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Journal Cover   Theatre Notebook
  [SJR: 0.101]   [H-I: 2]   [2 followers]  Follow
   Full-text available via subscription Subscription journal
   ISSN (Print) 0040-5523 - ISSN (Online) 2051-8358
   Published by Project MUSE Homepage  [362 journals]
  • The Collected Letters of Ellen Terry ed. by Katherine Cockin
    • Abstract: <p>By Russell Jackson</p> For all the spiritedness and vivid powers of expression that never altogether deserted Ellen Terry, the fifth volume of her letters, in Katherine Cockin’s edition, makes for melancholy reading. “Oh, Mamie”, she writes to Mamie Metcalf on 12 February 1905, “it is a big world & it all turns about so quick – so quick! & the days are not half long enough it seems to me, or I love too many people, – I never seem to do anything I want to! – only to begin all round!” (1397 – references are to the letters as numbered by the editor). Beset by illness and money worries, responding to the demands of her children and trying to find happiness in the diminishing opportunities for work in the theatre, she appears in James ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      Keywords: Terry, Ellen,
      PubDate: 2015-07-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies, Twentieth-Century Actress by Helen Grime
    • Abstract: <p>By Eileen E. Cottis</p> Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies’s acting career spanned most of the twentieth century. Born in 1891, she began in 1911 as a singing fairy in Herbert Beerbohm Tree’s production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and ended with a cameo appearance with Jeremy Brett in a made-for-TV Sherlock Holmes film at the age of 100 before dying in 1992. She worked at the Gaiety Theatre, played a wide range of roles at Birmingham Rep, appeared perhaps too often in Rutland Boughton’s cult musicdrama The Immortal Hour, sometimes came near to stardom in the 1930s, tried in the 1940s with her partner Marda Vanne to start a National Theatre in South Africa and had a disastrous ENSA tour in Shakespeare’s Macbeth in 1941 with John ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      Keywords: Ffrangcon-Davies, Gwen,
      PubDate: 2015-07-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • Britain Had Talent: A History of British Variety Theatre by Oliver Double,
           and: My Old Man: A Personal History of Music Hall by John Major
    • Abstract: <p>By Adam Ainsworth</p> As Oliver Double points out in the introduction to Britain Had Talent, although “books about nineteenthcentury music hall are many and varied and have been published for over a hundred years … there has been almost no academic writing on variety whatsoever” (2). Double’s aim to “fill the gap in the literature” (2) has been achieved with considerable success and palpable enthusiasm for the subject. Britain Had Talent offers significantly more than the history of British variety theatre to which its subtitle refers.John Major’s affection for variety’s Victorian and Edwardian antecedent is equally clear and, up to a point, he too has been successful in realising the intentions that inspired My Old Man. The subtitle ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      Keywords: Music-halls (Variety-theaters, cabarets, etc.)
      PubDate: 2015-07-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • Modern British Playwriting: the 1950s by David Pattie, and: Modern British
           Playwriting: the 1960s by Steve Nicholson
    • Abstract: <p>By Trevor R. Griffiths</p> Methuen’s Modern British Playwriting Series, subtitled “Voices, Documents, New Interpretations”, is a welcome attempt to place the work of four individual dramatists selected as “representative” of the relevant decade “in a detailed contextual account of the theatrical, social, political and cultural climate of the era” (xi in both volumes). The writers chosen for the fifties are T. S. Eliot, Terence Rattigan, John Osborne and Arnold Wesker (written about by Sarah Bay-Cheng, David Pattie, Luc Gilleman and John Bull). For the sixties we have Edward Bond, John Arden, Harold Pinter and Alan Ayckbourn (Steve Nicholson, Bill McDonnell, Jamie Andrews and Frances Babbage). Both volumes deal with the period contexts ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      Keywords: English drama
      PubDate: 2015-07-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • “The Stage is Hung with Blacke”: On the Use of Black
           curtains for Tragedies in the Early Modern Period1
    • Abstract: <p>By Mariko Ichikawa</p> The literature of the early modern period contains many references to the use of black curtains for tragedies. In Shakespeare’s narrative poem, The Rape of Lucrece, one stanza consists of Lucrece delivering a series of rebukes against “comfort-killing night” (Q1 [1594], F3r), among which we find the phrase “Blacke stage for tragedies” (F3r). In this glancing reference Shakespeare is no doubt drawing on his own experience and knowledge of current theatrical practice. The phrase certainly seems to refer to the use of curtains in creating an effect of blackness on the Elizabethan stage, and the fact that it is both brief and oblique may be the most noteworthy thing about it: this short phrase is all that was needed ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      Keywords: Theaters
      PubDate: 2015-07-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • The Terence Rattigan Society
    • Abstract: The Terence Rattigan Society. was founded in his centenary year, 2011, with the intention of providing a forum for the study and enjoyment of Rattigan’s work, in order to increase public awareness of and interest in his plays and screenplays. This has been achieved so far with a range of events, including a launch at his birthplace and a talk by Dan Rebellato, at Harrow School (Rattigan’s alma mater). Annual Birthday Dinner speakers have included Ronald Harwood and Julian Fellowes. In addition, the Society also provides an educational initiative, working with drama schools, to increase awareness amongst young people. There will be a two day conference at Rattigan’s other alma mater, Trinity College, Oxford ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      PubDate: 2015-07-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • Back-Stage Heritage
    • Abstract: Another recently-launched venture of interest to anyone concerned with the technology of theatre is, which was formally launched in October. The group is anxious to find and catalogue existing obsolete technical equipment with a view to creating an online directory and much ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      PubDate: 2015-07-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • Samuel Sandford and Colley Cibber: Two Players’ Acting Techniques
           and the Rise and Fall of Restoration Villain Tragedy on the London Stage
           from the 1670s to the 1730s
    • Abstract: <p>By Riki Miyoshi</p> In late December in London 1699, the twenty-eight-year-old comic actor, Colley Cibber, had made a laughing-stock of himself. On the Drury Lane stage the artificially hunch-backed Cibber had disastrously performed the title role in his own adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard III. The actor who had recently and triumphantly typecast himself as a player of farcical, flamboyant fops could not convincingly perform the part of the villain. This may have been the occasion on which the disgruntled audience, who had had enough of Cibber’s appalling performance, started mercilessly hurling “Oranges, Apples, Turnips [at Cibber’s head] from the Galleries, and among the rest of their Artillery a Stone” (Laureat 47). An ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      Keywords: Theater
      PubDate: 2015-07-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • Hocus Pocus Junior: Further Confirmation of its Author
    • Abstract: <p>By Philip Butterworth</p> In 2005 Cambridge University Press published my work Magic on the Early English Stage. In this book I presented evidence of the authorship of a volume entitled Hocvs Pocvs Ivnior (1634). Previously, the author of this volume had not been known. A number of individuals within the magic fraternity were sceptical of this asserted identification and, no doubt, would have preferred it if the mystery author had remained unknown. However, the evidence that I presented was clear and unequivocal. Even so, this evidence consisted of only one item and was in need of some further corroborative support to further establish the authorship of Hocvs Pocvs Ivnior.“Hocus Pocus” was also the pseudonym of a juggler in the early ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      Keywords: Hocus pocus junior
      PubDate: 2015-07-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • The Frank Matcham Society
    • Abstract: The well-established Frank Matcham Society has undertaken a new venture this year with the first edition of The Matcham Journal, intended to be an annual publication. The magazine, illustrated in colour and black and white, has interesting and informative contributions from Rupert Rhymes and Mike Sell (talking to Matcham’s great-granddaughters), John Earl (How West End Theatreland Happened) and Sell again (Influences on Theatre Design), as well as Giles Woodforde’s illuminating discussion with theatre architects/restorers Nick Thompson and Clare Ferraby. For details of the society go to ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      PubDate: 2015-07-26T00:00:00-05:00
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