From menageries to melodrama. In an age dominated by the novel, the Victorian theatre offered sensational entertainment. Victorian Theatricals is a critical anthology of the 19th-century stage. It explores a time when melodramas starring dogs competed for attention with fabulous menageries and human freak shows. From society comedies to the rumbustious world of Gilbert & Sullivan, productions attracted mass audiences of a size and breadth that most novelists could only envy. Theatre spilled out from the stage into the booths of travelling fairs and invaded the domestic sanctuary of the home.
This critical anthology, complete with extensive introductions, notes and chronologies as well as drawings and photographs of theatrical ephemera, brings together works from 1800 to 1895 and sets them in social and historical context.
‘Sensation is what the public wants and you cannot give them too much of it.’ Dion Boucicault.
Published by Methuen, 2000.