Play reviewed: The horse acted well

cruikshank6d.jpg Graphic Arts Broadsides

Paul Pry, a comic drama written by the English playwright John Poole (1786-1872), premiered September 1825 at the Haymarket Theatre and ran 114 performances. Variations on the mischievous exploits of Pry continued until the early 1870s.

On May 21, 1826, the London Examiner announced: PAUL PRY ON HORSEBACK! ROYAL AMPHITHEATRE May 22d, and until further notice, the new local, characteristic, eccentric, panoramic, pedestrian, and equestrian speaking picture of life, manner, and peculiarity of the present day, called PAUL PRY on HORSEBACK … The Seventh appearance of the celebrated German Artist, Herr Cline, upon an Elastic Cord. Seventh time of Mr. Ducrow’s wonderful performance upon Three Horse at one time, in the character of the Chinese Enchanter. The Entertainment to commence with the forty-ninth representation of WAR in INDIA, or the Burmese.

A later review read in part: “…It was a very poor piece but there was some fun in Paul Pry’s jumping through the bar window of an inn on horseback. The horse acted well.”

The British caricaturist William Heath sometimes used Paul Pry as his pseudonym.

See also: Paul Pry: in which are all the peculiarities, irregularities, singularities, pertinacity, loquacity, and audacity of Paul Pry, as performed by Mr. Liston, at the Theatre Royal (London: T. Hughes …, [1826]). Engraving by George Cruikshank. Graphic Arts Collection Cruik 1826.7

John Poole (1786-1872), Paul Pry: a comedy, in three acts (London: John Duncombe, [1830]). Etching by Robert Cruikshank. Rare Books (Ex) 3593.999 v. 9

John Poole (1786-1872), Paul Pry: a comedy in three acts (New-York: E.B. Clayton, [ca. 1833]). Rare Books: Theatre Collection (ThX) TC023 (Playbooks Collection) Box 113