4 episodes

In this series, Michael Burden, David Kennerley and Susan Valladares from the University of Oxford discuss the fashion for staging historical dramas in British and American theatres in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The series accompanies the Bodleian Library’s exhibition on this theme and the podcasts include descriptions and discussions of many of the items on display.

Staging History, 1780 to 1840 Oxford University

    • Courses

In this series, Michael Burden, David Kennerley and Susan Valladares from the University of Oxford discuss the fashion for staging historical dramas in British and American theatres in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The series accompanies the Bodleian Library’s exhibition on this theme and the podcasts include descriptions and discussions of many of the items on display.

    Theatre in the ‘Long Regency’ era

    Theatre in the ‘Long Regency’ era

    This episode gives a brief introduction to the history of this period, beginning with the American War of Independence and culminating in the early years of the reign of Queen Victoria. The contributors discuss what was going on in the world of theatre at this time and the various connections between the drama and political events.

    • 16 min
    Experiencing the late Georgian theatre

    Experiencing the late Georgian theatre

    This episode explores what it was like to experience theatre in this era, including how theatres were laid out and designed, what it was like to be in the audience, and how plays were written, advertised and staged. The contributors also discuss the impact of new technologies, like gas lighting, and exciting spectacles, such as elephants, grand processions, and on-stage naval battles in a tank of real water.

    • 16 min
    History on stage

    History on stage

    In this episode, the contributors discuss why history so frequently featured on stage in this period, and the significance of the historical events that these dramas staged for contemporary audiences. Various examples of history on stage are discussed, ranging from the siege of Gibraltar to Rip van Winkle’s American adventures, and from the conquest of Peru to the Napoleonic wars. The episode concludes with a discussion of the pre-eminent historical fiction author Walter Scott, and the enormous influence of his works on Regency theatre and opera.

    • 18 min
    Staging History: favourite objects and concluding thoughts

    Staging History: favourite objects and concluding thoughts

    The series concludes with each of the contributors discussing an object that particularly stands out for them from the exhibition items and what it reveals about staging history in this period. The contributors finish by offering some concluding thoughts about the overall findings of the ‘Staging History’ project.

    • 9 min

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