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
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.