This cite, maintained by CUNY doctoral student James Armstrong, is dedicated to the flourishing British stage of the Regency Era.
The Regency proper took place from 1811 to 1820, when the Prince of Wales ruled Britain as regent for his father, mad King George III. However, the term “Regency” can be used to describe anything from the 1790s to the 1840s.
During this era actors held sway as the brightest stars of the theatrical galaxy, but numerous talented writers, including Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Matthew Lewis, provided play scripts that today can be read as great literature.
The Regency theatre also produced spectacular stage effects, causing sensations that could rival anything produced by Hollywood today. It was a theatre of transition, breaking away from the neoclassicism of the past, but not yet lodged in the conventions of Victorianism. It was a theatre where, briefly, almost anything seemed possible.