One significant body of work that Dibdin produced was the ‘Table Entertainments’. These were one-man shows, performed himself and consisting of his own songs and compositions, interspersed with stories, narration and jokes. These light theatre performances were toured around England for 9 months in an effort to raise funds for his planned emigration to India. However, once he embarked on the voyage he failed to make it past Cornwall on account of his seasickness. His diaries and books from the tour provide a valuable insight into 18th century England, particularly life as a performing musician.
‘Datchet Mead, or The Fairy Court' is one of these ‘Table Entertainments’. It was originally written as a serenade by Dibdin for the wedding of the Hereditary Prince of Wirtemberg and the Princess Royal of Great Britain on the 18th of May 1797, but was crafted into a shorter version called ‘The General Election’. It was this adaptation that was performed as part of the ‘Table Entertainments’, which he toured and later performed in the New Sans Souci Theatre, just off Leicester Square, in 1797.