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This volume considers transnational and intercultural aspects of early modern theatre, drama and performance. Its twelve chapters, loosely cosmographically grouped into West, North and South, compose a complex image of early modern theatre connections as a socially, economically, politically and culturally realised tissue of links, networks, influences and paths of exchange. With particular attention to itinerant performers, court festival, and the significant black, Muslim and Jewish impact, they combine disciplines and methods to place Shakespeare and his contemporaries in the wider context of early performance culture in English, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Czech and Italian speaking Europe. Their shared methodological approach examines transnational connections by linking abstract notions of wider theatre historical significance to concrete historical facts: archaeological findings, archival records, visual artefacts, and textual evidence. Crucial to the volume is this systematic yoking of theories with surviving historical evidence for the performative event – whether as material object, text, performative routine, theatregrams, rituals, festivities, genres, archival evidence or visual documentation. This approach enables it to explore the infinite variety of early modern performance culture by expanding the discourse, questioning the received canon, and rethinking the national restrictions of conventional maps to reveal a theatre that truly is without borders.

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Actresses and playwrights on the Late-Stuart stage

This book challenges the traditional boundaries that have separated the histories of the first actresses and the early female playwright, bringing the approaches of new histories and historiography to bear on old stories to make alternative connections between women working in the business of theatre. Drawing from feminist cultural materialist theories and historiographies, it analyses the collaboration between the actresses Elizabeth Barry and Anne Bracegirdle and women playwrights such as Aphra Behn and Mary Pix, tracing a line of influence from the time of the first theatres royal to the rebellion that resulted in the creation of a players' co-operative. This is a story about public and private identity fuelling profit at the box office and gossip on the streets, investigating how women's on- and off-stage personae fed each other in the emerging commercial world of the business of theatre. Employing the narrative strategy of the micro-history, it offers a fresh approach to the history of women, seeing their neglected plays in the context of performance. Competition with the patent house resulted in a dirty tricks campaign that saw William Congreve supporting the female rebels or, as this book suggests, being supported by them. By combining detailed analysis of selected plays within the broader context of a playhouse managed by its leading actresses, the book challenges the received historical and literary canons, including a radical solution to the mysterious identity of the anonymous playwright ‘Ariadne’. It is a story of female collaboration and influence.

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Re-evaluating the AFL
Naomi Paxton

Politics, 1908–​58 also aims to renew interest in, and suggest more nuanced ways of looking at, the work of the AFL as a unique organisation that revolutionised the ways theatre women operated professionally, socially and politically during the early decades of the twentieth century. Women, theatre histories and marginalisation When I  began reading about the Victorian and Edwardian actresses I was presented with a picture of them as handmaidens to the great actor managers, male dramatists and directors of the day; I had no idea they had created their own theatre.4 For

in Stage Rights!
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Gilli Bush-Bailey

control of the building in 2000. The other pays honour to the less wellknown names of ‘actors, musicians, writers and workers for the stage who have given their lives for their country’ in the Great War (1914–1918). The whole works to impress upon us the cultural significance of the building and those who have contributed to its place in theatre history. On the opposite side of Catherine Street stands a pub, Nell of Old Drury. It too boasts wooden plaques with gold lettering, impressing on the reader its own stake in royal and theatrical history: ‘Our pub owes its name

in Treading the bawds
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Janice Norwood

-represented in 4 Vic toria n touri ng actresses histories of the stage. Scholarship that addresses the issue typically focuses on the celebrity actress (such as Marshall, 2007). By demonstrating the significance of provincial touring, this book aims to contribute to the recuperation of regional theatre histories as pioneered by Kathleen Barker (see K. Barker, 1974; Foulkes, 1994; Sullivan, 2011). While focusing on the local, it reveals professional networks operating across the UK, thus exploring the type of interconnectedness that Jo Robinson defends in critiquing the

in Victorian touring actresses
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Tanya Pollard

originals brings us closer to them, it can allow us to capture their power and prestige. For him, as for his contemporaries, origins reside in the ancient Greek world. Rome features prominently in his account of theatre history, but Romans, like the even more belated English, are already imitators, and as such they repeatedly and insistently point back to original models. In particular, Heywood describes Julius Caesar’s desire to emulate the Greek heroism rooted in Hercules: the first actor, who imitates his father, the king of the gods. If audiences imitate the figures

in Thomas Heywood and the classical tradition
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Pavel Drábek and M. A. Katritzky

(Charles University, 2007) under the title ‘Hostis Humani Generis: Pirate Histories in the Early Modern Mediterranean (Braudel, Measure for Measure , Pericles , Henry VI , Scarron, Le Prince Corsaire )’. Combining the disciplines of theatre, history of ideas, and philosophy, Lezra traces the birth of the legal nation-state – with its codes, decrees and punitive measures – in the treatment of the

in Transnational connections in early modern theatre
Natasha Korda

’ (Ingold 2004 : 321, 330). This is true not only of theatre history, as noted above, but of material culture studies, which, construed as a vehicle for putting us ‘in contact’ or touch with the past, conceives of this touch in manual rather than pedestrian terms through its focus on the handwork or artisanal skill manifested in the crafted object. Ingold’s essay challenges us to

in Transnational connections in early modern theatre
Open Access (free)
A theatre maker in every sense
Brian Singleton

8 Lily Brayton A theatre maker in every sense Brian Singleton Lily Brayton (1876–1953) is barely remembered today, overshadowed in historical accounts of British theatre history by her Australian-born husband, Oscar Asche, who penned the most commercially successful production on the London stage in the first half of the twentieth century (Chu Chin Chow, His Majesty’s Theatre, 1916–21). Brayton was lead actress in most of the productions directed by Asche, and was generally regarded by contemporary critics as one of the best Shakespearean actresses of the early

in Stage women, 1900–50
Gilli Bush-Bailey

GBB-chapter6 11/4/06 12:41 Page 157 6 Re-forming the stage The season of 1697/8 marks a crucial period in theatre history and an extraordinary chapter in the history of theatre women. In no other season on the Late Stuart stage were so many new plays by female playwrights performed by the same company in the same playhouse. Competition between the two houses was still fierce and an act of overt plagiarism by the Patent Company fuelled the ongoing animosity. The Players’ Company maintained its commercially successful edge over its rivals and this season can be

in Treading the bawds