This 2004 Companion is designed for readers interested in the creation, production and interpretation of Victorian and Edwardian theatre, both in its own time and on the contemporary stage. The volume opens with a brief overview and introduction surveying the theatre of the time followed by an essay contextualizing the theatre within the frame of Victorian and Edwardian culture as a whole. Succeeding chapters examine specific aspects of performance, production, and theatre, including the music, the actors, stagecraft and the audiences themselves; plays and playwriting and issues of class and gender are also explored. Chapters also deal with comedy, farce and melodrama, while other essays bring forward new topics and approaches that cross the boundaries of traditional investigation, including analysis of the economics of theatre and of the theatricality of personal identity.
• Examines the world of the Victorian theatre: the audience, playwrights, actors, and music • Specially written by a team of experts in the field, but in an accessible and lively way • Places the works in their social and cultural context
List of illustrations; Notes on contributors; Preface Kerry Powell; Part I. Introduction: Before the curtain Nina Auerbach; Part II. Performance and Context: 1. Actors and acting Joseph W. Donohue Jr.; 2. The show business economy and its discontents Tracy C. Davis; 3. Victorian and Edwardian stagecraft: techniques and issues Russell Jackson; 4. Music for the theatre: style and function in incidental music Michael Pisani; 5. Victorian and Edwardian audiences Jim Davis and Victor Emeljanow; 6. Performing identities: actresses and autobiography Mary Jean Corbett; Part III. Text and Context: 7. Comedy and farce Michael Booth; 8. Encountering melodrama David Mayer; 9. The Music Hall Jacky Bratton; 10. Theatre of the 1890s: Breaking down the barriers Peter Raby; 11. New theatres for a new drama Cary M. Mazer; 12. The fallen woman on stage: maidens, magdalens, and the emancipated female Sos Eltis; 13. Reimagining the theatre: women playwrights of the Victorian and Edwardian period Susan Carlson and Kerry Powell; 14. The East End Theatre Heidi Holder; Index.
'This is a fascinating and informative addition to the Cambridge Companions to Literature series.' Reference Reviews
'All the contributions to this undeniably useful enterprise are sufficiently expert to ensure it a place on undergraduate and graduate reading-lists …'. Journal of Theatre Research International