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British theatre in the Great War: a revaluation

British theatre in the Great War: a revaluation

Williams, Gordon, 1935-

Dr Williams' enquiry has been conducted on the basis of scripts and press coverage, and provides an overview from popular pantomine to the specialist work of the private stage, along with such issues as censorship and race. Dealing with a theatrical phase customarily dismissed by those charting 20th-century developments, and avoiding a texts bias, this book reveals a period of unsurpassed prosperity in which the stage's substantial contribution to the war effort is only one notable feature. It also saw the commercial theatre's absorption of Continental avant-gardeism by way of revue, the last great epoch of music hall, the rise of the Old Vic with a project in opera and Shakespeare of which we are still the beneficiaries, and the unprecedented popularity of opera everywhere (this was surely the most fruitful period of Thomas Beecham's theatrical career). These events provide compelling arguments for revaluation and in his reassessment of this period, Dr Williams extensively examines scripts and press coverage, providing a comprehensive overview from popular pantomime to the specialist work of the private stage as well a discussion of such issues as working conditions and censorship

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
Published London: Continuum, 2003
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Statement of responsibility: Gordon Williams
ISBN: 1847141285, 9781847141286
Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. [340]-342) and index.
Note: Formerly CIP.
Physical Description: viii, 357 p.
Subject: Theater Great Britain History 20th century.; World War, 1914-1918 Theater and the war.; Performing arts Great Britain History 20th century.
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. Askews and Holts. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Other formats: Also available in printed form ISBN 9780826456359


  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Musical Comedy and Musical Anarchy
  3. 3. Pantomime and Tradition
  4. 4. Variety on the Halls
  5. 5. War and the Legitimate Theatre
  6. 6. A Classic Theatre?
  7. 7. Fashionable Audiences and the Opera
  8. 8. Conclusion