During the nineteenth century the performance of Shakespeare's plays contributed significantly to the creation of a sense of British nationhood at home and overseas. This was achieved through the enterprise of the commercial theatre rather that state subsidy and institutions. Britain had no National Theatre, but Shakespeare's plays were performed up and down the land from the fashionable West End to the suburbs of the capital and the expanding industrial conurbations to the north. British actors travelled the world to perform Shakespeare's plays, while foreign actors regarded success in London as the ultimate seal of approval. In this book, Richard Foulkes explores the political and social uses of Shakespeare through the nineteenth and into the twentieth century and the movement from the business of Shakespeare as an enterprise to that of enshrinement as a cultural icon. An examination of leading Shakespearean actors, managers and directors, from Britain and abroad, is also included in the study.
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(228mm x 152mm x 14mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Richard Foulkes
Richard Foulkes is a leading scholar of Victorian theatre and drama, with a special interest in the interpretation and performance of Shakespeare of the time. His work includes editorship of Shakespeare and the Victorian Stage (1986) and British Theatre in the 1890s: Essays on Drama and the Stage (1993); and author of Church and Stage in Victorian England (1997), The Shakespeare Tercentenary of 1864 (1984) and Repertory at the Royal: Sixty-Five Years of Theatre in Northampton, 1927-1992 (1992). Dr Foulkes has also published in Shakespeare Survey, British Dramatists Since World War II, The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare, and the forthcoming New Dictionary of National Biography, of which he is an Associate Editor.