cover of book

Reflecting the Audience: London Theatregoing, 1840-1880
by Jim Davis and Victor Emeljanow
University of Iowa Press, 2001
Cloth: 978-0-87745-781-7 | Paper: 978-1-58729-372-6 | eISBN: 978-1-58729-402-0
Library of Congress Classification PN2596.L6D38 2001
Dewey Decimal Classification 792.0942109034


This innovative work begins to fill a large gap in theatre studies: the lack of any comprehensive study of nineteenth-century British theatre audiences. In an attempt to bring some order to the enormous amount of available primary material, Jim Davis and Victor Emeljanow focus on London from 1840, immediately prior to the deregulation of that city's theatres, to 1880, when the Metropolitan Board of Works assumed responsibility for their licensing. In a further attempt to manage their material, they concentrate chapter by chapter on seven representative theatres from four areas: the Surrey Theatre and the Royal Victoria to the south, the Whitechapel Pavilion and the Britannia Theatre to the east, Sadler's Wells and the Queen's (later the Prince of Wales's) to the north, and Drury Lane to the west.

Davis and Emeljanow thoroughly examine the composition of these theatres' audiences, their behavior, and their attendance patterns by looking at topography, social demography, police reports, playbills, autobiographies and diaries, newspaper accounts, economic and social factors as seen in census returns, maps and transportation data, and the managerial policies of each theatre.

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