directors, in particular Colley Cibber. In its Apology , Cibber makes Rich responsible for the degradation and the exorbitant costs of the theatrical productions of the time. The satirists were however of agreement to think that Cibber was quite as guilty as Rich, and the children of Cibber pousuivirent in the traces of their father, as John Rich continued the style of his father, by exaggerating it. The Theater of Drury Lane of Cibber and those of Rich with Lincoln' S Inn (then in Covent Garden) were in competition during all the existence of Rich, so much so that twice the two theaters assembled the same part simultaneously: Romeo and Juliette and the King Lear in 1756 and 1757. The company of Rich also put in scene certain parts of Shakespeare seldom played, like Cymbeline .
- The Theater History Encyclopedia Entry one Rich
Category: Birth in 1692
Category: Death in 1761
Category: British theater
Category: British director
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