The Cambridge companion to British theatre, 1730-1830


The Cambridge companion to British theatre, 1730-1830

edited by Jane Moody and Daniel O'Quinn

Cambridge University Press, 2007

  • : hardback
  • : pbk

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Chronology: p. [xviii]-[xxxii]

Includes bibliographical references (p. 261-273) and index



This Companion offers a wide-ranging and innovative guide to one of the most exciting and important periods in British theatrical history. The scope of the volume extends from the age of Garrick to the Romantic transformation of acting inaugurated by Edmund Kean. It brings together cutting-edge scholarship from leading international scholars in the long eighteenth century, offering lively and original insights into the world of the stage, its most influential playwrights and the professional lives of celebrated performers such as James Quin, George Anne Bellamy, John Philip Kemble, Dora Jordan, Fanny Abington and Sarah Siddons. The volume includes essential chapters about eighteenth-century acting, production and audiences, important surveys of key theatrical forms such as tragedy, comedy, melodrama and pantomime as well as a range of exciting thematic essays on subjects such as private theatricals, 'black' theatre and the representation of empire.


  • Chronology
  • Part I. Performance: 1. Acting and actors from Garrick to Kean Peter Thomson
  • 2. 'Dictating to the Empire': performance and theatrical geography in eighteenth-century Britain Jane Moody
  • 3. Scenography and technology Christopher Baugh
  • 4. Spectatorship Jim Davis
  • Part II. Genres: 5. The social life of eighteenth-century comedy Lisa A. Freeman
  • 6. Tragedy Susan Staves
  • 7. Pantomime John O'Brien
  • 8. Romantic melodrama Jacky Bratton
  • Part III. Identities: 9. The making of an English audience: the case of the footmen's gallery Kristina Straub
  • 10. Women playwrights Misty Anderson
  • 11. Entertaining women: the actress in eighteenth-century theatre and culture Laura J. Rosenthal
  • 12. Race and profit in English theatre Julie A. Carlson
  • Part IV. Places of Performance: 13. Private theatricals Gillian Russell
  • 14. Opera and theatre Michael Burden
  • 15. Acting in the periphery: the Irish theatre Helen Burke
  • 16. Theatre and Empire Daniel O'Quinn
  • Part V. Further Reading: 17. Reading theatre, 1730-1830 Jonathan Mulrooney
  • Bibliography.

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