1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Twentieth Century British Theatre and Performance Volume One: 1900–1950

    388 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Companion to Twentieth Century British Theatre provides a broad range of perspectives on the multiple models and examples of theatre, artists, enthusiasts, enablers, and audiences that emerged over this formative one-hundred-year period.

    This first volume covers the first half of the century, constructing an equitable and inclusive history that is more representative of the nation's lived experience than the traditional narratives of British theatre. Its approach is intra-national - weaving together the theatres and communities of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.  The essays are organised thematically arranged into sections that address nation, power, and identity; fixity and mobility; bodies in performance; the materiality of theatre and communities of theatre. This approach highlights the synergies, convergences, and divergences of the theatre landscape in Britain during this period, giving a sense of the sheer variety of performance that was taking place at any given moment in time.

    This is a fascinating and indispensable resource for undergraduate and graduate students, postgraduate researchers and scholars across theatre and performance studies, cultural studies, and Twentieth Century history.

    List of contributors




           Claire Cochrane, Lynette Goddard, Catherine Hindson & Trish Reid


    1     Setting the Scene: Ambivalent Encounters/Visibilities

           David Linton


    PART I

    Nation/s, Power, and Identity


    2     The Theatre and the State 1900-1950

           Trevor Griffiths


    3     Irish National Drama and the British Theatre, 1897-1951

           Patrick Lonergan


    4     Theatre, Education and Recreation

           Jane Milling


    5     ‘National’ Theatres

           Anselm Heinrich


    6     Collective Laughter and Political Empowerment in the Comedies of the Suffrage Era

           Eleanor Stewart



    Fixity and Mobility


    7     Theatre Buildings, 1900-1950 

           Alistair Fair


    8     Miles from London: Edinburgh and Bristol’s West End Cultures

           Catherine Hindson


    9     Popular Places

           Nick Havergal


    10   Transatlantic Exchanges

           Paul Maloney


    11   Theatre in World War Two: Taking on the Myths

           Ros Merkin




    Bodies in Performance


    12   Between Representation and Agency: Black Artists in the UK, 1900-1950

           Tiziana Morosetti


    13   ‘A Twitchy and Pugnacious Male Culture’: Women and Scottish Theatre 1900-1950

            Ksenija Horvat & Claire Cochrane


    14   Ensembles and Companies

           Philippa Burt


    15   The Performing Body in Music Hall and Variety Theatre: Ambiguities and Blurred Boundaries

          Louise Peacock


    16   The Influence of the European Avant Garde

          Claire Warden


    17   British Actor Training 1900-1950: The Drama-School Turn

           Peter Zazzali



    The Materiality of Theatre


    18   The Labour of Theatre 1900-1950

           Lucie Sutherland


    19   Theatrical Publishing 1900-1950

          Andrew Nash


    20   Consumer Economies

           Matthew Franks


    21   Postcards, Letters and Magazines: Fan Culture in the early Twentieth Century

           Helen Grime


    22   Fashioning Costume on the British Stage 1900-1950

           Susan Marshall












    PART V

    Communities of Theatre


    23   Theatre in ‘other’ spaces: Welsh drama and theatre 1900–1950

          Anwen Jones


    24   Ulster Kitchen Comedy: ‘A faithful if unpleasant picture of the national fragments’

          Roy Connolly


    25   Elite Private Theatricals and the ‘Professional’ Amateur

          David Coates


    26   Early Twentieth Century Festival Cultures

           Soudabeh Ananisarab


    27   The Children’s Theatre Movement in Early Twentieth-Century London and Birmingham

           Gemma Colclough & Catherine Hindson





    Claire Cochrane is Professor Emeritus of Theatre Studies at the University of Worcester, UK.

    Lynette Goddard is Professor of Black Theatre and Performance at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.

    Catherine Hindson is Professor of Theatre History at the University of Bristol, UK.

    Trish Reid is Professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Reading, UK