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Talking out of tune : remembering British theatre 1944-56.

Harris, Kate Lucy (2008) Talking out of tune : remembering British theatre 1944-56. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis explores how British Theatre represented and reacted to cultural and social changes between 1944 and 1956. It is closely linked to the oral history strand of the AHRC University of Sheffield British Library Theatre Archive Project <http://www.bl.ukltheatrearchive>. The five chapters focus on distinct subject areas in order to explore the vibrant diversity of the period. However, they are united by an overarching narrative which seeks to consider the relationship between memory and history. The first chapter is based on the oral history strand. It explores the different ways in which the Project's methodology has shaped both the interviewee testimony and my own research. Chapter 2 focuses on the changing historical perceptions of the popular West End plays of the day. Case studies of plays are used to compare the responses of audiences and critics in the 1940s and 50s, with the critical commentaries that surround the plays and playwrights today. The third chapter explores the relationship between BBC television drama and theatre. It assesses the impact that cross fertilisation had on both media by examining plays, productions and policies. Chapters 4 and 5 focus on two of the theatre companies of the period - Theatre Workshop and the Old Vic Theatre Company. Chapter 4 explores the impact that Theatre Workshop's early years as a touring group had on the development of the company. It draws on new oral history testimonies from former company members who joined the group in the 1940s and early 50s. Chapter 5 explores the legacy of the Old Vic Theatre Company between 1944 and 1952. It compares and contrasts testimonies from audience members, practitioners and critics in order to consider how and why certain theatrical moments appeal to the historical imagination.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of English (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.505560
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2016 14:08
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2016 14:08
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10333

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