Description

Romeo and Juliet starring the American Cushman sisters was a huge success. This playbill is from the final night of their triumphant engagement at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket in 1846. Some critics voiced the opinion that only a woman was capable of effectively playing the romantic lead of Romeo, as the character’s fervent desires were incompatible with masculine ideals. There is little evidence that there were any outcries about a seeming portrayal of homosexual love on stage, although in fact Charlotte Cushman was a lesbian and subsequently played Romeo to at least two Juliets with whom she was romantically involved.

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