By Gordon Williams
Facing a theatrical part generally brushed off through these charting 20th-century advancements, and warding off a texts bias, this publication finds a interval of unsurpassed prosperity within which the stage's great contribution to the battle attempt is just one impressive function. It additionally observed the industrial theatre's absorption of Continental avant-gardeism in terms of revue, the final nice epoch of tune corridor, the increase of the previous Vic with a venture in opera and Shakespeare of which we're nonetheless the beneficiaries, and the remarkable acclaim for opera all over (this was once without doubt the main fruitful interval of Thomas Beecham's theatrical career). those occasions supply compelling arguments for revaluation and in his reassessment of this era, Dr Williams largely examines scripts and press assurance, supplying a entire evaluation from renowned pantomime to the professional paintings of the personal degree in addition a dialogue of such matters as operating stipulations and censorship.
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Extra resources for British Theatre in the Great War: A Revaluation
181 An impoverished gentleman in £150 runs a pawnshop, fearing that he won't survive until the post-war boom with 'all the munition workers pawning their diamonds and pianos and Corots and Rembrandts and Ford cars'. Beneath the comic exaggeration lurks real anxiety about the consequences of exposing the underclass to relative affluence; but to show it as grotesquely ill-equipped to handle its new fortune made the situation appear reassuringly just a wartime Musical comedy and musical anarchy 37 aberration.
68 In the intensely competitive world of West End revue the ceaseless demand for novelty itself became subject of wry comment. 69 But by the time that Cochran presented £150 at the same theatre, Farjeon was complaining of 'the now thread-bare "wheeze" which shows us the author of the revue at his wits' end for a new "stunt" ... '70 Even so, the changes were rung by opening not with the usual chorus but with a spy about to be shot. A lieutenant has him released 'on condition that he provides a new kind of revue for the British to enjoy on their return to London'.
149 deriding the influx of Jewish refugees from London air raids As for the proposal for mini-tragedy, there are examples in two of the better-known 1914 revues, Business as Usual and By Jingo. 151 The censor's office, however, lent support: The principle of allowing attacks on the Kaiser, references to German atrocities and so forth has been conceded, in the case of seriously intended plays, melodramatic sketches and the like. \ do not think it can be taken away in the case of more or less comic productions ...