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This 2004 Companion is designed for readers interested in the creation, production and interpretation of Victorian and Edwardian theatre, both in its own time and on the contemporary stage. The volume opens with a brief overview and introduction surveying the theatre of the time followed by an essay contextualizing the theatre within the frame of Victorian and Edwardian culture as a whole. Succeeding chapters examine specific aspects of performance, production, and theatre, including the music, the actors, stagecraft and the audiences themselves; plays and playwriting and issues of class and gender are also explored. Chapters also deal with comedy, farce and melodrama, while other essays bring forward new topics and approaches that cross the boundaries of traditional investigation, including analysis of the economics of theatre and of the theatricality of personal identity.
Oscar Wilde was a courageous individualist whose path-breaking life and work were shaped in the crucible of his time and place, deeply marked by the controversies of his era. This collection of concise and illuminating articles reveals the complex relationship between Wilde's work and ideas and contemporary contexts including Victorian feminism, aestheticism and socialism. Chapters investigate how Wilde's writing was both a resistance to and quotation of Victorian master narratives and genre codes. From performance history to film and operatic adaptations, the ongoing influence and reception of Wilde's story and work is explored, proposing not one but many Oscar Wildes. To approach the meaning of Wilde as an artist and historical figure, the book emphasises not only his ability to imagine new worlds, but also his bond to the turbulent cultural and historical landscape around him - the context within which his life and art took shape.
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