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The Theatre of Shelley

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Jacqueline Mulhallen

Appendix I: List of Performances Seen by Shelley

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1This appendix is intended as a list of the performances seen by Shelley. It is not intended to replace the information given by Paula R. Feldman and Diana Scott-Kilvert in their edition of Mary Shelley’s journal or Marion Kingston Stocking in her edition of Claire Clairmont’s, but to gather it together with information from Harriet Grove’s journal and from newspapers in both Italy and England to give a fuller picture of Shelley’s theatre-going. Those titles I have been able to identify which are not included in the above sources I have marked with an asterisk.

2It is not intended to give detailed information about the performances. I have classified these according to the way they were described by their contemporaries, but I should add a warning about interpretation. ’Opera’ did not always mean a sung-through musical drama and a ’comic opera’ was probably closer to what was later described as a ’musical comedy’, a light play with songs. A ’pantomime ballet’ or ballet d’action was close to what is now described as a ballet in that it told a story, but ’ballet’ might also be a series of dances, closely linked in theme. ’Pantomime’ at this time exhibited spectacular scenic effects in a sequence of magical transformations which displayed the acrobatic skills of the Harlequin, although Grimaldi added his inimitable humour: it was not commedia dell’arte. Particular care should be taken with ’melodrama’ and ’burletta’, which appear to be changing in meaning at this period and might conceal what might otherwise be called a play.

3Notes

4at K = The company were performing at the King’s Theatre

5at L = The company were preforming at the Lyceum.

Plays Shelley Saw

Plays Shelley Did Not See

6The following plays are ones that might be thought to have been seen by Shelley. Close attention to the journal entries, however, indicates that he was not at these performances for the reasons given.