< Theatre Notebook

Vol. 62, No. 3

pp125-180, 2009

Articles

  1. Herkomer's Legacy to Craig and the New Stagecraft

    Richard William Pick

    Hubert Herkomer was a Royal Academician and a successful portrait painter. A theatre-lover, he found the London stage unrealistic, and built, next to his new house in Bushey, a 120-seat theatre in which he produced musical plays with a few professional actors and an amateur crowd. His sets, more realistic and atmospheric than painted wings and backcloths, had built pieces in front of a gauze and a lit sky cloth. He experimented with limelights, carbon filament incandescent lamps and, probably, hand-fed carbon arcs. He had his own generator.

    Herkomer lectured on his ideas to a theatrical audience, including Edward Gordon Craig, at the Avenue (Playhouse) Theatre in 1892. Craig produced Dido and Aeneas for the Purcell Society at the Hampstead Conservatoire of Music, in 1900, influenced by the Realism of Herkomer in building his Post-Impressionist sets and lighting.

  2. Theatres of Influence: The Remarkable Music Halls Of Robert Edwin Villiers

    Terry Sawyer

    Nineteenth-century music halls in London were poorly ventilated and believed to be unhealthy. Edwin Villiers, a theatrical manager, took over the Canterbury Music Hall in Westminster Bridge Road in 1876, and rebuilt it with a sliding roof. In 1885 he rebuilt the London Pavilion with a sliding roof. In 1886 William Pitt built the Princess Theatre in Melbourne with a sliding roof and ceiling. Terry Sawyer, a Melbourne architectural historian, shows that Pitt’s design was probably influenced by those of Villiers. Other sliding roofs are described, including Matcham’s New Cross Empire (1899), Bristol Hippodrome and London Victoria Palace.

  3. The Diary of John Stede, London Theatre Prompter from about 1710 to the 1760s.

    David Hunter

    Stede was prompter at Rich’s Lincolns Inn Fields theatre. The diary covers much of 1723 to 1729, and the early part of 1754. Rehearsals for The Beggars Opera took about ten days of intensive work in January 1728 before opening.

BOOK REVIEWS

Theatricality and Narrative in Medieval and Early Modern Scotland

John J McGavin

The Narrator, the Expositor and the Prompter in European Medieval Theatre

Philip Butterworth

Children and Theatre in Victorian Britain 'All Work, No Play'

Anne Varty

Joan Littlewood

Nadine Holdsworth

Theatre Workshop: Joan Littlewood and the Making of Modern British Theatre

Robert Leach

Festivals and Plays in Late Medieval Britain

Clifford Davidson

The Towneley Cycle: Unity and Diversity

Peter Happé

The Wonderful and Surprising History of Sweeney Todd

Robert L Mack

Herkomer’s Legacy to Craig and the New Stagecraft –§– Theatres of Influence: The Remarkable Music Halls Of Robert Edwin Villiers –§– The Diary of John Stede, London Theatre Prompter from about 1710 to the 1760s.

NOTES AND QUERIES

Irving and a Dead Body
Additions to Archives

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