All about Garrick

Fri 17 Aug

In honour of upcoming double bill Hogarth's Progress we shine a light on two remarkable actors, West End theatre star Mark Umbers and the character he plays in The Taste of the Town, the larger-than-life David Garrick!

 Mark Umbers


You may recognice Mark as pushy journalist Robert Walsh in BBC mini-series Collateral appearing alongside Carey Mulligan. 

Much like David Garrick he is at home under the bright lights of the West End including the transfer of Sondheim's much acclaimed Merrily We Roll Along at the Harold Pinter Theatre.

Unlike Garrick, Mark Umbers stands at 6'2'. Garrick may have been a huge legend in the world of theatre but was only 5'4' in real life... Find out more about David Garrick below.



  • The X Factor and Love Island contestants may be after instant fame but Garrick really was an overnight sensation. He was one of the first British actors to adopt a naturalistic style of performance and from his first appearance as the title role in Richard III in 1741 he became the talk of London. A legend was born.
  • Hogarth and Garrick were great friends. Hogarth painted Garrick in 1745 in the picture above where he portrays Richard III waking from bad dreams the night before battle. 
  • Truly dedicated to his art, Garrick had a very unusual wig which he wore when playing Hamlet that made his hair stand on end when Hamlet's father's ghost appeared. Spooky...
  • There are numerous theatres and clubs named in honour of David Garrick all over the world from the Garrick Theatre and Garrick Club in London to the Garrick Bar in Belfast, there's even a community theatre called the Garrick Theatre in Perth, Australia. 
  • Garrick died in 1779 and over 50,000 people queued to seeing him lying in repose before his funeral.


Quotes by David Garrick

'Corrupted freemen are the worst of slaves

'Let others hail the rising sun: I bow to that whose course is run'

'You are indebted to your imagination for three-fourths of your importance'

'Wonders will never cease'


Mark Umbers will also play Prime Minister Robert Walpole in the first play, The Art of Success

Both plays together create double bill Hogarth's Progress which runs at the Rose Thu 13 Sep - Sun 21 Oct. Each play can be seen as a single performance or enjoyed together, either over different days or as a thrilling all-day theatrical experience. To find out more click here

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