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Title: The staging of slavery in London's theatres, 1768-1865
Author: Kanakamedala, Prathibha
ISNI:       0000 0004 2672 1121
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2009
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Between 1768 and 1865 London's theatres produced a number of plays that presented black identities and cultures. The theatre engaged in a fluid and continuous dialogue with the discourses of slavery, during the growth of the British Atlantic slave trade, and in the aftermath of the trade's abolition. The result of this dialogue was the development of a highly imaginative, heavily visual, and legible dramatic lexicon incorporating theatrical tradition and innovation. This thesis explores the new and evolving theatrical idiom through the, often sidelined, visual paraphernalia generated by British drama. Particular emphasis is placed on stage directions, playbills, tinsel prints, illustrations, juvenile literature, song sheets. costume descriptions, theatre biographies, reviews and the almost forgotten forms of toy theatres. The study also incorporates the necessary analysis of the play's texts, but its new emphasis on visual materials and ephemera leads to a re-reading of the theatre's motivations and processes for staging the slave body. The first chapter surveys the material conditions for staging drama during this period, it also examines Thomas Southerne's Oroonoko (1695). The play left a significant legacy for two centuries of British :heatre. The second chapter explores master-slave relationships as (re)presented on London's stages in the late eighteenth century. The third chapter considers the sophisticated strategies for staging rebellion md conflict. The fourth chapter examines the American influence on London's performance culture particularly during the mid-nineteenth century. The fifth chapter analyses how Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) and Dred (1856) spawned many dramatic adaptations in London. The final chapter focuses on the rise of the racially mixed female protagonist on the stage during the mid-nineteenth century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available