The Struggling Actor

Windows into History

Barn_Henry_Davy A barn (not with a theatre inside!) painted by Henry Davy.

Snippets 144.  Joseph Shepherd Munden was a well-known actor during the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, known principally for his comedy performances.  His son Thomas wrote his very entertaining biography, Memoirs of Joseph Shepherd Munden.  The following anecdotes concern his early career:

From Liverpool he repaired to Rochdale, where he had relations, and joined a strolling company. A laughable circumstance is related of this company, which took place during the performance of the Fair Penitent. In the scene where Calista is seated in all the dignity of grief, beside the clay-cold corse of the false Lothario, it unfortunately happened, that the person who lay as the lifeless form of the gay perfidious, was neither more nor less than a footman in the neighbourhood. His master happened accidentally to be at the theatre, and presented himself behind…

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