William Charles Macready

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William Macready
BirthplaceLondon, England, UK
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Macready, William Charles


Born Mar. 3, 1793, in London; died Apr. 27, 1873, in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. English actor and director.

Macready came from a family of actors. He made his debut in 1810 in Birmingham and later played in provincial theaters; he appeared in London for the first time in 1816, at Covent Garden. In 1823 he began work with the Drury Lane Theater. He toured in Paris (1822; 1828) and New York (1826; 1848). From 1837-39, Macready joined the management of Covent Garden, staging such productions as Shakespeare’s Henry V, Byron’s The Two Foscari, Browning’s Strafford, and Bulwer-Lytton’s The Lady of Lyons and Richelieu, and playing the leading roles in them. From 1841 to 43 he was one of the managers of the Drury Lane Theater. He acted for the last time in 1851, playing the title role in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Macready strove for historical authenticity in his productions; he advocated the actor’s detailed study of his role, and he himself trained actors to act as an ensemble. He was one of the first to bring back the original Shakespearean texts to the stage. Among Macready’s roles were the title roles in Shakespeare’s King Lear and Hamlet.


Reminiscences and Selections From His Diaries and Letters, vols. 1-2. London, 1875.


Archer, W. W. C. Macready. London, 1890.
Trewin, J.C. Mr. Macready. London, 1955.
Joseph, B. The Tragic Actor. London, 1959. Chapter 7.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Astor Place riots in New York that pitted supporters of two Shakespearean actors, Edwin Forrest and William Macready, against each other, left some twenty people dead and over a hundred injured.
A first edition of A Christmas Carol, inscribed and presented to Dickens' close friend William Macready, sold recently at auction for more than pounds 180,000 with premium.
The story thus contrasts the insincere act of worship found in the American "temple," with its histrionic minister, to the displaced Christian charity found in the English theatrical "temple" during a performance by the celebrated English actor William Macready in the title role of the drama.
Also relevant from Melville's London visit is his viewing of William Macready in Othello at the Haymarket on November 19.
Poole's fascination for the subject shines through on every page and leads him to focus on aspects of Victorian performances of Shakespeare that have largely been neglected, such as the acting techniques favored by Henry Irving and William Macready. Macready was so desperate to control the passionate intensity of his performances that he would rehearse alone without moving his body and with his arms bandaged up.
The NFL is a legitimate, if esoteric, bit of novel mathematical theory elaborated by David Wolpert and William Macready. It says that the average performance of any algorithm over the class of all optimization problems is no better than blind search.
Conrad's play Jack Cade (1835) and its 1841 revision by Edwin Forrest and William Leggett in the context of Forrest's effort to establish a national drama, then juxtaposing it to the Astor Place Riot of 1849, when Forrest's nativist sentiment contributed to the violent sending back to England of the British Shakespearean actor and producer William Macready, Cartelli examines the contradictions implicit in a critique of Shakespeare's feudal and aristocratic ideals thus articulated.