By Gordon Williams
Facing a theatrical section usually disregarded through these charting 20th-century advancements, and fending off a texts bias, this booklet finds a interval of unsurpassed prosperity within which the stage's sizeable contribution to the battle attempt is just one striking characteristic. It additionally observed the industrial theatre's absorption of Continental avant-gardeism when it comes to 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 unheard of acclaim for opera far and wide (this was once definitely the main fruitful interval of Thomas Beecham's theatrical career). those occasions offer compelling arguments for revaluation and in his reassessment of this era, Dr Williams generally examines scripts and press insurance, supplying a accomplished evaluate from well known pantomime to the expert paintings of the non-public level besides a dialogue of such concerns as operating stipulations and censorship.
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Additional resources for British Theatre in the Great War: A Revaluation
15 The show could have run for a great deal longer than its 1353 performances had Collins not tired of it. Her only break had been during the 1917—18 Christmas season at Manchester's Prince's Theatre singing in A Southern Maid, a show expressly designed for her, though the protracted stay of The Maid at Daly's delayed its arrival there until 1920. Wartime audiences had to wait a while for The Maid and Chu Chin Chow. I6 Miss Hook of Holland and Floradora were updated with patriotic numbers, Evie Greene repeating one of her greatest successes as Dolores in the latter.
This Nelson appropriation triggers: ' "Terrible outbreak of swine fever among the German Troops" ... '144 Newspaper placards in Business as Usual read 'Keir Hardie practices Goose Step ... embraces Bernhardi' and 'Ramsay Macdonald joins Crown Prince's Army'; and the pair figure again in song: Though old Ramsay Macdonald may whine/We'll remember Louvain ... 147 In Half-Past Eight the subject was linked with Lysistrata, who invites women of the allies to discuss peace, trying to sell them an 'old Ford car'.
187 But an important part of the problem was identified by Philip Page, who complained: 'A taxi-man wouldn't drive me from Bedford-street to the Palace Theatre last night for half-a-crown [or even] for a pound ... '188 Sectional interest is usually at work on 'the food problem', The Bing Girls smearing those who would 'dictate to their neighbours what they should and should not eat':189 the privileged were as adroit then as now at persuading people against their best interests. Tails Up (Comedy) mocks War Office red 38 British Theatre in the Great War tape through a young man who grows old searching for the right department.
British Theatre in the Great War: A Revaluation by Gordon Williams