Heritage, Nostalgia and Modern British Theatre: Staging the Victorians

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9780230298897: Heritage, Nostalgia and Modern British Theatre: Staging the Victorians
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The Victorians, having once been seen as 'them', the age responsible for the mistakes of the past, were transformed by the new theatrical forms of the 1960s into 'us', a metaphor for what the nation thinks (and fears) about itself. And, since the 1980s and the rise of new biographical forms in the theatre, the emphasis has shifted further, from 'we' to 'me': plays about individuals, great and small, and their struggles for personal validation. This study argues powerfully that the stage portrayal of the Victorians in recent times is a key reference point in understanding notions of Britishness, heritage and nostalgia, and the profound politicisation of national identity over the last four decades. Using many examples drawn from theatre archives, and throwing new light on works by canonical playwrights like Bond, Edgar, and Churchill, it charts the decline in class-based narratives of the British people and the move towards plays reflecting a more atomised, individuated society, preoccupied with identity and the past but no longer able to provide a convincing account of itself as a nation.

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"Heritage, Nostalgia and Modern British Theatre: Staging the Victorians [. . .] offers the reading a set of productive and rewarding lenses through which to consider the Victorian figures who continue to haunt our both contemporary stages and our contemporary lives." - Sarah Grochala, Studies in Theatre and Performance

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This book traces the history of modern plays featuring the Victorians, placing it in the recent British context of the loss of faith in modernity and the rise of heritage culture

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9781349335121: Heritage, Nostalgia and Modern British Theatre: Staging the Victorians

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ISBN 10:  1349335126 ISBN 13:  9781349335121
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012
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