< Theatre Notebook

Vol. 66, No. 1

2012

Articles

  1. Margaret Gibson's Letters to her Mother 1931-40

    Richard Purver

    On 11 December 1935 a young woman seeking to establish herself in the acting profession firmly demonstrated her growing independence in a letter written back home to Scotland from her lodgings near Victoria Station in London: “But my darling mother what can we do but make the best of life? And you mustn’t regret my entrance into the wicked world. I would so much rather be a person who knows what life is really like, & preserves integrity, than one who has lived always in a narrow circle, & remained, if you wish, “unspotted of life”. I don’t want to be a case of arrested development. I want to see much & learn much. If sometimes I am sad, then again I am merry; which is so much better than being half-boned with life … I want to be a “big” person ­ not essentially as an actress, but as a person at least, and I’ve got to suffer & struggle & work hard if I am to grow.”

  2. "Finest Printing on the Road": The Importance of Poster Advertising for Touring Theatre Companies Around the Turn of the Twentieth Century

    Michael Diamond

    In 1899, the poster artist John Hassall complained that in this “machine and devil driven England” the dictates of art too often gave way to the vulgar demands of business. This was a typical complaint of the leading posters artists of the period. In particular, “even with theatrical posters the artist is often hampered by the theatrical manager, who can never rest content unless he sees a whole scene set out upon the hoardings” (“Palette Scrapings”). Hassall was a highly successful poster artist, and much of his best work was designed for the theatre. A typical Hassall poster was witty and amusing, using as few as possible clearly outlined figures to maximum effect, but it did not offer a whole scene. The managers most insistent that it should were provincial purveyors of melodrama.

  3. The Phenomenology of Non- Theatre Sites on Audience

    Jo Newman

    During Look Left Look Right’s You Once Said Yes (2011), a series of one-on-one encounters with fifteen different performers across Edinburgh, I walked alone down Grassmarket listening to an MP3 recording. A voice described the street to me in great detail, the smells I would experience as I walked past the cheese shop, the hog roast shop, calling on me to notice things I had never previously considered despite my many trips down Grassmarket. This performance allowed me to experience Edinburgh in a new way, engaging all my senses, as each character shared their story with me and took me on the next part of my journey. How can such performances change the way we experience the world? What is it about performances which take place outside the traditional theatre auditorium which produce a phenomenological experience for audiences?

BOOK REVIEWS

The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Historiography

Thomas Postlewait

Twentieth-Century British Theatre: Industry, Art and Empire

Claire Cochrane

Margaret Gibson’s Letters to her Mother 1931-40 –§– “Finest Printing on the Road”: The Importance of Poster Advertising for Touring Theatre Companies Around the Turn of the Twentieth Century –§– The Phenomenology of Non- Theatre Sites on Audience

New Scholars Prize 2012 (announcement)

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