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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  [364 journals]
  • Putting on Panto to Pay for the Pinter by Chris Abbott
    • Abstract: <p>By Millie Taylor</p> Since repertory pantomime is very different from the commercial form this book is a useful corrective to the impression that all pantomimes are similar. It documents the pantomimes produced at one repertory theatre in Salisbury from 1955 to 1985, during a period of investment in theatre stock and growth in regional theatre attendance. The new Salisbury Playhouse was built during the period covered by this book. An era of weekly rep when performers were booked for complete seasons to “play as cast” is illustrated in photographs, excerpts from scripts and interviews, and the complete gag book is appended. This combination allows the reader to derive an understanding of the experience of working as an actor at the ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      PubDate: 2014-11-05T00:00:00-05:00
  • Edwin Booth A Biography and Performance History by Arthur W. Bloom
    • Abstract: <p>By Richard Foulkes</p> Even disregarding his career in the theatre, Edwin Booth’s life is fascinating: son of a bigamist, the brother of an assassin, the husband of a mentally ill wife (his second) and the (persistently alcoholic) founder of a gentleman’s club in New York. No wonder, therefore, that Bloom observes that his life reads “like a novel” (1). Bloom’s approach is to take Booth, warts and all, in both his personal and professional life. The method and means by which he elects to do this were no doubt carefully considered. Bloom is alert to the tendency to record endless details, including Booth’s visits to the dentist. Yet the Performance History section of the book (177–296) is a monument of scholarly thoroughness ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      Keywords: Booth, Edwin,
      PubDate: 2014-11-05T00:00:00-05:00
  • Passionate Playgoing in Early Modern England by Allison P. Hobgood
    • Abstract: <p>By David Wiles</p> Allison Hobgood’s central thesis is that early modern playgoers were co-creators of theatrical emotion, and we need to understand early modern dramatic texts in terms of their reciprocity. She positions the book as part of an “affective turn” in the academy, driven to some extent by feminist concerns, which has shifted the focus of scholarly attention onto the phenomenology of feeling, and away from inherent meanings that are taken to rest exclusively upon the directive authority of the text. It is an attractive and thought-provoking thesis, but one that is hard to demonstrate from any source other than authoritative texts. She draws on anti-theatrical tracts to demonstrate the potential power of theatrical ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      Keywords: Theater audiences
      PubDate: 2014-11-05T00:00:00-05:00
  • British Avant-Garde Theatre by Claire Warden
    • Abstract: <p>By John Bull</p> Claire Warden’s book opens with an account of a visit made to the first UK performance of T. S. Eliot’s Sweeney Agonistes in 1934. We learn that “a distinguished and elite audience climbed the precipitous and unsavoury stairs to see it at the time, amongst whom was W. B. Yeats . . . and Virginia Woolf, brought by Eliot and a party of friends”. Bertolt Brecht also saw the production and declared that it was “the best thing he had seen for a long time and by far the best thing in London” (2). In 1935, the play formed half of a double-bill with W.H. Auden’s The Dance of Death. Warden’s comment on this event is both sharp and indicative of her overall methodology: “The juxtaposition of these two plays must have been a ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      Keywords: Experimental theater
      PubDate: 2014-11-05T00:00:00-05:00
  • Theatre, Performance and Analogue Technology: Historical Interfaces and
           Intermedialities by Kara Reilly
    • Abstract: <p>By Christopher Baugh</p> In spite of its title, there is no over-arching narrative to this book. Indeed, as you read the chapters the possibilities and implications of “technology” and “analogue” within theatre and performance expand and diversify. The Greek root techne is marvellously imprecise and expansive and, as Adrian Curtin paraphrases Philip Auslander, “theatre is always-already an intermedial art; performance is itself a technology” (227). Such lack of precision is not necessarily a bad thing, but, nevertheless, the twelve chapters surprise with their diverse interpretations. To some extent all have been unified, as Reilly’s introduction argues, by a desire to historicize contemporary discourses of digital performance. ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      Keywords: Theater
      PubDate: 2014-11-05T00:00:00-05:00
  • Finding Sampson Penley by Alan Stockwell, and: Jonathan Dewhurst: The
           Curtain Falls by Philip Taylor, Susan Taylor
    • Abstract: <p>By Richard Foulkes</p> These two books share several features: they are both quests for acting families (family trees provided) in the nineteenth century, by authors whose enthusiasm has taken them on extensive voyages of discovery. They are both published by small presses whose lists enterprisingly include theatre and theatre-related titles. Although not the work of professional theatre historians, they are welcome and useful additions to the subject. Of the two, Jonathan Dewhurst: The Curtain Falls is a sequel to the same authors’ Jonathan Dewhurst: The Lancashire Tragedian 1837–1913 (published in 2001) which deservedly became one of the five finalists for the Society for Theatre Research Book of the Year. Like that volume ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      Keywords: Taylor, Susan,
      PubDate: 2014-11-05T00:00:00-05:00
  • The Quality of Mercy: Reflections on Shakespeare by Peter Brook
    • Abstract: <p>By Ralph Berry</p> Peter Brook is a great director. Yet a paradox emerges at once from the chronology of his Shakespeare productions: he has never directed one of the history plays apart from his first professional production, King John, at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre (1945). Is there something about history itself that he finds constricting? It is not a question he addresses directly in these reflections. They are the musings of an Old Master that often illuminate in few words. On the actors he has known, his perceptions can be striking. Gielgud was well known for his gaffes. Brook maintains that they come from the same source as his gift for verse speaking: “he was a unique neurological phenomenon. The movement of ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      Keywords: Shakespeare, William,
      PubDate: 2014-11-05T00:00:00-05:00
  • Pierrots Perfected: Louis Rihll and Artistic Developments in Concert Party
           Entertainment on the London and Provincial Stage, 1900–19301
    • Abstract: <p>By Bernard Ince</p> In the Foreword to the late Clarkson Rose’s informative book Beside the Seaside, the theatre historian W. Macqueen-Pope described the concert party genre as the “Cinderella of the Theatrical Art” and “sadly neglected”, but asserted that “in no branch is more expert knowledge and wider talent required” (9). This book, published in 1960, followed the earlier well-known works of Ernest Short, and in particular of Christopher Pulling, that touch briefly on aspects of concert party history within the wider context of popular entertainment (Short and Compton-Rickett 242–49; Short 147–56; Pulling 143–65). The subject of concert party immediately evokes the spectacle of the Pierrot troupe entertaining young and old from a ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      Keywords: Entertainers
      PubDate: 2014-11-05T00:00:00-05:00
  • When did George Beeston join the King’s Company? New
           Information in an Unpublished Letter
    • Abstract: <p>By Riki Miyoshi</p> The theatrical career of the Restoration actor George Beeston (fl. 1660?–75) is shrouded in mystery. In particular, the lack of details as to when he joined Thomas Killigrew’s acting troupe in London is the cause of much confusion and debate amongst theatre historians. Among the Carte papers, however, held in the Special Collections and Western Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, is a hitherto unpublished letter that sheds new light on the matter.1 There are many disparate accounts as to which theatrical season George Beeston joined the King’s Company. The Lord Chamberlain’s accounts show that George Beeston was not an official member of the company until August 1669 (qtd. in Biographical ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      Keywords: Actors
      PubDate: 2014-11-05T00:00:00-05:00
  • Drawing in a Theatre: Peacham, de Witt, and the Table-Book
    • Abstract: <p>By June Schlueter</p> In 1994, Peter Stallybrass, Roger Chartier, J. Franklin Mowery, and Heather Wolfe published an essay in Shakespeare Quarterly on “Hamlet’s Tables”, illuminating a practice and a technology that appear to have been ubiquitous in early modern England but that had previously eluded scholars. The essay speaks of the many references in early modern literature to “tables”, “writing-tables”, and “table-books”, small notebooks with waxed pages that enabled one to take notes or sketch pictures with a metal-point stylus. Such drawings were erasable: once the notetaker copied his notes onto ordinary paper – perhaps organizing them for insertion in a commonplace book – he could remove the original notes with a wet fingertip ... <a href="">Read More</a>
      Keywords: Witt, Johannes de,
      PubDate: 2014-11-05T00:00:00-05:00
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