Published in 1834, George Cruikshanks's Pit boxes & Gallery depicts a raucous crowd gathered for a night's entertainment at the theatre. A chimney sweep peels an orange over the crowd (top left), a woman swigs alcohol straight from the bottle (top centre), and in the boxes below much enthusiastic flirting is taking place. In spite of all of the bad behaviour, Cruikshank has injected the scene with such a sense of vitality and humour that the viewer may wish that they were there themselves.
- Article by:
- Jacky Bratton
- Popular culture
At the beginning of the 19th century, there were only two main theatres in London. Emeritus Professor Jacky Bratton traces the development of theatre throughout the century, exploring the proliferation of venues, forms and writers.