Colley Cibber

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Colley Cibber
BirthplaceSouthampton Street, London, England
actor, theatre manager, playwright, poet
Known for Works include his autobiography and several comedies of historical interest. Appointed Poet Laureate in 1730

Cibber, Colley

(sĭb`ər), 1671–1757, English dramatist and actor-manager. Joining the company at the Theatre Royal in 1690, Cibber became successful as a comedian, playing the fops of Restoration comedy. His first play, Love's Last Shift (1696), is a landmark in the history of the theater and is regarded as the first sentimental comedy. Of his 30 dramas, She Wou'd and She Wou'd Not (1702), The Careless Husband (1704), and The Nonjuror (1717) are the most notable. From 1710 to 1740 he was the manager of Drury Lane. He was appointed poet laureate in 1730. An extremely unpopular, social-climbing, and insolent man, he was ridiculed by the critics and bitterly attacked by Pope, who made him the hero of the final version of The Dunciad. Cibber's Apology (1740) is a mine of information about the theater of this period.


See R. H. Barker, Mr. Cibber of Drury Lane (1939); L. Ashley, Colley Cibber (1965).

Both his son, Theophilus Cibber, 1703–58, and his daughter, Charlotte (Cibber) Clarke, d. 1760?, went on the stage with some success, earning wild and eccentric reputations in the tradition of the family. The wife of Theophilus, Susannah Maria (Arne) Cibber, 1714–66, sister of the composer Thomas Augustine Arne, sang in opera and appeared with great success in tragic roles.

References in periodicals archive ?
Used inappropriately, ranting became mere shouting and a well-modulated voice informed by an actor's sense of the part degenerated into mannered toning, of which Colley Cibber was often accused (Davies 40-41).
To which is prefix'd, a sketch of the author's life, written by himseff, (17317: Eighteenth Century Collections Online) and "A Brief Supplement to Colley Cibber, Esq; His Lives of the late Famous Actors and Actresses," (1747), Colley Cibber, An Apology for the Life of Mr.
See Colley Cibber, Richard III, Shakespeare Made Fit: Restoration Adaptations of Shakespeare, ed.
The eponymous "early modern" extends from Comensoli's "Medieval and Tudor Contexts" to her brief sketch of English Sentimental Comedy and Diderot in an epilogue, and in Rosenthal the term spans the Commonwealth, Restoration, and eighteenth-century playwrights, Margaret Cavendish, Aphra Behn, Colley Cibber, various "female wits," and Susanna Centlivre.
The Founding, as Amberg tell us, `has been generally accepted by literary historians as the bridge between the comedies of Colley Cibber and Richard Steele in the first part of the century and those of Hugh Kelly and Richard Cumberland in the last' (pp.
Mr Heaney's lucid introduction narrates the rise of Grab Street, provides brief sketches of some of its principal 'characters' (Tom Brown, Edmund Curll, Colley Cibber, Daniel Defoe), and offers an account of the relations between Grab Street and the Scriblerian circle of Pope, Swift, Gay, and Arbuthnot.
In 1737 Amhurst published in it a letter purporting to come from Colley Cibber, then poet laureate, attacking the new (censorship) act for licensing plays; for this "suspected libel," Amhurst and the printer of the journal were imprisoned.
Colley Cibber would be pleased to hear that his talents "were fitted for the histories and tragedies", because he was inordinately proud of his Richard III (which is unmentioned, since no music survives).
Colley Cibber can serve as the benchmark of the early part of the century because his Apology concentrates on the first half of his career, skimming over the rest.
In 1743 Pope wrote a new Book IV and changed the victim of his satire from Theobald to Colley Cibber, an actor and theater manager of no poetic talent but who had, nonetheless, been made poet laureate to King George II.
In the volume's concluding section which focuses on comedy and farce, Melissa Bissonette reexamines John Gay's farce, Three Hours after Marriage, which starred Colley Cibber, while Lowerre investigates the use and effect of musical quotation in comedies within the context of the theatrical rivalry between Drury Lane theatre and Lincoln's Inn Fields.