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Performance and Politics in Popular Drama

Performance and Politics in Popular Drama
Aspects of Popular Entertainment in Theatre, Film and Television, 1800–1976


Louis James, W. D. Howarth, John McCormick, David Mayer, Douglas A. Reid, Derek Forbes, Antony D. Hippisley Coxe, J. S. Bratton, A. E. Green, David Bradby, Nick Worrall, Martin Kane, Stuart Cosgrove, Raphael Samuel, David Bradby, Nick Roddick, Bernard Sharratt
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  • Date Published: September 1981
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521285247

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About the Authors
  • Since the beginning of the nineteenth-century, many forms of theatre have been called 'popular', but in the twentieth-century the term 'popular drama' has taken on definite political overtones, often indicating a repudiation of 'commercial theatre'. Does this mean that political theatre is or tries to be more attractive to more people than commercial theatre? Does it conversely mean that commercial theatre has no political effects? The articles in this book were submitted as papers for a conference on the theme of 'popular' theatre, film and television. Contributions came from people with very different types of experience: from an ex-animal trainer to a lecturer in film studies; from playwrights, directors and actors to professional critics and academics. Each author focused on a particular problem of defining drama in performance, drawing together the conditions of performance, the types of audience and the political effects of the plays or films in question. The result was a series of fruitful connections and juxtapositions that shows the remarkable continuity of the problems raised in attempts to create a popular political drama.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 1981
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521285247
    • length: 344 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.528kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Spectacle, Performance and Audience in Nineteenth-Century Theatre:
    1. Introduction Louis James
    2. Was Jerrold's Black Ey'd Susan more popular than Wordsworth's Lucy? Louis James
    3. Word and image in Pixérécourt's melodrama: the dramaturgy of the strip-cartoon W. D. Howarth
    4. Joseph Bouchardy: a melodramatist and his public John McCormick
    5. The Music of melodrama David Mayer
    6. Popular theatre in Victorian Birmingham Douglas A. Reid
    7. Water drama Derek Forbes
    8. Equestrian drama and the circus Antony D. Hippisley Coxe
    9. Theare of war: the Crimea on the London stage 1854–5 J. S. Bratton
    10. Popular drama and the mummers' play A. E. Green
    Part II. Politics and Performance in Twentieth-Century Drama and Film:
    11. Introduction David Bradby
    12. Meyerhold and Eisenstein Nick Worrall
    13. Erwin Piscator's 1927 production of Hoppla, We're Alive Martin Kane
    14. Prolet Buehne: agit-prop in America Stuart Cosgrove
    15. Worker's theatre 1926–36 Raphael Samuel
    16. The October Group and the theatre under the Front Populaire David Bradby
    17. Only the stars survive: disaster movies in the seventies Nick Roddick
    Part III. Problems and Prospects:
    18. Introduction Bernard Sharratt
    19. The politics of the popular? - from melodrama to television Bernard Sharratt
    Select bibliography
    General index
    Index of titles of plays, films, sketches
    Index of theatres, theatre companies and groups.

  • Editors

    David Bradby

    Louis James

    Bernard Sharratt


    Louis James, W. D. Howarth, John McCormick, David Mayer, Douglas A. Reid, Derek Forbes, Antony D. Hippisley Coxe, J. S. Bratton, A. E. Green, David Bradby, Nick Worrall, Martin Kane, Stuart Cosgrove, Raphael Samuel, David Bradby, Nick Roddick, Bernard Sharratt

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