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J.S. Bratton

business interests. She therefore sees the jingoistic tone as imposed upon a working class which previously accepted the glorification of the nation only in the military, naval and slave melodramas staged in the saloons, in which it was always offered with the qualification that ‘the goal of British power was freedom’ (p. 41). It is unfortunate for her argument that Richard Price, also attempting to

in Acts of supremacy
Heidi J. Holder

The writers of nineteenth-century spectacular melodrama made frequent use of colonial settings, particularly India and Africa. In their dramas the clear demarcation between good and evil so vital to the genre was given a strong geographical justification, and, as John MacKenzie has noted, ‘a powerful racial twist’. 1 Moreover, the necessary sense of a hostile, unjust

in Acts of supremacy
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The British Empire and the stage, 1790–1930

Imperialist discourse interacted with regional and class discourses. Imperialism's incorporation of Welsh, Scots and Irish identities, was both necessary to its own success and one of its most powerful functions in terms of the control of British society. Most cultures have a place for the concept of heroism, and for the heroic figure in narrative fiction; stage heroes are part of the drama's definition of self, the exploration and understanding of personal identity. Theatrical and quasi-theatrical presentations, whether in music hall, clubroom, Shakespeare Memorial Theatre or the streets and ceremonial spaces of the capital, contributed to that much-discussed national mood. This book examines the theatre as the locus for nineteenth century discourses of power and the use of stereotype in productions of the Shakespearean history canon. It discusses the development of the working class and naval hero myth of Jack Tar, the portrayal of Ireland and the Irish, and the portrayal of British India on the spectacular exhibition stage. The racial implications of the ubiquitous black-face minstrelsy are focused upon. The ideology cluster which made up the imperial mindset had the capacity to re-arrange and re-interpret history and to influence the portrayal of the tragic or comic potential of personal dilemmas. Though the British may have prided themselves on having preceded America in the abolition of slavery and thus outpacing Brother Jonathan in humanitarian philanthropy, abnegation of hierarchisation and the acceptance of equality of status between black and white ethnic groups was not part of that achievement.

Music for imperial films
Jeffrey Richards

The imperial melodramas which were a staple of the Victorian and the Edwardian stage were transferred largely intact to the silent cinema. The stage melodrama had orchestral accompaniment, with music signalling the entrance of characters, providing interludes and emphasizing dramatic climaxes. In the absence of dialogue, silent films were provided with continuous musical

in Imperialism and music
Jeffrey Richards

landscape, ghosts, moonlight and fair colleens. This image was reproduced on stage in the work of scene-painters who provided an evocative background to Irish melodramas, directly reflecting the interest embodied in the rash of books of engravings of Irish scenes in the 1830s and 1840s. 8 A celebration of the Romantic Irish landscape was to become one of the enduring features of Irish films

in ‘An Irish Empire’?
Brad Beaven

and consistent fusion of imperialism and amusement between 1890 and 1914; and third a less aggressive but revitalised narrative of empire from 1914 to 1939. Theatre and music hall entertainment: the 'imperial spectacular', 1870-90 Between 1870 and 1890, comic drama, melodrama and music were the most staged forms of entertainment. These figures indicate that, in all three

in Visions of empire
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J.S. Bratton

life, which was used in extraordinary ways to validate the new ideologies. Melodrama uses the idealisation of Old England as represented by the supposed virtues and joys of the rural community – pastoral innocence and fertility – to provide concrete images to embody the domestic ideology which the British Empire claimed to propagate across the world. The touchstone of home could be emotionally

in Acts of supremacy
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Feature films and imperialism in the 1930s
Jeffrey Richards

and that imagery was romantic, adventurous and exotic. By the 1930s, the image of Empire was already established, hallowed by the popular imperial melodramas of the Victorian theatre, by the paintings of Lady Butler and the heroic engravings of the war artists, examined elsewhere in this volume by John Springhall. As these media of expression were overtaken in popularity by the cinema, so the

in Imperialism and Popular Culture
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John M. Mackenzie

theatrical presentations and in melodrama. 12 But it was not until the second half of the nineteenth century that the army and its personnel rose in the public’s esteem. Regiments became a source of local and civic pride, a vital part of national and local ceremonial and pageantry, particularly after the great expansion in the number of army bands took place. The new respect for the army was

in Propaganda and Empire
Music-Hall entertainment, 1870–1914
Penny Summerfield

continuing dispute was precisely what constituted a ‘stage play’ and therefore required the licence. ‘Penny gaffs’, small street theatres, often set up in ramshackle structures, showing short plays interspersed with singing, tried to dodge the licensing procedure. 12 Some melodrama theatres, many of which were in barely more permanent accommodation, did the same, sometimes avoiding dialogue or using song

in Imperialism and Popular Culture