Pioneering New Zealand theatrical producer James Marriott built the opulent Britannia Saloon in Wellington in the early 1840s. Many fundraising dinners were held there, and this engraving, showing a Grand Reform Banquet in 1849, appeared in the Illustrated London News. British-born Marriott was a Shakespearean scholar and actor, wrote plays on topical themes and even designed and built his own sets and lighting – he was a worthy forerunner of the endlessly resourceful New Zealand producer.
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University of Waikato
Reference: Illustrated London News, vol.16 (1850), p. 20
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