The School for Scandal - Playbill, 1865


The School for Scandal - Playbill, 1865


25 September 1865


Playbill for the School for Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the very first performance on the Theatre Royal stage in September 1865.

What's the story?

The very first production to take place on the Theatre Royal stage was Sheridan’s 1777 comedy The School for Scandal.
The show was directed by the Theatre Royal’s new actor/manager Walter Montogomery. At the end of the first performance Montgomery stepped out to receive his applause and in a long speech he stated …
“Ladies and gentlemen, it is our purpose to present to you first class entertainment only. We begin with Sheridan, Shakespeare will soon follow. Nor whilst providing the solids of the banquet shall we neglect the trifle, in due season King Pantomime will succeed. With a company of ladies and gentlemen, what is to prevent the drama from fulfilling its greatest mission, viz. a teacher of the highest morality, nay, even the gentle handmaiden of religion. Recognised as our profession is now by the highest of the land, we have but little to fear from the clouded intellects and narrow prejudices of a limited few, but even these shall be convinced if they will but come amongst us, that there is nothing inconsistent in following our profession and wearing the light yoke of that Lord of Love who stilled the rolling wave of Galilee. Now, ladies and gentlemen, let me ask your continued interest in this undertaking.”
In 2015 as part of the venue’s 150th anniversary celebrations The School for Scandal was revived by The Royal Company, the Theatre Royal’s community theatre initiative, as a promenade production, utilising different spaces within the theatre.
This Theatre Royal playbill was donated to the Theatre Royal archive by The Nottingham Mechanics on North Sherwood Street in Nottingham. They had been kept in storage in their building for many years and it was only with the launch of the Theatre Royal digital archive in October 2018, that they finally came to light. The Theatre Royal is sincerely grateful to the Nottingham Mechanics for enabling us to bring these playbills to the wider public.
Since 1837 The Nottingham Mechanics Institute has been serving the city of Nottingham as a centre of cultural, educational and social activity. In its present home on North Sherwood Street groups such as Nottingham Poetry Society, The Dickens Fellowship, Nottingham Shakespeare Society, The Embroiderers’ Club and others meet regularly to enjoy the building’s facilities www.nottinghammechanics.com



Location of item

Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall Nottingham


Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall Nottingham


Researcher: David Longford
Photographer: Ian Webster