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The Cambridge Introduction to Modern British Theatre
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  • 20 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 268 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.55 kg
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Hardback

 (ISBN-13: 9780521869867)

  • Also available in Paperback
  • Published December 2009

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$85.00 (P)
The Cambridge Introduction to Modern British Theatre
Cambridge University Press
9780521869867 - The Cambridge Introduction to Modern British Theatre - By Simon Shepherd
Frontmatter/Prelims

The Cambridge Introduction to Modern British Theatre

British theatre has long been regarded as a world leader in terms of its quality, creativity and range. Starting in 1900, this book introduces the features that characterise modern and current British theatre. Topics covered include experimental performances under motorways, plays by Stoppard and Ayckbourn, amateur theatre and virtual spaces, the emergence of the director, the changing role of writers and political and community shows. The book is clearly divided into four sections: where it happens, who does it, what they make, and why they do it. It discusses theatre buildings and theatre that refuses buildings; company organisation, ensembles and collectives; and different sorts of acting. A large section describes the major work done for the stage, from Shaw through to Complicite, via poetic drama, different sorts of realism and documentary drama. The Introduction stands apart from other accounts of modern British theatre by bringing together buildings, people and plays.

Simon Shepherd is Deputy Principal and Professor of Theatre at The Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London.


Cambridge Introductions to…

Authors

Jane Austen Janet Todd

Samuel Beckett Ronan McDonald

Walter Benjamin David Ferris

J. M. Coetzee Dominic Head

Joseph Conrad John Peters

Jacques Derrida Leslie Hill

Emily Dickinson Wendy Martin

George Eliot Nancy Henry

T. S. Eliot John Xiros Cooper

William Faulkner Theresa M. Towner

F. Scott Fitzgerald Kirk Curnutt

Michel Foucault Lisa Downing

Robert Frost Robert Faggen

Nathaniel Hawthorne Leland S. Person

Zora Neale Hurston Lovalerie King

James Joyce Eric Bulson

Herman Melville Kevin J. Hayes

Sylvia Plath Jo Gill

Edgar Allen Poe Benjamin F. Fisher

Ezra Pound Ira Nadel

Jean Rhys Elaine Savory

Shakespeare Emma Smith

Shakespeare’s Comedies Penny Gay

Shakespeare’s History Plays Warren Chernaik

Shakespeare’s Tragedies Janette Dillon

Harriet Beecher Stowe Sarah Robbins

Mark Twain Peter Messent

Edith Wharton Pamela Knights

Walt Whitman M. Jimmie Killingsworth

Virginia Woolf Jane Goldman

W. B. Yeats David Holdeman

Topics

The American Short Story Martin Scofield

Comedy Eric Weitz

Creative Writing David Morley

Early English Theatre Janette Dillon

English Theatre, 1660–1900 Peter Thomson

Francophone Literature Patrick Corcoran

Modern British Theatre Simon Shepherd

Modern Irish Poetry Justin Quinn

Modernism Pericles Lewis

Narrative (second edition) H. Porter Abbott

The Nineteenth-Century American Novel Gregg Crane

Postcolonial Literatures C. L. Innes

Postmodern Fiction Bran Nicol

Russian Literature Caryl Emerson

The Short Story in English Adrian Hunter

Theatre Historiography Thomas Postlewait

Theatre Studies Christopher Balme

Tragedy Jennifer Wallace


The Cambridge Introduction to Modern British Theatre

Simon Shepherd


CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo, Delhi, Dubai, Tokyo

Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK

Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York

www.cambridge.org

Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521690188
© Simon Shepherd 2009

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2009

Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge

A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication data

Shepherd, Simon.
The Cambridge introduction to modern British theatre / Simon Shepherd.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-0-521-86986-7 (Hardback) 1. Theater–Great Britain–History–20th
century. I. Title.
PN2595.S44 2009
792.0941ʹ0904–dc22  2009035019

ISBN 978-0-521-86986-7 Hardback

ISBN 978-0-521-69018-8 Paperback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.


For Mick,

with my love


Contents

List of illustrations
x
Foreword
xiii
Chapter 1Where it happens
1
National theatre
1
A central theatre
1
A racial theatre
3
A people’s theatre
6
A nationalised theatre
9
A concrete building
13
Buildings and their people
17
Actor-managers
17
Owners
18
Managers
22
Buildings
24
State funding
29
Audience
31
Who is the audience?
32
What is an audience?
35
Against the theatre institution
41
Shows without theatres
48
Performance for specific communities
48
Performances in specific places
50
Interfaces
52
Useless buildings
56
Chapter 2Who does it
65
The organisation of actors and companies
65
Repertory
66
Ensembles
68
Collectives
73
Collaborations
76
The work of actors
79
The emergence of training
79
Producing the English actor
80
Producing the ‘modern’ actor
82
Amateurs
86
Actors as activists
90
Non-acting
93
The politics of performing modes
97
Directors
102
The emergence of the director
102
Methods of direction
104
Company style
108
Writers
110
Chapter 3What they make
119
The readable tradition
119
Shaw
120
Travers and Coward
122
Stoppard and Ayckbourn
125
Poetic drama
129
The reappearance of the Chorus
129
Verse and poetry
131
Marginalising the poetic
134
Realisms
136
Naturalisms
136
Expressive realism
139
Abstracting realism
149
Deferring to the real: theatre as ‘document’
158
‘Cruelties’
165
Other than words
173
Atmospheres
174
Being physical
178
Provisional fictions
180
Duress and duration
183
Chapter 4Why they do it
189
Movements and manifestos
189
Responsible theatres: the Whig tradition
189
The Workers’ Theatre Movement
190
Feminist theatres
193
Suffrage
193
Second-phase feminism
195
Gay theatres
200
‘Black’ theatres
205
Theatre of disability
210
‘Community’ and ‘applied’ theatres
213
Theatre in education
214
Community theatre
215
Applied theatre
216
Making good theatre
220
Afterword
228
Bibliography
229
Index
240



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