Theatre Periodical Series: Unit 3: Twentieth Century Theatre Periodicals

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Of central importance to the study of individual plays and performances, actors and dramatists, critical and popular response, the serial titles included here reproduced two key British theatrical journals of the 20th century.

Offered are the complete runs of The Playgoer (1902-1904) and Play Pictorial (1902-1939). Together, they form an invaluable resource for the study not only of individual productions but of public response and attitudes to drama in the early 20th century.

The launch of careers of such leading actors as John Gielgud and Lawrence Olivier, the work of popular writers including George Bernard Shaw and Noel Coward, and the innovations of Harley Granville-Barket and Theodore Komisarjevsky are among the topics covered in these magazines.

The Playgoer, edited by Fred Dangerfield, contained a wealth of information on every facet of the theater. Reviews, interviews with performers and illustrations recreate the most important productions of the era, and articles on theater history and stage histories of individual plays provide a valuable context for the study of the reception of theater.

Play Pictorial is a central reference source for the study of individual productions. Each issue focused on a specific play, with comprehensive documentation of the West End productions, as well as some plays staged in Stratford and the provinces. Pictures, reviews, articles and interviews offer a uniquely detailed record of the principle productions of an exceptionally creative period in the history of the English stage.

Unit Three: 11 reels


"The drama series offers a wide range of significant and hitherto unavailable sources to the scholar who intends to study the popular stage in depth." -- Dr. David Mayer Department of Drama University of Manchester

— David Mayer, Dr.

"An invaluable source of documentation on London theatres and those of the provinces for the crucial early years of the 20th century." -- Mr. Donald Roy Director of Drama University of Hull

— Donald Roy