Twelfth Night Baddeley Cake Theatre Royal Dury Lane LOndon theatre folk traditional custom Rober Baddley
The Baddeley Cake, Theatre Royal Dury Lane, London. The cast for the play No No Nanette. England 1974.
CATHERINE STREET, LONDON
In the past, Twelfth Night was much more extensively celebrated than it is today when all that happens is the mundane removing and storing of the Christmas decorations to avoid bad luck in the ensuing year. In religious terms Twelfth Night is the feast of the Epiphany when Christ first revealed him-self to the Gentiles in the persons of the Three Wise Men, and the Christmas ceremonies are over. Formerly, the occasion was celebrated by merry-making,
for instance with the ceremonial Twelfth Night cake.
The Baddeley cake commemorates the pastry cook Robert Baddeley who, through the offices of Samuel Foote in appreciation of a fine dinner prepared by Baddeley, managed to secure a small part in a Drury Lane production. After this episode, rather than relapse into oblivion, he developed into a good actor and was the original Moses in Sheridan's School for Scandal. When he died in 1774 he left in his will one hundred pounds in 3 per cent funds for the making and baking of a cake. This was to be eaten, in his memory, every Twelfth Night by the cast after the performance at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Except for the years of the First and Second World Wars the custom has carried on every year since his death. The photograph shows some of the cast from No No Nanette enjoying their Baddeley Cake.