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Thomas Hailes Lacy

(1809—1873) actor, playwright, and theatrical publisher


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(1809–73) English publisher and playwright. Lacy wrote a handful of plays of no distinction for London's minor theatres. In 1851 he set up as a play publisher at 89 Strand, establishing a series entitled Lacy's Acting Editions. Together with other series such as those issued by Dolby, Cumberland, Duncombe, Oxberry, Richardson, and the later Dicks, all unbound on cheap paper with small print, Lacy's represented almost the only way that plays were published after about 1830, when the market for the bound octavo play at 3 shillings or 5 shillings disappeared. Lacy bought the author's copyright for a small sum, sometimes as low as £5 or £3, and then collected acting fees from both amateurs and professionals for all plays on his lists, except for those whose copyright had expired (see licensing of plays). Lacy's series was taken over by Samuel French in the 1860s and French continues to this day.

From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.


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