The Royal Victoria Theatre, more commonly known today as the ‘The Old Vic’ opened in 1818 and was recognised for bringing theatre to the ‘common people’.


Charles Dickens and the Royal Victoria Theatre.

Charles Dickens wrote about the theatre in an article entitled The Amusements of the People, published on 30 March 1850 in his magazine Household Words.

Joe Whelks, of the New Cut, Lambeth, is not much of a reader, has no great store of books, no very commodious room to read in, no very decided inclination to read, and no power at all of presenting vividly before his mind’s eye what he reads about. But, put Joe in the gallery of the Victoria Theatre; show him doors and windows in the scene that will open and shut, and that people can get in and out of; tell him a story with these aids, and by the help of live men and women dressed up, confiding to him their innermost secrets, in voices audible half a mile off; and Joe will unravel a story through all its entanglements, and sit there a long after midnight as you have anything left to show him.




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