The etching after the present drawing was published in 1816 with the title Richardson's show from the series of Rowlandson's World in Miniature, consisting of groups of figures, for the illustration of landscapes scenery drawn and etched by T. Rowlandson. To be completed in eight monthly numbers, price 2s. 6d. each, J. Grego, Rowlandson the Caricaturist, London, 1880, II, p. 113, illustrated. The publisher of the series was R. Ackerman.
John Richardson (1767?-1837) from 1796 until his death was well known as an actor and manager of a travelling company. He began his career in 1782 with Mrs. Penley's travelling theater company, but on seeing the small success the troup enjoyed he left for London and became a broker. In 1796 he accumulated enough money to form his own troup. His company specialised in burlesque dramatic performances of plays. During the plays gingerbread was sold in the pit, a figure in the foreground of the present drawing is seen selling some to a very suspicious spectator. Richardson was renowned as a discoverer of new talent such as Kean, Barnes, Wallack, who all began their careers in his company. The programme of the company in the later years consisted of a tragedy, a comic song, and a pantomime. The present drawing depicts such a pantomime with figures from the Commedia dell'Arte