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Irish BirminghamA History$
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James Moran

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781846314742

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846316043

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Curtain up on ‘Brother Paddy’

Curtain up on ‘Brother Paddy’

(p.21) 1 Curtain up on ‘Brother Paddy’
Irish Birmingham
Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on the career of William Charles McCready, manager of the Birmingham playhouse, the Theatre Royal on New Street. On the evening of 5 September 1803, the final show of the year's theatrical season was being held — a pantomime entitled The Magic of British Liberty, which saw Napoleon being rudely abused, before the arrival onstage of the two main characters: an English mariner called Bill Breeze, and a sailor from Ireland, Patt Bowling. The chapter then details how the character of Patt Bowling helped introduce the denizens of Birmingham to the Irish, a nationality that, until then, had seldom been seen in the town. It also considers the political implications of the staging The Magic of British Liberty, amidst the ongoing rebellion in Ireland.

Keywords:   William Charles McCready, playhouse, Theatre Royal on New Street, pantomime, The Magic of British Liberty

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