1st Edition

An Illustrated History of British Theatre and Performance

ISBN 9781032094069
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
1534 Pages

USD $99.95

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Book Description

An Illustrated History of British Theatre and Performance chronicles the history and development of theatre from the Roman era to the present day. As the most public of arts, theatre constantly interacted with changing social, political, and intellectual movements and ideas, and Robert Leach’s masterful work restores to the foreground of this evolution the contributions of women, gay people, and ethnic minorities, as well as the regional theatres of Wales and Scotland.

Highly-illustrated chapters trace the development of theatre through major plays from each period; evaluations of playwrights; contemporary dramatic theory; acting and acting companies; dance and music; the theatre buildings themselves; and the audience, while also highlighting enduring features of British theatre, from comic gags to the use of props.


Table of Contents

Volume One  Prologue : The Romans in Britain  Part One : Theatre Before Theatres  Interlude : The Queen’s Men  Part Two : Open Air Public Theatres  Interlude : The boy companies of St Paul’s and the Chapel Royal  Part Three : Cavalier Theatre  Interlude : Dramatick Opera  Part Four : Theatre and Bourgeois Society  Interlude : Eighteenth Century Amateur Theatricals  Part Five : Theatre and the Enlightenment  Interlude : Garrick’s Shakespeare Jubilee  Glossary  Index  Volume Two  Part One : Theatre and the Industrial Revolution  Interlude : Punch and Judy  Part Two : Romantic Theatre  Interlude : Toy Theatres  Part Three : Modernist Theatre  Interlude : The Art of Edward Gordon Craig’s Theatre  Part Four : Commercial Theatre  Interlude : Shakespeare Wallahs  Part Five : Popular Theatres  Interlude : Mumming Plays  Part Six : Subsidised Theatre  Interlude : Peter Brook and the Empty Space  Part Seven : Postdramatic Theatre  Epilogue : Digital Theatre  Glossary  Index

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Robert Leach has been schoolteacher, journalist, political activist, teacher of acting, freelance theatre director, and academic. Not only has he taught at Birmingham, Edinburgh, and Cumbria Universities, he has also acted professionally in Britain and USA, directed plays in Russia and Britain, and has published five volumes of poetry.