Celebrity, Performance, Reception: British Georgian Theatre as Social Assemblage

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 26, 2013 - Drama - 311 pages
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By 1800 London had as many theatre seats for sale as the city's population. This was the start of the capital's rise as a centre for performing arts. Bringing to life a period of extraordinary theatrical vitality, David Worrall re-examines the beginnings of celebrity culture amidst a monopolistic commercial theatrical marketplace. The book presents an innovative transposition of social assemblage theory into performance history. It argues that the cultural meaning of drama changes with every change in the performance location. This theoretical model is applied to a wide range of archival materials including censor's manuscripts, theatre ledger books, performance schedules, unfamiliar play texts and rare printed sources. By examining prompters' records, box office receipts and benefit night takings, the study questions the status of David Garrick, Sarah Siddons and Edmund Kean, and recovers the neglected actress, Elizabeth Younge, and her importance to Edmund Burke.
  

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Contents

Theatrical assemblages and theatrical markets
25
Georgian performance and the assemblage model
47
from Garrick to Kean
72
Kean and Siddons
96
I79os representations of naval
119
the Turkish ambassadors
157
Marie Antoinette
183
The Roman Actor and the politics
202
Actornetworhtheory
238
Bihliography
280
Index
298
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About the author (2013)

David Worrall is Professor of English at Nottingham Trent University. He is the author of Theatric Revolution: Drama, Censorship and Romantic Period Subcultures, 1773-1832 (2006), The Politics of Romantic Theatricality: The Road to the Stage (2007) and Harlequin Empire: Race, Ethnicity and the Drama of the Popular Enlightenment (2007). He has held fellowships from the Leverhulme Trust, Lewis Walpole Library, Folger Shakespeare Library and Huntington Library and the Library Company of Pennsylvania.

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