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The Cambridge History of British Theatre
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  • 34 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 574 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 1.15 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521650687 | ISBN-10: 0521650682)

Volume 2 of The Cambridge History of British Theatre begins in 1660 with the restoration of King Charles II to the throne and the reestablishment of the professional theatre, interdicted since 1642, and follows the far-reaching development of the form over two centuries and more to 1895. Descriptions of the theatres, actors and actresses, acting companies, dramatists and dramatic genres over the period are augmented by accounts of the audiences, politics and morality, scenography, provincial theatre, theatrical legislation, the long-drawn-out competition of major and minor theatres, and the ultimate revocation of the theatrical monopoly of Drury Lane and Covent Garden, initiating a new era. Chapters on two representative years, 1776 and 1895, are complemented by chapters on two phenomenal productions, The Beggar's Opera and The Bells, as well as by studies of popular theatre, including music hall, sexuality on the Victorian stage and other social and cultural contexts.

• The second of three volumes looking at the turbulent public life of performance in Britain • Contains twenty essays written by leading British and American scholars • Features case studies of famous plays in performance and is fully illustrated


Preface and acknowledgments; Timeline 1660 to 1894 compiled by Joseph Donohue; Part I. 1660 to 1800: 1. Introduction: the theatre from 1660 to 1800 Joseph Donohue; 2. Theatres and repertory Robert D. Hume; 3. Theatre and the female presence Joanne Lafler; 4. Theatre, politics and morality Derek Hughes; 5. Theatre companies and regulation Judith Milhous; 6. The Beggar's Opera: a case study Calhoun Winton; 7. Garrick at Drury Lane, 1747–76 Mark S. Auburn; 8. Theatre outside London, 1660–1775 Görel Garlick; 9. 1776: a critical year in perspective Edward A. Langhans; 10. The theatrical revolution, 1776–1843 Jane Moody; Part II. 1800 to 1895: 11. Introduction: the theatre from 1800 to 1895 Joseph Donohue; 12. Presence, personality and physicality: actors and their repertoires, 1776–1895 Jim Davis; 13. Theatres, their architecture and their audiences Joseph Donohue; 14. Stage design from Loutherbourg to Poel Christopher Baugh; 15. Theatre and mid-Victorian society, 1851–70 Richard W. Schoch; 16. Gendering Victorian theatre Kerry Powell; 17. Popular entertainment, 1776–1895 Dave Russell; 18. The Bells: a case study; a 'bare-ribbed skeleton' in a chest David Mayer; 19. The new drama and the old theatre Peter Thomson; 20. 1895: a critical year in perspective Joel Kaplan; Bibliography of works cited; Index.


'… a set that will stand as the most valuable resource on British theater for some time to come. Essential.' Choice

'… exceptional … destined to prove one of the most erudite, and yet accessible, resources for theatre scholars and students as well as serious theatre practitioners … must be hailed as perhaps the most carefully compiled and comprehensively covered history ever attempted … I know of no library that has any other theatre history (focusing exclusively on British Theatre) on its shelves to challenge this great new work's pole position in the theatre reference stakes … All in all a great work.' Amateur Stage


Joseph Donohue, Robert D. Hume, Joanne Lafler, Derek Hughes, Judith Milhous, Calhoun Winton, Mark S. Auburn, Görel Garlick, Edward A. Langhans, Jane Moody, Jim Davis, Christopher Baugh, Richard W. Schoch, Kerry Powell, Dave Russell, David Mayer, Peter Thomson, Joel Kaplan

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