This volume contains key articles and chapters which represent both seminal and innovative scholarship on European theatre performance practice from 1750 to 1900. The selected topics focus on acting and performance, staging (including set design and lighting), and audiences, and are approached with a broad perspective as well as with in-depth, focussed analysis. The volume captures the rich, dynamic and variegated nature of European theatre throughout the late-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and provides a carefully selected body of significant texts on this important period of theatre history.
Contents: Introduction. Part I Acting and Performance: Nature to advantage dressed: eighteenth-century acting, Alan S. Downer; Vitalism and the crisis of sensibility, Joseph R. Roach; Garrick, the ghost and the machine, Joseph R. Roach; The performance practice of acting: the eighteenth century part I: ensemble acting, Dene Barnett; The dangers of the new sensibilities in eighteenth century German acting, Gloria Flaherty; ’Reading Shakespeare by flashes of lightning’: challenging the foundations of Romantic acting theory, Tracy C. Davis; Researching the acting of French melodrama, 1800-1830, Gabrielle Hyslop; The training of actors at the Paris Conservatoire during the nineteenth century, F.W.J. Hemmings; Players and painted stage: nineteenth century acting, Alan S. Downer; On natural acting, George Henry Lewes. Part II Staging, Scenery and Lighting: Lighting at the King’s Theatre, Haymarket, 1780-82, Judith Milhous; Appendix A. Pantomime trickwork, David Mayer; The German stage in the nineteenth century, Brigitte Schatzky; Gas man’s duties. Lighting the rehearsal. Exterior lighting. Pilot lights and electrical ignition. Rehearsing the lighting, Terence Rees; The modern theatre - the stage, M.J. Moynet (translated and augmented by Allan S. Jackson with M. Glen Wilson); Professor Pepper’s ghost, George Speaight; Erasing the spectator: observations on nineteenth century lighting, Victor Emeljanow; Art in the theatre: I - scenery, William Telbin; Art in the theatre: the painting of scenery, William Telbin; Art in the theatre: spectacle, Augustus Harris; From political to cultural despotism: the nature of the Saxe-Meiningen aesthetic, John Osborne. Part III Audiences: From courts to consumers: theater publics, James Van Horn Melton; Tears and the new attentiveness, James H. Johnson; Working-class audiences, F.W.J. Hemmings; The audiences of the Britannia Theatre, Hoxton, Clive Barker; New views on cheap theatres: reconstructing the nineteenth-century theatre