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When They Weren't Doing Shakespeare: Essays on Nineteenth-Century British and American Theatre (Paperback)
  • When They Weren't Doing Shakespeare: Essays on Nineteenth-Century British and American Theatre (Paperback)
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When They Weren't Doing Shakespeare: Essays on Nineteenth-Century British and American Theatre (Paperback)

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£25.50
Paperback 372 Pages / Published: 30/08/2011
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The richness of Victorian theatre has often been neglected because of the era's most celebrated productions of Shakespeare's plays. Judith L. Fisher and Stephen Watt present a vigorous collection of eighteen essays covering the vast expanse of this "other" theatre, including social dramas, Christmas pantomimes, and adaptations of Gothic novels such as Guy Mannering and Metamora; or, The Last of the Wampanoags.

Reflecting both the longings and values of the public and the theatrical conventions of the times, Victorian productions could capture audiences with the historical verisimilitude of William Charles Macready's production of Richelieu or incite a storm of public outrage with the too explicitly fallen woman in Olga Nethersole's interpretation of Sapho. Playwrights worked at adapting such popular classic works as The Count of Monte Cristo or devising new melodramas such as Rent Day and Luke the Labourer. Pandering to the tastes of an expanding middle-class audience, theatre bills reflected popular fascination with the daily newspapers' stories of social maladies. Transposed to the stage, "bad" men and women could be punished for wrongdoings in a way that was unlikely or impossible in real life. Emphasizing the variety of stagecraft in the Victorian age, the contributors to When They Weren't Doing Shakespeare present a composite portrait of the vibrant theatrical worlds that existed in both nineteenth-century New York and London.

Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 9780820336923
Number of pages: 372
Weight: 544 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Handsomely produced and sumptuously illustrated volume.

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In looking beyond the shadow of the Bard and deemphasizing artistic pretensions, this volume offers a valuable exposition of British and American popular theater in the nineteenth century.

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