George III playbill for a June 1810 production of Macbeth
at the New Theatre Royal Covent Garden
Sarah Siddons as Lady Macbeth, John Philip Kemble
as Macbeth and Charles Kemble as Macduff
Letterpress print on laid paper
London, 4 June 1810
24.9 cm x 19.8 cm
A scarce George III playbill for Monday, June 4 1810 with the cast for a production of Shakespeare's 'Macbeth' with three of the stellar actors of the early 19th Century stage. Also includes Joseph Grimaldi in the pantomime of The Deserter of Naples.
Early theatre playbills doubled as programmes and also as posters for forthcoming productions. Collecting them was seen as a refined pursuit within high society circles. This playbill is unusual for being printed on both sides with the reverse having what appears at first sight to be a song entitled "The Lucky Villagers" but is almost certainly an advertisement promoting one of Thomas Bish's lotteries.
See Gary Hicks, "The First Adman: Thomas Bish and the birth of modern advertising", Victorian Secrets Ltd, Brighton UK, 2012