David Garrick
(1717-1779)

Died aged c. 62

David Garrick (19 February 1717 – 20 January 1779) was an English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer who influenced nearly all aspects of theatrical practice throughout the 18th century, and was a pupil and friend of Dr Samuel Johnson. He appeared in a number of amateur theatricals, and with his appearance in the title role of Shakespeare's Richard III, audiences and managers began to take notice. Impressed by his portrayals of Richard III and a number of other roles, Charles Fleetwood engaged Garrick for a season at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. He remained with the Drury Lane company for the next five years and purchased a share of the theatre with James Lacy. This purchase inaugurated 29 years of Garrick's management of the Drury Lane, during which time it rose to prominence as one of the leading theatres in Europe. At his death, three years after his retirement from Drury Lane and the stage, he was given a lavish public funeral at Westminster Abbey where he was laid to rest in Poets' Corner. As an actor, Garrick promoted realistic acting that departed from the bombastic style that was entrenched when he first came to prominence. His acting delighted many audiences and his direction of many of the top actors of the English stage influenced their styles as well. During his tenure as manager of Drury Lane, Garrick also sought to reform audience behaviour. While this led to some discontent among the theatre-going public, many of his reforms eventually did take hold. Garrick also sought reform in production matters, bringing an overarching consistency to productions that included set design, costumes and even special effects. Garrick's influence extended into the literary side of theatre as well. Critics are almost unanimous in saying he was not a good playwright, but his work in bringing Shakespeare to contemporary audiences is notable. In addition, he adapted many older plays in the repertoire that might have been forgotten. These included many plays of the Restoration era. Indeed, while influencing the theatre towards a better standard he also gained a better reputation for theatre folk. This accomplishment led Samuel Johnson to remark that "his profession made him rich and he made his profession respectable."

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Commemorated on 9 plaques

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Spudgun67 on Wikimedia Commons
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David Garrick 1717-1779 actor lived here

Garrick's Villa, Hampton Court Road, Richmond-upon-Thames, London, United Kingdom where they lived

This building stands on the site of Adelphi Terrace built by the brothers Adam in 1768-1774. Among the occupants of the Terrace were Topham and Lady Diana Beauclerk, David Garrick, Richard Doyle Carte, Thomas Hardy & George Bernard Shaw, The London School of Economics and Political Science and the Savage Club also had their premises here.

The Adelphi, Westminster, WC2, London, United Kingdom where they lived

Here lived Edward Capell censor of plays, & Shakespearean commentator, and David Garrick was his frequent visitor here. This commemorative tablet was unveiled on June 1:1914 by Stephen Phillips, Esq:

All Saints Street, Hastings, United Kingdom where they visited

David Garrick lived here 1750-1772

27 Southampton Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 7RS, London, United Kingdom where they lived

On this site, between the years 1709-1970, stood Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School where the great actor David Garrick was a pupil in 1737.

Blue Boar Lane, Rochester, United Kingdom where they attended school

Near this site stood the Culstrubbe Gate of the City, one of four gates erected by Bishop Roger de Clinton (1129-1148). These buildings erected in 1849, now the Council Chamber and offices of the Lichfield Rural District Council, were formerly the 16th century Grammar School and Headmaster's House where many famous men including, Johnson, Garrick, Addison and Ashmole were educated.

The Old Grammar School, St John Street, Lichfield, United Kingdom where they attended school

Site of the Garrick Theatre. Built 1882. Re-named in 1909 after the Famour actor and theatrical manager David Garrick, born at the Angle Inn in Widemarsh Street in 1717. Theatre rebuilt 1916 after a disastrous fire which claimed the lives of eight little girls taking part in a charity concert.

Site of the Garrick Theatre, Hereford, United Kingdom where they was born near (1717)

On this site stood the home of David Garrick. Born 1716, Died 1779, Pulled down in 1856. Educated at Lichfield Grammar School, buried at Westminster Abbey.

Former Probate Court, Bird Street, Lichfield, United Kingdom where they lived

The Christopher Inn late fifteenth or early sixteenth century Used by the Mayor & Council in the sixteenth century for civic feasts Enlarged middle seventeenth and eighteenth century David Garrick dined here in 1765 Purchased and restored by St. Albans City Council 1950/1954

French Row, St Albans, St Albans, United Kingdom where they dined (1765)