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Look Inside Performing Shakespeare in the Age of Empire

Performing Shakespeare in the Age of Empire

  • Date Published: December 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521034425


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About the Authors
  • During the nineteenth century the performance of Shakespeare's plays contributed significantly to the creation of a sense of British nationhood at home and overseas. This was achieved through the enterprise of the commercial theatre rather that state subsidy and institutions. Britain had no National Theatre, but Shakespeare's plays were performed up and down the land from the fashionable West End to the suburbs of the capital and the expanding industrial conurbations to the north. British actors travelled the world to perform Shakespeare's plays, while foreign actors regarded success in London as the ultimate seal of approval. In this book, Richard Foulkes explores the political and social uses of Shakespeare through the nineteenth and into the twentieth century and the movement from the business of Shakespeare as an enterprise to that of enshrinement as a cultural icon. An examination of leading Shakespearean actors, managers and directors, from Britain and abroad, is also included in the study.

    • Explores the range and diversity of Shakespearean performance in England from the Reform Bill to the Great War
    • Analyses the performance of Shakespeare as an expression of English nationhood during the Victorian Empire
    • Adds information on issues of patronage and state subsidy of the period but still of continuing relevance
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is rather more than just another study of Shakespearean production in Victorian England: it is a collection of detailed studies of the functions that Shakespeare was made to serve, through live performance, throughout the world, between about 1832 and 1916.' Journal of Theatre Research International

    '… cannot but impress [them] with its wealth of information and suggestions for further research.' English Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521034425
    • length: 248 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.379kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    1. The hero as actor: William Charles Macready
    2. Equerries and equestrians: Phelps, Kean and Astley's
    3. A babel of bardolaters: the 1864 tercentenary
    4. Made in Manchester: Charles Calvert and George Rignold
    5. The fashionable tragedian: Henry Irving
    6. The imperial stage: Beerbohm Tree and Benson
    7. The national arena: Granville Barker, Louis Calvert and Annie Horniman
    8. The theatre of war: the 1916 tercentenary
    In conclusion

  • Author

    Richard Foulkes, University of Leicester
    Richard Foulkes is a leading scholar of Victorian theatre and drama, with a special interest in the interpretation and performance of Shakespeare of the time. His work includes editorship of Shakespeare and the Victorian Stage (1986) and British Theatre in the 1890s: Essays on Drama and the Stage (1993); and author of Church and Stage in Victorian England (1997), The Shakespeare Tercentenary of 1864 (1984) and Repertory at the Royal: Sixty-Five Years of Theatre in Northampton, 1927–1992 (1992). Dr Foulkes has also published in Shakespeare Survey, British Dramatists Since World War II, The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare, and the forthcoming New Dictionary of National Biography, of which he is an Associate Editor.

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