Long-distance colonial touring
in Victorian touring actresses
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In Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania the limited size of the recently established theatrical industry created particular challenges and pressures for some of the intrepid nineteenth-century British actresses seeking to find work on its stages. This chapter reveals the practical reality of long-distance travel and the potential financial profit derived from colonial touring by juxtaposing the case-histories of Louisa Cleveland and Emily Don. Both women undertook tours of Australasia in the 1860s, initially performing with their actor husbands, but returned to the UK as widows. The chapter assesses the reception of different dramatic repertoires and the success of strategies adopted by women to counter the widespread professional rivalries and monopolistic practice that characterised the Victorian colonial stage.

Victorian touring actresses

Crossing boundaries and negotiating the cultural landscape


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