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Look Inside Joan Littlewood's Theatre

Joan Littlewood's Theatre

Part of Cambridge Studies in Modern Theatre

  • Date Published: July 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107532045

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About the Authors
  • Joan Littlewood was one of the most visionary and influential theatre directors of the twentieth century. Drawing on extensive archival research and detailed performance histories, and paying close attention to wider political and cultural forces, this innovative study presents a fresh examination of Littlewood's treatment of the politics of war, Renaissance plays, marginalised communities and popular culture in productions such as Oh What a Lovely War, A Taste of Honey and Richard II. This book offers a sustained examination of Littlewood's paratheatrical activity that centred on her ambitious plans for the Fun Palace, a multifaceted cultural centre, and her numerous playground projects for young people. Alert to critical thinking on ethics, citizenship, cultural politics, class and space, Joan Littlewood's Theatre will deepen and extend knowledge and understanding of the innovative theatrical, cultural and community-based practices generated by Littlewood throughout her career.

    • Provides a thematic exploration of Joan Littlewood's theatre practice from her early days with the Workers' Theatre Movement in the 1930s to her playground projects in the 1970s, showing the wide scope of Littlewood's output
    • Combines extensive historical, social and cultural contextual information alongside detailed analysis of Littlewood's productions and community projects, demonstrating how Littlewood's work responded to changing times
    • Makes extensive use of primary archival material, allowing the reader to access material from Littlewood's early notebooks, production files and numerous private and company letters and documents
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Highly readable, richly documented and enlightening, addressing all aspects of Littlewood's career and thus providing new insights into the development of her work.' Cercles

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107532045
    • length: 334 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 12 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. A peculiar history: life, love and theatre
    2. The war game: politics, ethics and representation
    3. Controversial classics: resisting cultural authority
    4. Poetic realism: representing working-class communities
    5. Popular theatrical communities: outsiders, misfits and miscreants
    6. Cultural democracy and spatial encounters: the Fun Palace project
    7. Spaces to play/playing with spaces: young people, play and citizenship.

  • Author

    Nadine Holdsworth, University of Warwick
    Nadine Holdsworth is an Associate Professor and Head of Department in the School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies at the University of Warwick. Her research focuses on British political theatre since the 1930s and theatre's relationship to the nation and globalization. She is the author of Theatre and Nation (2010), Joan Littlewood (2006) and co-editor, with Mary Luckhurst, of A Concise Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Drama (2007).

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