[Sir Nigel Playfair, actor-manager of the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith.] Autograph Signature ('Nigel Playfair') on the programme for the lyric production 'When Crummles Played -' (based on characters from 'Nicholas Nickleby' by Charles Dickens).

Sir Nigel Playfair [Sir Nigel Ross Playfair] (1874-1934), actor-manager of the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith [Charles Dickens, 'Nicholas Nickleby']
Publication details: 
The Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, W.6. [London] 'This (Thursday) evening, June 2nd, 1927, at 8 o'clock | Subsequent evenings at 8.30'. [Wightman Mountain & Andrews Ltd, Printers, 31 & 33, Victoria Street, S.W.]
SKU: 22865

Four-page programme on bifolium, stapled into covers of shiny art paper. In fair condition, worn and aged, with rusted staples. Folded once. The covers are printed on the outside only. On the front are two illustrations in Georgian style, with the caption 'George Barnwell's Contrition'. On the back is a drawing of 'Portsmouth Old Theatre', 'Reproduced by kind permission of Arthur Moreland.' The small signature ('Nigel Playfair') is at top right of front cover. The first page of the programme carries five 'Producer's Notes' by 'Lessee & Manager' Playfair. The production is based on the conceit that the audience are watching the Crummles Company performing George Lillo's 'George Barnwell, or The London Merchant'. In his third note Playfair writes: 'I do not intend the audience to think that the Crummles Company were bad actors in their fashion, for I do not suppose they were: nor that Lillo wrote a bad play, for I am sure this is not the case. If they do my production will have failed. It is in the surprises created by the surroundings and the conventions of the period that there will be, I hope, much to laugh at, though with sympathy rather than derision.' The fourth note includes the statement 'This entertainment is not intended for Archaeologists - as such - except in the Pickwickian sense.' The last three pages of the programme give the usual details of cast and crew, performance, songs, credits. Towards end: 'Ladies are respectfully requested to remove their hats, and so add to the comfort of all.' The production ends with a 'Harlequinade', and the fifth note concerns Grimaldi. The text of Playfair's production was published by Chapman & Hall in 1927, but no other copy of this programme is to be found on OCLC WorldCat.