John Gay: The What D'Ye Call It

(1795 words)

The What D'Ye Call It, described by Gay as a “tragic-comi-pastoral farce” [sic], received its first performance at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, on 23 February 1715. It was Gay's most successful play after The Beggar's Opera [see separate entry], receiving twenty one successive performances and going on to be published in six different editions in his lifetime. In his “Preface” Gay claims to be the “first who have introduced this kind of dramatic entertainment upon the stage,” and argues that the whole art of the play “lies in interweaving the several kinds of the drama into each other, so that they cannot be distinguished or separated.” The play is a farce, containing a play-within-a-play, spoofing …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Gordon, Ian. "The What D'Ye Call It". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 February 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8131, accessed 25 July 2014.]