Audley

We will John Audley it, i.e. abridge it. A theatrical phrase. In the eighteenth century one Shuter had a travelling company which visited different fairs. It was his custom to lengthen out his performance till a goodly number of newcomers had collected on the open stage of his theatre, when a boy called out John Audley, and the play which was going on inside was brought to an end as soon as possible. (1759.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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