Thomas Betterton and the Management of Lincoln's Inn Fields, 1605-1708 (Hardcover)

Thomas Betterton and the Management of Lincoln's Inn Fields, 1605-1708 By Judith Milhous, Ph.D. Cover Image

Thomas Betterton and the Management of Lincoln's Inn Fields, 1605-1708 (Hardcover)


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This thoroughly new investigation into the theatre management competition be­tween the Drury Lane and Lincoln’s Inn Fields companies revises the established view of Thomas Betterton’s manage­ment abilities by documenting the fact that his competition with the Drury Lane company made both an immediate and a permanent change in the course of Brit­ish drama.

Judith Milhous’s meticulous investiga­tion of an astonishing range of reference which includes unpublished and partial­ly published documents in the Public Record Office of London, The British Library, and the Harvard Theatre Col­lection allows her to present a fresh as­sessment of the chaotic events of the 1695–1708 period and of the compe­tence of Thomas Betterton as manager of Lincoln’s Inn Fields theatre.

The breakaway of Betterton and some of the older actors from Drury Lane in 1695, the flood of new plays at the turn of the century, the rivalry between the new acting company at Lincoln’s Inn Fields and Drury Lane, and the result­ing competition for the playgoers’ atten­tion spawned an extravaganza of singers, jugglers, animal acts, and double bills. Despite great difficulties, Milhous shows, Betterton was able to bring about an accommodation that permitted the two acting companies to enjoy a period of modest prosperity and to exert a continuing influence on English drama and the organization of theatrical production.

This careful study of shifts, devices, and the fortunes of the years of rivalry between acting companies provides stu­dents of English theatre history and dra­ma with invaluable new insights into the practical factors that influenced the history of drama.

Judith Milhous is Associate Professor of Theatre History and Codirector of Theatre in the Department of Speech and Dramatic Art at the University of Iowa.

Product Details ISBN: 9780809309061
Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
Publication Date: December 1st, 1979
Pages: 304
Language: English