The Victorian Marionette Theatre

The Victorian Marionette Theatre

In this fascinating and colorful book, researcher and performer John McCormick focuses on the marionette world of Victorian Britain between its heyday after 1860 and its waning years from 1895 to 1914. Situating the rich and diverse puppet theatre in the context of entertainment culture, he explores both the aesthetics of these dancing dolls and their sociocultural significance in their life and time. The history of marionette performances is interwoven with live-actor performances and with the entire gamut of annual fairs, portable and permanent theatres, music halls, magic lantern shows, waxworks, panoramas, and sideshows. McCormick has drawn upon advertisements in the Era, an entertainment paper, between the 1860s and World War I, and articles in the World’s Fair, a paper for showpeople, in the first fifty years of the twentieth century, as well as interviews with descendants of the marionette showpeople and close examinations of many of the surviving puppets. McCormick begins his study with an exploration of the Victorian marionette theatre in the context of other theatrical events of the day, with proprietors and puppeteers, and with the venues where they performed. He further examines the marionette’s position as an actor not quite human but imitating humans closely enough to be considered empathetic; the ways that physical attributes were created with wood, paint, and cloth; and the dramas and melodramas that the dolls performed. A discussion of the trick figures and specialized acts that each company possessed, as well as an exploration of the theatre’s staging, lighting, and costuming, follows in later chapters. McCormick concludes with a description of the last days of marionette theatre in the wake of changing audience expectations and the increasing popularity of moving pictures. This highly enjoyable and readable study, often illuminated by intriguing anecdotes such as that of the Armenian photographer who fell in love with and abducted the Holden company’s Cinderella marionette in 1881, will appeal to everyone fascinated by the magic of nineteenth-century theatre, many of whom will discover how much the marionette could contribute to that magic.

The Italian Puppet Theater

A History

The Italian Puppet Theater

"This first English-language study traces the history of Italian puppetry from its evolution in the 16th century. Topics include: the golden ages of marionettes, glove puppets, fantoccini, pupi, and other forms; descriptions of episodic, dramatic performances known as rappresentanti figurati; and in-depth studies of two marionette companies, Turin's Lupi and Catania's Fratelli Napoli"--Provided by publisher.

Neo-Victorian Families

Gender, Sexual and Cultural Politics

Neo-Victorian Families

Tracing representations of re-imagined Victorian families in literature, film and television, and social discourse, this collection, the second volume in RodopiOCOs Neo-Victorian Series, analyses the historical trajectory of persistent but increasingly contested cultural myths that coalesce around the heterosexual couple and nuclear family as the supposed OCynormativeOCO foundation of communities and nations, past and present. It sheds new light on the significance of families as a source of fluctuating cultural capital, deployed in diverse arenas from political debates, social policy and identity politics to equal rights activism, and analyses how residual as well as emergent ideologies of family are mediated and critiqued by contemporary arts and popular culture. This volume will be of interest to researchers and students of neo-Victorian studies, as well as scholars in contemporary literature and film studies, cultural studies and the history of the family. Situating the nineteenth-century family both as a site of debilitating trauma and the means of ethical resistance against multivalent forms of oppression, neo-Victorian texts display a fascinating proliferation of alternative family models, albeit overshadowed by the apparent recalcitrance of familial ideologies to the same historical changes neo-Victorianism reflects and seeks to promote within the cultural imaginary."

Historical Dictionary of British Theatre

Early Period

Historical Dictionary of British Theatre

This book has over 1,183 entries in the dictionary section, these being mainly on playwrights and plays, but others as well including managers and critics, and also on specific theatres, legislative acts and some technical jargon. Then there are entries on the different genres, from comedy to tragedy and everything in between. Inevitably, the chronology is quite long as it has a long period to cover and the introduction provides the necessary overview. The Historical Dictionary of British Theatre: Early Period concludes with a pretty massive bibliography. That will be of use to particularly assiduous researchers, but this book itself is a good place to start any research since it covers periods that are far less well-known and documented, and ordinary theatre-goers will also find useful information.

Victorian Epic Burlesques

A Critical Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Theatrical Entertainments after Homer

Victorian Epic Burlesques

This anthology presents annotated scripts of four major burlesques by key playwrights: Melodrama Mad! or, the Siege of Troy by Thomas John Dibdin (1819); Telemachus; or, the Island of Calypso by J.R. Planché (1834); The Iliad; or, the Siege of Troy by Robert Brough (1858) and Ulysses; or the Ironclad Warriors and the Little Tug of War by F.C. Burnand (1865). Beloved legend, archaeological riddle and educational staple: Homer's epic tales of the Trojan War and its aftermath were vividly reimagined in nineteenth-century Britain. Classical burlesques-exceptionally successful theatrical entertainments-continually mined the Iliad and Odyssey to lucrative comic effect. Burlesques combined song, dance and slapstick comedy with an eclectic kaleidoscope of topical allusions. From namedropping boxing legends to recasting Shakespearean combats, epic adaptations overflow with satirical commentary on politics, cultural highlights and everyday current affairs. In uncovering Homer's irreverently playful afterlife, this selection showcases burlesque's development and wide appeal. The critical introduction analyses how these plays contested the accessibility of classical antiquity and dramatic performance. Textual and literary annotations, with contemporary illustrations, illuminate the juxtaposed sources to establish these repackaged epics as indispensable tools for unlocking nineteenth-century social, cultural and political history. Resources for further study are available online.

Transnational Mobilities in Early Modern Theater

Transnational Mobilities in Early Modern Theater

The essays in this volume investigate English, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech early modern theatre, placing Shakespeare and his English contemporaries in the theatrical contexts of early modern Europe. Contributors examine the movement of theatrical units, genres, performance practices and dramatic texts across geo-linguistic borders. Mobility is examined from both material and symbolic angles, revealing a tension between transnational movement and resistance to border-crossing. .

Lewis Carroll and the Victorian Stage

Theatricals in a Quiet Life

Lewis Carroll and the Victorian Stage

Author of the enduringly popular Alice books, mathematician, Anglican cleric, and pioneer photographer, Lewis Carroll maintained a lifelong enthusiasm for the theatre. Lewis Carroll and the Victorian Stage is the first book to focus on Carroll's irresistible fascination with all things theatrical, from childhood charades and marionettes to active involvement in the dramatisation of Alice, influential contributions to the debate on child actors, and the friendship of leading players, especially Ellen Terry. As well as being a key to his complex and enigmatic personality, Carroll's interest in the theatre provides a vivid account of a remarkable era on the stage that encompassed Charles Kean's Shakespeare revivals, the comic genius of Frederick Robson, the heyday of pantomime, Gilbert and Sullivan, opera bouffe, the Terry sisters, Henry Irving, and favourite playwrights Tom Taylor, H. A. Jones, and J. M. Barrie. With attention to the complex motives that compelled Carroll to attend stage performances, Foulkes examines the incomparable record of over forty years as a playgoer that Carroll left for posterity.

Quarterly

Quarterly


Leisure and Recreation in a Victorian Mining Community

The Social Economy of Leisure in North-East England, 1820 – 1914

Leisure and Recreation in a Victorian Mining Community

'Amusements they must have, or life would hardly be worth living...' Newcastle Weekly Chronicle, 1895 This text explores life in the mining villages of the north-east of England in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries - a time of massive social and industrial change. The sporting lives of these communities are often marginalized by historians, but this thoroughly researched account reveals how play as well as work were central to the lives of the working classes. Miners contributed significantly to the economic success of the north-east during this time, yet living conditions in the mining villages were 'horrendous'. Sport and recreation were essential to bring meaning and pleasure to mining families, and were fundamental to the complex social relationships within and between communities. Features of this extensive text include: * analysis of the physical, social and economic structures that determined the leisure lives of the mining villages * the role of 'traditional' and 'new' sports * comparisons with other British regions.