Popular Puppet Theatre in Europe, 1800-1914

Popular Puppet Theatre in Europe, 1800-1914

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Banned, marginalised, tolerated or neglected, puppets were a major form of entertainment of the subordinate classes in the nineteenth century. Showmen travelled from one end of Europe to the other bringing everything from biblical plays to melodramas and variety to audiences who experienced them as their only form of dramatic entertainment. The first study of its kind in English, Popular Puppet Theatre in Europe is less a history than a comparative study, highlighting a significant aspect of social and cultural history from a national and transnational perspective. It examines the showmen, their audiences, the performance context, and the technical and practical aspects of the puppets and their stages.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 266 pages
  • 194 x 254 x 23mm | 935g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 61 Halftones, unspecified; 4 Line drawings, unspecified
  • 0521454131
  • 9780521454131

Table of contents

Introduction; Part I. The Context: 1. Showpeople; 2. The performance context; 3. Audiences; Part II. Puppet Actors and Their Stages: 4. The stage and the wings; 5. Puppet actors I - the characters; 6. Puppet actors II - the figures; 7. Puppet actors in performance; Part III. Repertoire: 8. The traditional repertoire; 9. The establishment of new repertoires; 10. Contemporary plays and popular fiction; Epilogue; Notes; Glossary; Bibliography; Index.
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Review quote

'Here is a bold and colourful fanfare for the common puppeteer, serving as a 'time machine' to days long before puppet theatre became 'figure theatre' ... the information is tightly packed, and very absorbing.' Animations ' ... an excellent and much-needed overview of traditional puppetry in Europe'. British UNIMA Bulletin 'Popular Puppet Theatre in Europe, 1800-1914 is a comprehensive, beautifully produced book and an engrossing account of every aspect of this puppet-theatrical world: the show people and their way of life, the audiences, theatres and, of course, the puppets and their repertoire.' The Times Literary Supplement 'Not only have McCormick and Pratasik uncovered a wealth of information about the development of European puppetry, but the connections they make between the different strands of puppetry are at times fascinating.' Lowdown
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