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28th September

1745 Drury Lane Theatre Royal

The first time “God Save the King” is sung.

Who and Why?

Prince Charles Edward Stuart (The Young Pretender) had just managed to defeat King George II.  The lead musicians at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, caught the patriotic urge as the news had excited many and wrote “God Save The King”. It was played after a Theatre performance and was repeated each evening due to its popularity. This soon spread to other Theatres and when Royalty came to a building. It became the National Anthem.

The Alchemy that went on stage

Co-incidentally, it seems the play, “The Alchemist”, by Ben Johnson was performed in the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on this day 1745. The play was written in 1610 and has stood the test of time. Some debate that he was never given as much recognition as he should have been. The Genius in his plots, characters, wit.

It is about 3 con men, “Dol Common”, “Subtle” and “Captain Face”. Set around the area of Blackfriars where masters of the place temporarily left home, to cleaner country air because of the plague, and how the opportunists carry on. This particular story sees Lovewit the Master entrust his home to the Butler who becomes “Captain Face”.  Johnson Satirises the con men and enables people to identify with common traits people of that nature would have and the situations their victims would fall into.

Some of the names of the other characters ignite the imagination.

Dapper, Kastrill,  Deacon Ananias – from Amsterdam,  Dame Pliant, Abel “Nab” Drugger”,    Sir Epicure Mammon, Sir Pertinax Surly.


The resources on the link below, include the written out play in the original language.

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