Colley Cibber

(1671—1757) actor, writer, and theatre manager

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became an actor in 1690. His first play, Love's Last Shift (1696), introduced the character of Sir Novelty Fashion, who was transformed into Lord Foppington in Vanbrugh's The Relapse. Cibber wrote in his varied theatrical career many plays and adaptations, notably She Would and She Would Not (1702), The Careless Husband (1704), both comedies, and a successful adaptation of Shakespeare's Richard III (1700). The Non‐Juror (1717), a comedy based on Molière's Tartuffe, was ridiculed by Pope in a pamphlet, and Cibber became the hero of Pope's Dunciad in its final edition, after becoming poet laureate in 1730. He attracted many enemies by his rudeness and vanity, and as a writer was more concerned with theatrical effect than with literary merit, but nevertheless made a significant contribution to 18th‐cent. drama, particularly to the genre of sentimental comedy. In 1740 Cibber published his autobiography, An Apology for the Life of Mr Colley Cibber, Comedian, which gives a vivid picture of the theatrical life of the time.

Subjects: Literature — Theatre.

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