The so-called ‘theatrical revolution’ of the mid-eighteenth-century is generally hailed as the turning point in the history of English acting patterns, writing styles and playhouse management. As with any revolution, its origins and development have been described by leading participants from the viewpoint of the victor. It is a story of the pioneering labours of such figures as David Garrick and Charles Macklin rendering new performances, of old plays being reset and recast, of puffing up the pride and the prestige of the profession of actors and actresses. In true revolutionary manner, the accumulated weight of tradition which had borne down so heavily on individual talents, narrowing and stifling them, was cast aside. Under the banner of‘realism’ (in some accounts ‘naturalism’), a new generation of actors breathed life into dusty theatres and threw down the challenge of novelty: new styles, new acting manuals, new forms of expression, new representations on stage.