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Garrick Talk Offers Fascinating Insight Into The Rise Of The ‘Celebrity’
Wednesday - May 24, 2017
Eminent art historian Dr Véronique Gerard Powell will be offering a unique insight into the career of 18th century acting superstar David Garrick at a talk held at The Georgian Theatre Royal’s Paul Iles Learning Centre on Monday 5 June at 7.30pm.

Dr Gerard Powell from the University of Paris-Sorbonne is a guest curator at the Bowes Museum and has helped put together the current exhibition that marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of this famous English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer who revolutionised nearly all aspects of theatrical practice throughout the Georgian period.

Central to the exhibition are two paintings by Johann Zoffany that were recently acquired by the Museum. These works of art were commissioned by Garrick and show ‘David Garrick and Mrs Cibber as Jaffier and Belvidera in Venice Preserv’d’ and ‘David Garrick and Mary Bradshaw in David Garrick’s The Farmer’s Return’.

Dr Gerard Powell will discuss how these paintings, together with various engravings and mezzotints, can help us to better understand Garrick's extraordinary talent and the vitality of British theatre in the 18th century.  She will also consider how artists depicted ‘theatrical action’, and how these representations reflect the emerging phenomenon of ‘celebrity'.

“I am delighted to be giving this talk at Richmond’s Georgian Theatre Royal,” said Dr Gerard Powell. “As part of the exhibition, the Theatre and Bowes Museum have worked together to help visitors understand and appreciate theatrical life in the 18th century and the talk is a result of this collaboration. Yorkshire was the first place for theatre entertainment after London and it is fortuitous that we have the most complete Georgian playhouse remaining in Britain just a few miles away. We are hoping that people who see the exhibition will go on to visit the Theatre in order to put Garrick and his work into historical context.” 

Tickets for the Theatre talk cost £5 and include a glass of wine. They are available from the Theatre’s Box Office on 01748 825252 or via the online booking service at

The exhibition ‘Painting the Theatre: Garrick in Action’ runs at the Bowes Museum until 9 July 2017.
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