David Garrick

Topics: David Garrick, James Quin, Method acting Pages: 4 (1234 words) Published: October 8, 1999
David Garrick (1716-1779)

David Garrick's contemporaries felt it would be vanity to describe his acting (Stone and Kahrl 27). Vanity has never stopped Shane Davis from doing anything ! David Garrick was considered to be the most influential and skilled actor of his time. Garrick is credited with revolutionizing the portrayal of character. His concept of ‘experiencing' the feelings of the character, is a concept that helped lead 18th-century theatre into a new naturalistic era. It was an approach to acting that was directly at odds with the theatrical philosophy prior to Garrick's inception (Stone and Kahrl 35). Garrick's innovative style known as naturalism, led the extremely popular and successful actor James Quin to remark " If this [method of Garrick's] is right, then we are all wrong" ( Cole and Chinoly 131). The style that was so admired and later copied by Garrick's peers was a combination of naturalism, classical representation of the passions, and exaggerated physicality. Garrick was not the originator of naturalism ,that distinction is Charles Mackilin's, although he is credited with its success. Pure naturalism can be characterized by Macklin's instruction of his players to ignore the cadence of tragedy, but simply speak the passage as you would in common life and with more emotional force (Cole and Chinoly 121). The term used to describe this new style of speech is called broken tones of utterance. It is a method of speech which concentrates more on the emotion in a verse rather than its meter. David Garrick was a opportunistic actor who borrowed from many different acting techniques (Stone and Kahrl 345). Garrick's naturalism was concerned more with the feeling of true emotion , the uniqueness of character, combined with the physical representation of the passions. Representation of the passions was an accepted artistic convention for expressing emotion. Le Brun, a late 17th-century century artist , wrote a "grammar"...

Bibliography: Burnim, Kalman. David Garrick: Director. University of Pittsburgh Press. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 1961

Cole, Toby and Chinoy,Helen Krich. Actors on Acting. Crown Publishers, Inc.: 1949.
Le Brun, Charles. : Method to Learn to Design the Passions. Trans. John Williams. London. 1734

Stone, George Winchester and George M. Kahrl. David Garrick: A Critical Biography. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1979. Annotated Knight, Joseph. David Garrick. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, & Co., Ltd., 1894

Straub, Kristina. Sexual Suspects: 18th Century players and Sexual Ideology. New Jersey. Princeton University press, 1992
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