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OLD PLAYHOUSE CLOSE

This close led to Edinburgh's very first theatre and hall, The Canongate Theatre. The cornerstone was laid in 1746 by John Ryan of London's Covent garden.

Between 1747 to 1786 many performances by famous actors and singers were enjoyed here including the Rev, John Home's tragedy 'Douglas' which had it's premier here in 1756. However the disapproval of The Church of Scotland who opposed all theatre the Rev. Home had to resign from the ministry and the theatre was closed down in 1786.

Scottish author, surgeon and poet Tobias Smollet (1721-1771) lived here while writing his last novel 'The Expedition of Humphry Clinker' from this close.

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