CHERRY, Andrew.
BAD TIMING
CHERRY, Andrew. Two playbills for Cherry’s ‘new operatick drama’ Peter the Great, at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden,
  1807.
Two playbills (c.240 × 180 mm), ‘Fourth Time’, Wednesday 20 May, and ‘Fifth Time’, Thursday 28 May 1807; the first trimmed at head, else both in good condition.
Andrew Cherry (1762–1812) was the son of a Limerick printer, who from an early age ‘displayed a taste for the theatre’, performing both in Dublin and with a travelling company around Ireland. By the late 1790s, he was appearing at theatres in Bath, then Drury Lane. ‘Cherry was the author of a number of plays, which had mixed success. One was withdrawn from the Haymarket after two performances, and many were never printed. The most widely published were The Travellers, an operatic drama with music by Corri, performed at Drury Lane in 1806, and The Soldier's Daughter, given at Drury Lane in 1804, which went through more than thirty editions in Britain and the United States, and was reprinted into the twentieth century’ (Oxford DNB).

The two playbills here show a certain success with Peter the Great, even if the timing was inauspicious. ‘Cherry’s play appeared in precisely the year when the Treaty of Tilsit signalled a very temporary blip in Anglo-Russian relations, which were generally on the up at the beginning of Alexander I’s reign …’ (Cross, Peter the Great through British Eyes, p. 133, who also offers a longer analysis of the play).

Cf. Cross, The Russian Theme in English Literature, item 30, for the printed play.
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