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Title: 'Life at the full' : the idea of the natural in English and French theatre, 1815-1848
Author: Raby, Peter Humfrey
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1985
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The study investigates the development of theatre in England and France between 1815 and 1848, concentrating on a number of attempts to create a serious and poetic dramatic experience which reflected the artistic concerns of the time. It examines the general state of theatre and drama in London and Paris, and takes particular note of the reactions of one country's critics to the productions of the other. The central issue discussed is the idea of the natural, especially in terms of acting style and mise en scene. The study analyses some of the efforts of authors and producers to reconcile the demands and potential of Romantic dramaturgy with the expectations of the audience. The crucial problem may be described, in Bulwer Lytton's terms, as the attempt to fuse the simple and the magnificent, or, alternatively, the natural and the theatrical. The study outlines the organization, repertory, mise en scene and acting style in England and France at the start of the period (Chapters 1 and 2). It discusses the difficulties confronting the English Romantics as potential dramatists, with particular attention to Marino Faliero (Chapter 3). Chapter 4 describes the 1827-28 visit to Paris of the Theâtre-Anglais, specifically the impact of Shakespeare productions upon French critical consciousness. The effect of that impact is discussed with reference to selected productions of French Romantic drama (Chapter 5). Chapter 6 outlines the incidence and influence of French theatrical practice in London, emphasising the natural acting style of the comediens and the high quality of mise en scene. Chapter 7 describes the growth in England of the idea of the unified production, and assesses the importance of Macready as a producer. In Chapter 8, the difficulty of achieving a satisfactory balance between the style of acting and the increasinglyelaborate physical context is examined, and it is argued that the idea of the natural was more capable of realisation in musical drama, especially ballet.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Theater History