… it chanced to me to visit a penny gaff in that dark and dolorous region, the New Cut. There the company and the entertainment were of a much lower character. A great part of the proceedings were indecent and disgusting, yet very satisfactory to the half grown girls and boys present. In the time of the earlier Georges we read much of the brutality of the lower orders. If we may believe contemporary writers on men and manners, never was the theatre so full — never was the audience so excited — never did the scum and refuse of the streets so liberally patronise the entertainment as when deeds of violence and blood were the order of the night. This old savage spirit is dying out, but in the New Cut I fear it has not given way to a better one.
J. Ewing Ritchie, Here and There in London, 1859
O’Neill, Gilda. The Good Old Days: Poverty, Crime and Terror in Victorian London (p. 46). Endeavour Press. Kindle Edition.