Vol. 75, No. 1
pp. 2-74, 2021
Charles Reade, Dramatist, and Benjamin Webster of the Adelphi
This article draws upon the unpublished letters of Charles Reade (1814-1884) to explore his relationship with the dramatist and manager of the Haymerket and other theatres, Benjamin Nottingham Webster (1797-1883). In addition to illuminating neglected facets of Reade’s life, the letters reveal his attitude to copyright, dramatic writing, theatrical production of his work and Reade’s concern with, amongst other elements, choosing the appropriate casting, scenery, and music for his work. The letters also demonstrate the cardinal importance of women in his life and work.
The Scrapbook as an Archive: Collecting and Curating in the Kate Terry Scrapbook
In Gabrielle Enthoven’s acquisition notes for a scrapbook dedicated to the actress Kate Terry (1844-1924) the scrapbook is described as “a complete record of the life and career of Kate Terry”. This comment immediately raises the question of what it means for such a record to be considered ‘complete.’ The Kate Terry Scrapbook (KTS) contains artefacts dated 1854-1924 and encapsulates the way in which paper-based material remains can be organised and preserved as part of a memorialisation process in order to create a permanent filing cabinet or museum of sorts for ephemeral items that were not produced or intended to be kept indefinitely.
Dionysus the New Woman: Maenadic and Feminist Intersections in Lillah McCarthy's 1908 Bacchae
Euripides’ Bacchae has been one of the more popular Greek tragedies in modern theatre. In the UK in the last twenty years alone it has been produced by a roster of high profile venues and companies – including the National Theatres of both Great Britain and Scotland, the Manchester Royal Exchange, and Kneehigh – in addition to numerous fringe productions. Globally the play has attracted major names in world theatre: Wole Soyinka, Zé Celso, Tadashi Suzuki, Krysztof Warlikowski, Anne Bogart, and more. Despite this, there are some surprising aspects of the play’s journey through the modern world. First, while it is popular now, it has no performance record at all post-antiquity, at least in English, until 1908. Secondly, the person who played the subversive protagonist Dionysus in that production was then-prominent Shavian actress Lillah McCarthy – a fact that may seem incongruous now given that the role has since been played almost exclusively by men. Perhaps most surprisingly of all, though, is how little scholarship has made of McCarthy’s production compared to later productions.
My Dear Loraine: Bernard Shaw's Letters to an Actor, L. W. Connolly (ed)
reviewed by Soudabeh Ananisarab
Mummers Plays' Revisited, by Peter Harrop
reviewed by Katie Normington
Charles Reade, Dramatist, and Benjamin Webster of the Adelphi *** The Scrapbook as an Archive: Collecting and Curating in the Kate Terry Scrapbook *** Dionysus the New Woman: Maenadic and Feminist Intersections in Lillah McCarthy’s 1908 Bacchae
George Canning is My Son: A Mother’s Struggle to Regain Her Son’s Love by Julian Crowe (Unbound, 2021. 538pp. ISBN 9781783529230).
In 2019 and 2020 we published a three part essay by Julian Crowe that detailed the theatrical career of Mary Ann Canning. Drawing on these essays, this magnificent study locates her theatrical fortunes in the context of her strained relationship with her son, the statesman George Canning.