'You have discovered a perishable treasure, and it is imperative to share it with other people before it fades... You have only one chance to get it right, while the impression is still fresh...' If critics often disagree among themselves over the merits of a given work, this is nothing compared to the wider argument about what the critic's role should be - Objective judge? Consumer guide? Provocateur? - and whether or not those practising criticism are living up to their duty to the 'perishable treasures' on which they pronounce. In Theatre Criticism, first published in 1992, Irving Wardle sets out to define the credentials and aims of this vexed profession. Tracing its origins to Dryden and the Grub Street writers of Georgian London, Wardle goes on to examine the prejudices, questions and practices of modern reviewing, drawing on three decades' worth of his own experience.
The world of theatre criticism is rapidly changing in its form, function and modes of operation in the twenty-first century. The dominance of the internet has led to a growing trend of selfappointed theatre critics and bloggers who are changing the focus and purpose of the discussion around live performance. Even though the blogosphere has garnered suspicion and hostility from some mainstream newspaper critics, it has also provided significant intellectual and ideological challenges to the increasingly conservative profile of the professional critic. This book features 16 commissioned contributions from scholars, arts journalists and bloggers, as well as a small selection of innovative critical practice. Authors from Australia, Canada, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Russia, the UK and the US share their perspectives on relevant historical, theoretical and political contexts influencing the development of the discipline, as well as specific aspects of the contemporary practices and genres of theatre criticism. The book features an introductory essay by its editor, Duška Radosavljevic.
Theatrical Criticism The present essay contains a candid critique on the new play called the School of Reform or how to rule a Husband
This book, first published in 1981, sets out the critical reaction to some fifty key post-war productions of the British theatre, as gauged primarily through the contemporary reviews of theatre critics. The plays chosen are each, in their different ways, important in their contribution to the development of the British theatre, covering the period from immediately after the Second World War, when British theatre fell into decline, through the revival of the late 1950s, to the time in which this book was first published, in which British theatre enjoyed a high international reputation for its diversity and quality. This book is ideal for theatre studies students, as well as for the general theatre-goer.
The first serious study of Shakespeare's pervasive presence in English cultural life in the 18th and early 19th centuries, this work examines how during times of political stress both "establishment" and "radical" culture tend to compete for possession of the national poet. In a groundbreaking analysis, Bate reveals this process at work in the brilliant political satires of Gillray, the Cruikshanks and other caricaturists, and in the performances and interpretation of the plays of the period, including such phenomena as Garrick's Jubilee and Boydell's picture gallery. At the very heart of the argument is Hazlitt, bringing Shakespeare to bear on contemporary life, responding to Edmund Kean in the theater, and developing radically new readings of the plays.