World Theatre Season, Internationalisation and British Performance Culture
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This thesis explores the World Theatre Season (WTS), an annual season of international theatre companies presented at the Aldwych Theatre in London by the impresario Peter Daubeny, in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), between 1964 and 1975. As the first academic study to consider the WTS at length, this project represents an institutional history and draws on several case study productions to address the impact of the WTS on British performance culture in terms of repertoire, playwriting, acting, directing and design. The Introduction sets out the project’s scope and research contexts and outlines its materialist and historiographic approach. Chapter One outlines the dominant trends in histories of international theatre on the post\World War II British stage and considers to what extent the WTS figures in established narratives, as well as providing a materialist analysis of the WTS as institution. Chapter Two analyses two productions presented at the WTS by the Núria Espert Company and considers the WTS’s contribution to expanded understandings of Spanish theatre and culture in the UK at the time of Francisco Franco’s dictatorship. Chapter Three discusses the work of Czech scenographer, Josef Svoboda, and Polish director, Andrzej Wajda, and considers WTS contribution to developing interest in Eastern European theatre practice in the UK during the Cold War. Chapter Four explores how the productions presented by the Negro Ensemble Company from the US and the Natal Theatre Workshop Company from South Africa expanded both understandings of the expressive possibilities of black theatre and opportunities for black practitioners on the British stage. By retrieving the WTS from the footnotes of theatre history, this study offers fresh insights into the history of the post\War British stage and reconfigures dominant discourses, enabling a broader appreciation of the presence and influence of international work.
- Theses