Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Male Impersonation in the Music Hall: the Case of Vesta Tilley

Abstract

Music hall has only recently been treated to ‘serious’ as distinct from anecdotal study, and the ‘turns’ of its leading performers remain largely unexplored. Particularly revealing, perhaps, are the acts of the male impersonators – whose ancestry in ‘legit’ performance had been a long one, yet whose particular approach to cross-dressing had a special social and sexual significance during the ascendancy of music hall, with its curious mixture of working-class directness, commercial knowingness, and ‘pre-Freudian innocence’. The most successful of the male impersonators was Vesta Tilley, whose various disguises, the nature of their hidden appeal, and the ‘messages’ they delivered are here analyzed by Elaine Aston.

Copyright
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

New Theatre Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0266-464X
  • EISSN: 1474-0613
  • URL: /core/journals/new-theatre-quarterly
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 31 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 181 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 29th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.