11 May 2024 / Events

Study Day – Popular Entertainments: The Past in Our Presence

Popular Entertainments: the Past in our Presence
Saturday, May 11th 2024
London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA)

Produced by the Society for Theatre Research in collaboration with LAMDA.
Lively and often rambunctious spectacles such as seaside Pierrot shows, music hall, flea circuses, puppet shows and circus have delighted audiences, but the significance of ‘popular entertainment’ has often been marginalised in many conventional theatre histories. This Study Day invites practitioners, theatre-makers, scholars and the curious to celebrate the appeal of popular entertainments of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and to consider how these have endured, morphed and influence current theatre practices. Who was involved? Where did they perform? How have these forms changed – and why? And what do they look like now?

• Keynote speaker: Dr. Tony Lidington (University of Exeter)
• Theatrical performance: The Audacious Mr. Astley by Christopher Barltrop

We invite proposals for short 20-25 minute presentations by practitioners and scholars engaged with performative practices such as variety, puppetry, music-hall gender impersonation, toy theatre, pantomime, circus shows and other forms of popular entertainment. We welcome contributions from those associated with organisations (such as British Music Hall Society, The Water Rats, Players Theatre Club etc.), and also welcome proposals from emerging scholars and those from under-represented groups.

TO SUBMIT A PROPOSAL:  Proposals and further enquiries should be addressed to the Study Day organiser: Dr. Valerie Kaneko-Lucas:
Please put CfP Popular Entertainments in the subject line. Include the title of your talk, description (maximum 250 words), your name, brief biography (maximum 100 words), and your institution (if you have one).:
• Deadline submission: 19 April 2024
• Notification of acceptance: 30 April 2024


This Study Day is a free event and open to the public, but we ask that you register no later than 05 May 2024.  Participants should register directly with the  LAMDA Study Day organiser at LAMDA: Dr. Valerie 

On your email, put Registration STR Study Day in the subject line. Please include your name, email contact details, and institution (if you have one). Programme details will be sent via email.


11 May 2024


LAMDA, Talgarth Road, London, UK