Academic journal article Theatre Notebook

Theatre Notebook: A Quarterly of Notes and Research

Academic journal article Theatre Notebook

Theatre Notebook: A Quarterly of Notes and Research

Article excerpt

VOL. 1. No. 1

OCTOBER, 1945.

ADVISERS:

MRS. GABRIELLE ENTHOVEN O.B.E.: DR. F. S. BOAS . M. WILLSON DISHER JAMES LAVER: DR. ALFRED LOEWENBERG: PAUL McPHARLIN: Prop. ALLARDYCE NICOLL: The REV. DR. MONTAGUE SUMMERS.

EDITORS: SYBIL ROSENFELD. M. A. RICHARD SOUTHERN. 103. RALPH COURT. QUEENSWAY. W.2.

MANAGER: IFAN KYRLE FLETCHER, 32, SMAFTCSDURY AVENUE, LONDON. W.1.

A Time and a Theme have rarely gone better together than the Present and the British Theatre. Conversations, letters and chance meetings of almost daily frequency show not only the charm in the subject, but the number of people who have, for sheer interest, picked up this or that fragment which has a place in a great story.

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We hear of a manuscript discovered in a provincial city, a disused building in a country town, a diary in a rectory', a print in a shop, and the tale of the English theatre grows clearer. In this opening number arc the beginnings of an attempt to arrange information on the history of our playhouses, and notes on Melodrama and the Juvenile Drama.

There are many other fields to touch. Little study has been made of the successive styles of acting. What were the revolutions brought about by Garrick and Kean which were acclaimed as a new naturalism? In their light, former styles became outmoded, but how in fact did these actors differ from their predecessors? How were the stilted artificialities of Restoration heroic tragedy and the preposterous plots of melodrama put over? Was it a question of actors' rhetoric, almost amounting to a musical creation, in the first instance, and mere scenic devices in the second? Many plays, especially those acted in the 19th century in the provinces and at the minor theatres, arc still unlisted, and we should like to record them. We want, too, to include corrections to the theatrical articles in the D.N.R. and corrections and ante-datings to the theatrical terms in the O.E.D. There is much to do, hut our space is at present severely limited; its enlargement will follow the growth of subscriptions.

ON LISTING THEATRES.

A preliminary to study of the British playhouse is the arrangement of existing knowledge. What is known of the London and provincial theatres ? On the former there has been some research, hut dates are often still uncertain; on the latter, information is entirely unclassified. We therefore put before our subscribers the following tentative lists. They are intended purely as a basis for study and revision ; they are indeed--according to the policy of this paper--material for the contents of a notebook. In this ease we hope to make it an open notebook, which, hy the collaboration of subscribers and editors may eventually become a full record of the latest knowledge.

LIST A.

THE DATES OR THE LONDON THEATRES.

Since information on many of these playhouses is to some extent already available, this list is confined to chronology, and it is intended as the basis of a chart. It contains many omissions of smaller houses, which will be included by reference in subsequent numbers as information becomes available, and in many cases authorities disagree on dates, but the following is offered as a backbone for the eventual assembly of the whole skeleton. The list is carried in the present number to 1714, and will be continued in subsequent numbers. We invite corrections and additions accompanied by full authority

ABBREVIATIONS;

A, altered. D, demolished. F, destroyed by fire. R, rebuilt, a, architect. Pre-Restoration.

Public.

The Theatre, 1576-1598.

Curtain, 1577-1627.

Newington Butts, 1580-?

Rose, 1587-1620.

Swan, 1594-1621.

Globe, 1599 (?); 1613; R, 1614; D, 1661.

Fortune, 1600; F, 1621 ; R, 1623; D, 1661.

Red Bull, 1605 ; A, 1633.

Hope (? …

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