The Uproar House print

The Uproar House print

This print records one of the not infrequent audience riots in theatres in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This one started in 1813 when the singer Angelica Catalani refused to perform until the management of the King's Theatre paid the debt they owed her. The trouble was started by the fashionable members of the audience, who were admitted backstage, when the management tried to carry on the performance without her. The orchestra were among the first to escape, taking their music with them, then members of the ballet, although some may have been left dangling at the end of the wires used in the flying ballet. In the ensuing riot, chandeliers were smashed and instruments broken and the theatre had to be closed for a week. The Lord Chamberlain later issued a decree forbidding members of the audience to go behind the scenes during performances.