The Repertory Movement: A History of Regional Theatre in Britain

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 18, 1984 - Drama - 230 pages
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This is an account of the origins, development and current state of the repertory theatre movement in Britain. The movement had its roots in ideas, experiments and traditions stretching back into the nineteenth century, and first found its voice in 1907 with Miss Horniman's company in Manchester. Since then it has played a vital - often a dominant - role in British twentieth-century theatre. As a method of theatre organisation, repertory refers to those theatres based primarily in the regions, housing a resident acting company and seeking to maintain each season a programme of plays catering for the tastes of the whole community. But the theory has never been dogmatic and the movement has evolved from a gamut of complex factors, not least the visions of particular personalities. Major landmarks in the history include the effects of the two World Wars, the advent of substantial state funding for the Arts, the growth of cinema and television and the renewal of theatre's link with the community in the form of such initiatives as Theatre- in-Education. The history concludes with a detailed study of six representative regional theatres: The Nottingham Playhouse; The Citizens' Theatre, Glasgow; The Salisbury Playhouse; The Victoria Theatre, Stoke; The Everyman, Liverpool; and The Royal Exchange, Manchester. Appendixes include a Chronology, sample repertory programmes from the period, audience attendance figures and some comparative statistics about funding. Interspersed through the text are photographs of selected theatre exteriors, auditoria, stages and productions.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The NineteenthCentury Background
6
First Steps The Beginnings of a Movement
16
19071918 Manchester to Birmingham
35
The InterWar Years
54
The War Years and After
76
19581983 Renewal Growth and Retrenchment
89
19581983 Six Reps in Focus
130
The Victoria Theatre StokeonTrent
151
The Merseyside Everyman Theatre Liverpool
157
The Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester
165
The Repertory Movement Summary Assessment Conclusion
173
Appendixes
192
2 Sample Repertory Programmes
195
Some Comparative Statistics
203
Notes
209

The Nottingham Playhouse
131
The Citizens Theatre Glasgow
139
The Salisbury Playhouse
146

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