Richard Smith

Circa: 1782

Richard Smith was a Bristol surgeon and theatre-lover. Around the mid-19th century he created a scrapbook of the playbills and show information he’d been collecting since the late 1700s. It is thanks to Richard that we have a copy of the first playbill.

Richard even recorded his early memories of going to the Theatre Royal. He describes waiting with his back pressed against the street door and rushing to the Gallery when it opened, where "delighted I awaited in darkness the coming of the Stage man to light the candles!" He also complains that the tall hats and hair of women in the audience blocked people’s view.