Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1774-1828 - Strand (Covent Garden)

Pantomimist, dancer, and theatrical manager Carlo Antonio Delpini was born around 1740 in Rome, possibly in the parish of San Martino. He was a pupil of Filippo Nicolini at his successful Italian travelling troupe. About 1774 he was engaged by David Garrick to perform at Drury Lane Theatre. He also supplied the mechanical arrangements for a number of London theatres where he acted in pantomimes.

He played the hero in such pantomimes as Robinson Crusoe (Man Friday was played by Signor Giuseppe, the father of Joseph Grimaldi), Juan, and The Deserter of Naples. While playing in the ballet pantomime The Death of Captain Cook in 1789, he was seriously hurt. He remained in the theatre, eking out a living as a manager and promoter. Successes such as La Fiera di Venezia, a grand masquerade at the Pantheon under the patronage of George IV, were balanced with financial disasters. He descended into poverty and left his widow in a state of destitution after his death in February 1828 in Lancaster Court, Strand.

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