Alfred Bunn

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Alfred Bunn (April 8, 1796 in London – December 20, 1860 in Boulogne-sur-Mer) was an English theatrical manager.

He was appointed stage-manager of Drury Lane Theatre, London, in 1823. In 1826 he was managing the Theatre Royal in Birmingham, and in 1833 he undertook the joint management of Drury Lane and Covent Garden, London. In this undertaking he met with vigorous opposition. A bill for the abolition of the patent theatres was passed in the House of Commons, but on Bunn's petition was thrown out by the House of Lords. He had difficulties first with his company, then with the lord chamberlain, and had to face the keen rivalry of the other theatres. A longstanding quarrel with William Charles Macready resulted in the tragedian assaulting the manager. In 1840, Bunn was declared a bankrupt, but he continued to manage Drury Lane and the Surrey Theatre until 1848.

Artistically, his control of his English theatres was highly successful. Nearly every leading English actor of the time played under his management, and he made a courageous attempt to establish English opera, producing the principal works of Michael William Balfe. He had some gift for writing, and most of the libretti of these operas were translated by himself. In Tile Stage Before and Behind the Curtain (3 vols., 1840), he gave a full account of his managerial experiences.

In James Joyce's Ulysses, the main character Leopold Bloom thinks briefly (and incompletely) of a lyric Bunn wrote: "Whose smile upon each...
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