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Mr Liston as...

Portrait of John Liston John Liston was born in 1776 and was seventy years of age at his demise. He was the leading comic actor of the early nineteenth century and one of the brightest stars that ever shone upon the British stage, becoming an extremely popular and well respected figure among the Regency theatre audience and acting fraternity.

Performing regularly on the London stage for over thirty years from the turn of the nineteenth century he created many memorable characters, maybe the greatest and most enduring among these is his ‘Paul Pry’, a play of the same name written by John Poole, premiered in London on 13 September 1825 at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket.

Mr Liston as Paul Pry

Mr. Liston as Paul Pry. I hope I don't intrude; Just called to ask you how your tooth is.
Drawn & Engraved by J. W. Gear. Printed by C. Hullmandel, 1825.

Paul Pry was an idle, meddling fellow consumed with curiosity. Unable to mind his own business, he's an interfering busybody who conveniently leaves behind an umbrella everywhere he goes in order to have an excuse to return and eavesdrop.

Liston played many celebrated characters and so it was that large numbers of theatrical portraits and caricature prints were issued depicting his various roles and were readily avaliable in the print shops.

Mr Liston as Moll Flaggon

Mr. Liston, as Moll Flaggon, in The Lord of the Manor.
Drawn by E. F. Lambert. Printed & published by R. Martin, 124 High Holborn, 1826.

These prints were accurate representations of the actor and their costumes as they appeared in the relevant London stage productions. So much so that provincial and minor theatres would purchase them for their wardrobe people to work from and create the individual garments.

Mr Liston

Mr Liston as Clown and Dominie Sampson. Engraved by Woolnoth.
Published 1820s by Simpkin & Marshall, Stationers Court & Chapple, Pall Mall.



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