Below are some of the actors whose names have come to represent the
acting profession or the theatre.
David Carrick
David Garrick (1717-79) was regarded as the foremost Shakespearean actor of 18th-century England and manager of Drury Lane Theatre for nearly thirty years (1747-76). According to Oliver Goldsmith he was ‘an abridgement of all that was pleasant in man’.
‘Is the play up to viewing, Mr Carrick?’ one or other of the gentlemen would periodically ask Ralph, and Ralph was ecstatic for this merely whimsical comparison of himself to the great actor-manager.
THOMAS KENEALLY The Playmaker, 1987
David Garrick

David Garrick

Roscius
Quintus Roscius Gallus (d. 62 BC), known as Roscius, was the most celebrated of Roman comic actors, who later became identified with all that was considered best in acting. Many great actors, notably David Garrick, were nicknamed after him. The child actor William Betty (1791-1874) was known as ‘the young Roscius’.
The celebrated provincial amateur of Roscian renown.
CHARLES DICKENS Great Expectations, 1860
Stanislavsky
Stanislavsky (1863-1938), the great Russian actor, director,
and teacher, was born Konstantin Sergeevitch Alekseev. He founded the
Moscow Art Theatre in 1898 and was known for his productions of Chekhov
and Gorky. His theories about technique, in particular in paying attention to
the characters’ backgrounds and psychology, eventually formed the basis for
the US movement known as ‘method acting’.
‘What? I didn’t! That’s absurd!’ he protested, emoting surprise and shock in a sub-Stanislavskian style.
REGINALD HILL Child’s Play, 1987
Thespis
Thespis was a Greek dramatic poet of the 6th century BC and generally
regarded as the founder of Greek tragedy, having introduced the role of the
actor in addition to the traditional chorus. The word ‘Thespian’, which derives
from his name, means ‘relating to drama or acting’.
If Mrs. Caesar Augustus Conquergood’s name might appear, alone, at the top of an otherwise double column of patrons of the Salterton Little Theatre then, in Nellie’s judgment, the drama had justified its existence, Thespis had not rolled his car in vain.
ROBERTSON DAVIES Tempest-Tost, 1951
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